From lighting to paint to flooring, it can feel like a million decisions go into building a new home. One of the key advantages to working with a trusted, licensed contractor is having someone that will be at your side to guide you through the decision-making process and stand by their work for years to come.
Whether you are investing in a semi-custom or fully custom-built home, JK Plumbing Manager and estimator Casey Blackwell recommends that contractors and new homeowners take the time up front to consider what they would like or what will offer benefits for years to come as most of the time, there are significant savings to adding a feature at the time of construction rather than adding as a retro-fit after the fact. Plus, depending on the nature of your project and finances, any upgrades can typically be rolled into your mortgage or financing.
Here are a few of the most common plumbing decisions Casey and the JK Plumbing team recommend considering for your new home, renovation, or addition:
Tanked vs. Tankless Water Heater
When you think of water heaters, you probably imagine the large tank sitting in your basement or utility room. For homes with Natural Gas or Propane available, you may want to consider adding a tankless or “on-demand” water heater instead. Tankless water heaters are appliances that heat water as it circulates through the device, rather than maintaining a storage tank of hot water, which can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Plus, because water is heated as needed, that means you never run out of hot water. Finally, tankless water heaters take up much less space, which means they’re a popular solution for tight spaces. Traditional “tanked” water heaters, on the other hand, are a lower investment up-front, and can be a practical solution for electric-only applications.
Comfort Height vs. Standard
One of the most common upgrades the JK Plumbing team sees is the switch from a standard height toilet to a comfort height toilet. Typically, “standard” toilet seats are 15 inches from the floor, while a “comfort height” seat is 17-19 inches from the floor. For taller folks or for homeowners looking to age in place, a comfort height toilet can make a big difference in the comfort and long-term practicality of their home. On the flip side, we do often have clients that prefer the height of a standard toilet, have children in the home that need the smaller height, or would like room for accessories such as a bidet. Every person is different, so take a look at your options and talk with your contractor or plumber about what will work for your layout and needs.
Water Treatment Systems
The quality of your tap water can vary significantly based on location, the existing infrastructure, and whether you are on public water or a well. If your water is naturally hard, adding a softener can benefit your hair and skin while also extending the life of your appliances such as dishwashers, water heaters, and fixtures. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, adding a treatment system such as a Reverse Osmosis system can deliver pure, great-tasting water right at the tap. If you are buying in an existing neighborhood or development, your contractor may be able to offer solutions based on other homes in the neighborhood.
Fixtures & Finishes
A fun area of possibility when designing your new home are the fixtures and finishes for your kitchen, bath, laundry, and more. A reputable contractor will be able to connect you with a wide catalogue of options either in a matching series, or to mix and match throughout your home. According to JK Plumbing Manager Casey, some of the most popular fixture upgrades we see for new homes include adding hand shower attachments to baths, adding a laundry tub or extra garage utility sink, or upgrading to popular finish colors such as Matte Black or Brushed Gold. Certain brands such as Moen offer fixtures with smart features, such as the touch or wave-activated kitchen faucet Moen Wave. While it can be tempting to go a little Pinterest-crazy or bargain-hunt online, going with a reputable brand through your contractor typically comes with a much better warranty and the peace of mind of a reputable brand. Check with your contractor for guidance and advice.
Thinking about a new build or exploring a renovation? JK Plumbing is here to help. Contact us here or give us a call to learn more.