If your home is more than 50 years old or you have PVC piping in your house, you've probably thought about having those pipes replaced. Whether that means having a few sections of your house replaced or having whole-house pipe replacement performed, it's a much bigger job than most homeowners realize, although not impossible if you have the right tools and training. Nevertheless, you should take into account the factors below to see if it's a task that you're willing to undertake.
Replacing a few pipes in your bathroom usually isn't that big of a deal. You shut off the water to your house for a few hours, tear open the part of the wall that is affected, and then replace the piping. A whole-house pipe replacement, however, is a much bigger task that requires a crew to do it within any reasonable period of time. A construction project of this magnitude can take several months, if not longer, to perform adequately, which means you'll have to inconvenience your entire family for a long period of time to do a job that most plumbing crews can take care of in much less time.
Many plumbers acquire their parts at a significant discount from the manufacturer, mostly because they buy in bulk. Since you're just doing a one-off project, you have to buy those parts at market rate, which is a lot more expensive than what your plumber can acquire them at. Moreover, the learning curve on a whole-house pipe replacement is significant; you'll spend a lot of time watching tutorials and reading online blogs simply to start the job, much less to take care of any issues that may arise. Even if you are successful at doing a whole-house pipe replacement, you also have to deal with the fallout of any possible issues that can come along with a pipe that is misthreaded, for instance, or from using damaged parts. If those cause problems in your house, paying for the damages will come from your own pocket.
If you're dead set on re-piping your whole house, you may miss certain opportunities to save money here and there. For instance, a plumber may recommend that certain areas not be replaced at all, but rather focus your energies on a certain part of your house. Moreover, a professional plumber can help you decide which type of material you need to use moving forward so that you don't have to do another pipe replacement anytime in the near future. Leaning on the expertise of trained professionals is one of the best ways to ensure your home lasts as long and as safe as possible.