The Beginner's Guide to Facility Asset Management

Whether you are building a new home or going through a substantial renovation, chances are that plumbing upgrades will be involved. It’s important that you understand what parts of residential plumbing can be upgraded and for what reason, that way your hard-earned money will be well spent on the components and fixtures that deliver top value.

Popular Areas to Upgrade During Construction or Renovation

# 1 – Faucets and Fixtures

Fixtures in both the bathroom and the kitchen can be upgraded to a different style, size, or brand. There are a variety of finishes available that go well beyond the standard chrome finish. Think about a brushed nickel or polished brass. More contemporary homes will be even more striking with stainless steel faucets and fixtures.

Also consider whether or not to install a single handle faucet or upgrade to a mini widespread or full widespread faucet. These range in size from 4 to 8” and often include a dual handle design with both hot and cold handles and a standalone tap. Other upgrades include ceramic cartridges and finishes that carry a lifetime guarantee. Think about a pull-out faucet in the kitchen, as this upgrade adds convenience to everyday tasks like dishwashing.

# 2 – Toilets

The toilet is well used in any home and upgrades should be seriously considered during any bathroom renovation, home addition, or new build. Elongated bowls are more comfortable for adults and can provide your new bathroom with a sense of distinct style. The height is another option, with higher bowls (generally measuring 17” from the ground) delivering greater comfort for many. Using this type of seat will be easier on your knees, withstanding up and sitting down less of a strain.

A distinct color is another type of upgrade that may be small, but can have a major impact on the room. Stay clear of any trendy colors that will date the room, but don’t be afraid to choose something other than the standard white. Also think about whether a dual flush toilet would add efficiency to the space.

# 3 – Tubs and Showers

Upgrading your bathtub/shower combination may be the largest change you ever make in an existing bathroom. Price out the installation of a tub and shower liner for an easy remodel. But if your bathtub is in an awkward location, is the wrong size or is showing signs of leaking, a full renovation may be required. Consider tiling for a stylish look or adding glass blocks to let in more light. There are plenty of designs that can transform your bathroom into a more luxurious and attractive space.

The fixtures and features in your tub-shower combo can go from simple to sublime. Steam showers are popular in executive homes, but can be easily installed in a condo or smaller home. Rain domed showerheads and sprayers are an excellent addition that will make your shower experience that much more relaxing. Take a look around at a plumbing showroom or walk through model homes to get a taste of what is available. Then consider whether any of these upgrades are worthwhile adding to your new bathroom.

# 4 – Sinks and Vanities

Stainless steel is the standard option for kitchen sinks, while porcelain steel sinks are generally installed in a bathroom. But your options range much farther than those two options.

In the kitchen you can opt for a thicker gauge of stainless steel (as opposed to the 20 or 22 gauge currently installed in most homes) or drop in a cast iron sink. These highly durable options tend to be less noisy than the standard model and still offer the stain resistance and strength you expect.

You can also opt for a sink made in the same material as your upgraded countertop. Corian sinks are expensive, but create a nearly seamless and undeniably attractive finish. In today’s market you can also find quartz kitchen sinks in a limited selection of colors, providing strength and quietness on par with cast iron for a lower price. Quartz comes in both under mount and drop in styles.

Vanities can be upgraded from the typical laminate cabinets to custom made wooden styles. These furniture-grade pieces are impressive in the bathroom and can be continued in the rest of the house for a flowing design.

# 5 – Softeners and Filtration

Depending on the hardness of the water in your area, a water softener installation or upgrade may be necessary. You will need to find a supplier for softener salt as well as perform routine maintenance on this home appliance to ensure the water is properly softened for better laundry and showers.

Water filtration systems create healthier water for your family to drink and cook with, removing the dirt, bacteria and odor from your drinking water. Most of these systems involve a cartridge or filter that will need to be changed regularly, but the system itself can be plumbed in during a renovation to save time and ensure the room is designed for it.

# 6 – Irrigation

If you have extensive gardens or are planning for that eventuality, irrigation is going to be a major issue. Having an underground sprinkler system installed into your property can be a very wise move and save your yard from being ripped up later. Think about whether a pressure booster pump will need to be installed in order to maintain adequate pressure throughout the house while the sprinkler is in use.

Plumbing upgrades make sense once you have thoroughly thought them through. Choose elements in the house you would like to see more money invested into. Whether that’s the faucets and fixtures or the tub and toilet, you will appreciate these plumbing upgrades much more when you’ve chosen them with thought. Consider a new sink and vanity or consider installing a water filtration system along with an underground sprinkler. These changes can help you personalize your home and capture the most comfort.

Posted by: diana