In America, they have a term to describe a row of suburban houses that all look the same. They call them "cookie cutter." Many people would never consider buying a house like this, as they feel that it wouldn't have any character and so opt to get an older home instead. However, a certain amount of work will need to be done to bring all the elements of this house up to modern standards and the first place to start is with the plumbing. What are some of the challenges you should be ready for here?
Start With the Big Picture
While there's nothing wrong in opting for an older home for its distinctive style, you will nevertheless want to have some of the modern-day trappings. It's possible that the home you have purchased has never been renovated though, so you're going to have to bring in some extra elements to your plumbing system in order to achieve this. You may, for example, want to install extra toilets to come up to modern day standards.
Time to Investigate
While you plan this out, look out for some key issues related to older installations.
Updating the Pipes
To start with, you may have to deal with galvanised piping. You will quickly be able to determine whether you have any issues here, based on the water pressure through the house. If it is generally low, it's likely that the pipes have rusted and this has caused them to become clogged. The hot ones will be the first to go.
Tracing the Sewer Lines
Next, have a look at the sewer line. To do this properly, you have to look outside and all the way up to your property line. If you have mature trees in your garden, the roots could have impacted these lines, especially if they are made from cast iron, clay or even modified tar paper. This latter option is particularly problematic, as it may contain asbestos.
Modifying While Retaining the Look
Lastly, don't settle for older plumbing fixtures inside, simply because they look "retro." They're not likely to function as well as they did when they were first installed. Furthermore, you can buy new fixtures that have that "character" appeal and these will meet your eye as well as being more efficient in saving water.
Asking the Expert
You may have quite a lot of work ahead in order to renovate the home and it's a good idea for you to consult with a professional plumber for advice.