As DIY Ally, I’ll gladly delve into the issue of moving kitchen plumbing. The other day, I received an email with the subject line “dumbfounded duplex in Minneapolis.” Having signed up for the initial consultation, a client was asking for “help with generating ideas.”
He is remodeling the duplex he owns and lives in. He wrote: ”I’ve identified goals for my home and have some ideas on how they could be achieved, but I’d like to get a fresh experienced set of eyes to look at it. I’m open to merging or eliminating rooms, or adding on but it would be nice to leave the main stack where it is due to cost considerations. My goals are listed at the end of this message.”
The “Goals” were as follows (they apply to both units):
- Creating a safe, comfortable, environmentally friendly home.
- Accessing laundry without having to go outside to the basement.
- Accessing a bathroom without going through the middle of the kitchen.
- Redesigning the kitchen, as it is presently “ugly and has a poor layout, especially the upper unit.”
- Remove the unused brick chimney.
- Leave the main soil stack where it is.
He would prefer to avoid moving kitchen plumbing, but…
I look at the plan, keeping in mind that the best view of downtown skyline is in the corner occupied by the kitchen. Upon realizing that one enters the home through it, I want to move things around. Shouldn’t the best view be enjoyed from the living room?
I send back a sketch (version 1 above). In response, my client expresses his concern. The cost associated with moving kitchen plumbing is a major deterrent.
Of course, it’s easy for me to draw lines on paper and dream up ideal solutions. He has to undergo an expensive remodel to achieve the desired goal. Thus, I set out to look for products that might lower the cost of moving kitchen plumbing.
It turns out, there are some very exciting offerings on the market. For instance, moving both hot and cold water lines is much cheaper when using PEX Water Supply System available at The Home Depot.
PEX piping (cross-linked polyethylene) is a flexible plastic tubing material. It comes in a spool, like wire. It is easier to install than copper piping. Besides, it is stronger, lighter, and it bends around corners. Watertight joints can be achieved with just one squeeze!
Venting, on the other hand, can be accomplished with an air admittance valve (AAV), such as Magic Vent. This device eliminates a need for new vent pipes to go through the roof. It boasts labor and material savings, greater design flexibility, ease of installation, and durability
The sketch above (version 2) assumes the best-case scenario where my client is OK with moving kitchen plumbing, adding a buffer between the bedrooms and public rooms, as well as splurging for an extra bathroom. I put the kitchen and laundry in one block to minimize cost and maximize efficiency.
Of course, moving kitchen plumbing is a big job, but in this case it would make a huge difference. My client will be able to enjoy the outcome for years to come. After all, it is his #1 goal to create “a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly home.” And he won’t have to enter it through the kitchen. Would you agree? Please address any of your questions to me here.