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JLeslie's avatar

In slab construction is there a work around to move plumbing?

Asked by JLeslie (65557points) July 23rd, 2022 from iPhone

We saw a townhouse we are interested in, but the floorplan count be much improved if we ever decided to renovate. The problem is, it would entail moving the kitchen and I think the main water pipes for the neighborhood (along the street) are along the back of the house, and I would want to move the kitchen to the front. I’m afraid there wouldn’t be enough slope to do it. Is there a way to work around it? Am I right that it’s a problem?

Even if we don’t buy this house I’d want to know for the future.

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10 Answers

chyna's avatar

<——Not a contractor, but my brother is. When I was looking for a house, he refused to let me buy a house with a slab, saying it was too hard to get to the plumbing if there is a problem, that you would have to pull up the actual flooring in your house to fix any plumbing.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna I’m not worried about a problem, although it is true more of a hassle. Almost every house I’ve owned has been on slab, so I’m accustomed to it, but I haven’t renovated. There are some positives with slab also, it’s like anything there is good and bad.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Nope; cut the concrete and that means all flooring up and rerunning plumbing and anything they put in concrete !

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Can it be done? If enough slope isn’t in the original plan then I’m thinking it can’t be done at all. That’s my concern.

gorillapaws's avatar

If it’s the slope on the sewer line you’re concerned with, there’s always a Sewer Ejector Pump that can pump the wastewater uphill. Of course you’re going to need a failsafe for when you lose power or you could have a real mess on your hands.

SnipSnip's avatar

Yes, you raise the interior floor and run the plumbing between the new elevation and the old slab. Haven’t you ever gone into an added-on bathroom and have to take about a four inch step up.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Possible? Yes. Practical? No.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

The last place I had was on a slab. I had the main waterline begin leaking under the slab and rather than destroy half the house to get to it I bypassed the main line behind the meter with PEX. It was run up into the attic and then back down where the water line stubs up out of the concrete. That fix worked great and saved me thousands of dollars but it was luck that the layout of everything worked. I would strongly advise you to get a house on a crawlspace.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for your answers.

@SnipSnip Nope, I’ve never had to do that.

@gorillapaws Doesn’t sound worth the risk.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie It wouldn’t be worth it to me. In theory you’d have a battery backup like sump pumps have, and would be mindful not to go too crazy with generating lots of wastewater in the kitchen during a prolonged blackout (post hurricane perhaps?).

Still, it seems somewhat extreme to completely relocate a kitchen, jackhammering up a slab for a remodel. If it was in a very special location (like had an amazing view or on a particular body of water) and I was more concerned with having a house in that particular spot the way I wanted it laid out than I was with spending money wisely, then I might consider it. Otherwise, I’d look for something with a better floor plan (floor plans are important) in my budget. I would not buy a house with a floor plan I hated and just worked around it because a remodel was impractical.

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