Designing your home gives you the unique opportunity to customize its layout, finishes, and almost every other option. In all of your excitement, however, it is important not to lose sight of the usability of your home. And much of that usability comes down to the plumbing. Here are four plumbing considerations to discuss with your plumber as you design your home.
1. Make sure the upstairs bathroom is centered over the downstairs one or over the kitchen.
If you position the upstairs bathroom over some plumbing located in the downstairs, you will save yourself a lot of piping. Your overall plumbing costs will be lower, because you won't have to buy as much copper piping. If you ever need to replace the pipes in the future, your costs will be lower. Plus, not having pipes run horizontally under the floor will reduce your chances of a leak in the coming years.
2. Make sure the valves are easy to get to.
If you ever have a leak in one of the large pipes, being able to turn off the main water valve can minimize the damage. However, if you want to have any hope of reaching the valves in an emergency, they need to be in good location. Placing them right at the base of the basement stairs is wise, since they you won't ever have to wade through a basement full of water to reach them.
3. Put the water heater in the basement.
In recent years, some people have begun putting water heaters in closets or on the first floor. While this makes it convenient to reach the water heater for maintenance, it will soon become a mess if the water heater starts leaking. Water heaters have been known to spring leaks, and what would be a mild nuisance in an unfinished basement could cause thousands of dollars in damage to carpets, floors, and other finishes.
4. Install a water softener.
Most areas do have hard water to some degree. Installing a water softener from the get-go will protect all of the plumbing in your new home from mineral deposits. Even your small appliances, like the coffee pot and water dispenser, will last longer since they're not being clogged with minerals.
For more advice on designing the plumbing in your new home, talk with a plumber. They can coordinate with your builder to create a safe and efficient design.