Does anyone know a ballpark of what it costs to move plumbing? I have a very small bathroom that needs to be reconfigured and would be moving all three pieces (toilet, bathtub and sink) to different walls. The bathroom is only 5' x 7', so the moves wouldn't be more than 5' each max. Any ideas?

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Way way way too many variables & unknowns to answer this question!  I could take a blind stab in the dark and say $2500... then say maybe double or maybe half... lol.

 

What materials are needed?  Copper, cast iron, plastic, etc?  Special fittings, adapters, elbows, etc?

 

How much labor?  Perhaps your new locations require more than just adding 5 feet to each fixture... perhaps your unique situation will dictate that everything be ripped out and re-done from scratch.  Sometimes it's easier to start over than totally reconfigure.  More material but lower labor.

 

On top of that, a busy plumber will charge more than an unemployed plumber.

 

Your best option would be to have at least three licensed plumbers come quote the job.  Give them all the same exact initial specifications.  Do not reveal one's estimate to another and do not tell them you're getting more than one quote... because you want an honest quote for the full job, not just one guy trying to undercut another.  Plus you don't want to tip off a dishonest plumber with anyone else's estimate.  Example:  You get two quotes for around $2500 and the third guy quotes $5000... now you know he might be trying to take advantage of you.  However if you reveal the $2500 quotes to him ahead of time, his quote will also be around $2500 and you'll never know he would try to soak you.

 

Then after you receive all three quotes in writing, perhaps you'd want to negotiate a fixed price with the one you like best using the lowest quote as leverage.

Depends what type of floor you have if it is concrete the amount of work would be extensive, if it is crawlspace or woodfloor over basement or on second floor there could still be alot of rerouting sewer lines for bath, lavatory and toilet including rerouting the vent stacks I don't believe even a licensed plumber could give an accurate estimate until they do alot of checking as to how your bathroom plumbing is and then you really only have two choices for the bathtub as they are 5' long it would be best to put the tub against the 5' walls unless you want to put say a 2ft wide linen cupboard between the tub and the wall either way that is alot of work and must be done properly for proper drainage and venting of the tub,sink & especially the toilet with such a small bathroom you might be better of leaving it as it is and just refurbish any older pieces to make it look nicer,doing those alterations would likely be as expensive as building a completely new bathroom

You're right.  A plumber is not going to know much until the walls & floor are ripped open.

 

But a plumber will know how much it will cost to do that room from scratch and that's what they'll probably do... quote to rip it all out and start over.

When hiring any subcontractor, pre qualify them on historical restoration experience.  You do not want a sub that has work on a few old houses.  Running  abs, copper, etc. is easy, what you do not want is some guy cutting into the structural supports because those supports are in the way. I seen this done over and over and over again in old houses.  Over time the floors sag, ceilings drop, the distribution of the weight of the house shifts. 

One main fact to always remember in old houses, they were built with old growth lumber.  Fully matured trees, grain structure is tight, very strong.  Old houses are not fragile.

If you love your old house and you want to maintain that hora, old house feel, l would copy the same construction techniques, when possible. 

Coppers, good

cast iron expensive, quiet

abs easy,  noisy

 

 

All good points.

 

Plumbers generally do not care much about structure, plaster, drywall, wallpaper, tile, linoleum, or electrical... they only care about making room for the pipes.

 

Not all old houses are of such historical significance that they require the added expense of "restoration specialists" for every menial task.  I believe however, the homeowner must always exercise due diligence in these cases and make sure the plumber is not compromising the structure in any way.

 

Whether historical or not, it's your home, so stay involved at every step... you're paying the bill so you're the boss... ask him to leave if he doesn't like it.

I'm not an expert--but having bought a house with a similar situation, we plan to do the same. The key is to shop carefully, in my opinion, and decide how much you can DIY and what you can't. Also, you need to find out downstairs, where the pipes are. Is it feasible? In our case, the upstairs and original bathroom is over the newer bathroom which used to be the scullery and back parlor? The people who made these old rooms into a huge bathroom enclosed the plumbing behind dry wall and put in laundry pipes and a sink, for the large bathroom. So, when we are ready to move the toilet pipe in the little bath, we will be cutting the dry wall away, etc. Having said that, a slipper tub, corner toilet and tiny sink to fit in that tiny space has so far cost about $3,000. We plan to do it all ourselves--we have several good books, and have quite a bit of experience, realizing we will certainly plan to be up to code, and have an electrician and/or plumber check things when we are done. I'm sure you might be able to get away with less $, and can always spend more...hope it helps...

Thanks for the replies. Very useful.

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