Replacing Polybutylene Pipes

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mountain_one
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:15 pm
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Replacing Polybutylene Pipes

Post by mountain_one »

I am currently in the process of selling my home. I knew that the buyer was going to have issues about the polybutylene pipes and I knew that those pipes would be cited on the inspection report. I knew going in that I would have to agree to replace the pipes or risk losing this buyer. What I didn't anticipate were the estimates on replacement I have received.
My house is only 811 square feet: one bathroom, kitchen sink, and washer being the only plumbing features. The bathroom was updated by the previous owner, so there isn't any polybutylene pipes running to that area. Under my house is a stand-up crawl space where the hot water heater is located and where you can see all the pipes running. There is pb pipes coming from the hot water heater, running up between an outside wall to the kitchen sink, and also connecting to the washer line.
I have had 2 quotes this week on replacing these pipes and both have come in between $550 and $600. It doesn't seem like very invasive work since the pipes only run up into one wall and are exposed everywhere else and since the crawl space is more like an unfinished basement as far as being able to stand up and work comfortably in it...So, my questions to you are does this quote seem high, and should I continue to get a couple of more estimates?

lrkrgrrl
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Post by lrkrgrrl »

stand-up crawl space

Sorry, this just cracked me up; it's a classic oxymoron, right up there with "jumbo shrimp." :wink: We might call that a "cellar" around here.

As our freind Leo has pointed out, if you are putting in copper, your price may be mostly parts. And, of course, Skilled Labor. (assuming that you are getting at least a journeyman for that price, and not some punk apprentice. :wink: ) Seriously, it doesn't sound like it's that outrageous.

And besides, at least you got two quotes. I've not been able to get a plumber to even come and look at my mess. (Which is probably just as well, 'cuz it'll take a lot more zeros.... :roll: )

Good luck!

al_roethlisberger
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Post by al_roethlisberger »

I don't mean to sound insenstive, but the estimate for my PB demo and replacement with copper is about $5000 :?

But in the whole scheme of things, a $500 credit toward plumbing repairs sounds very reasonable if that's the only real contingency.

There is always "something" when selling a house. Even in "you can sell anything for any amount" California, we had to give a $1000 credit for some foundation issues that I know damned well were unnecessary and the new owner would never fix.

But in the big picture, $1000 out of the price of the total house just was a non issue.

Again, I don't mean to sound insensitive, as $500 is... well.... $500 for sure. But with the info you are providing, I think that sounds very reasonable.

Al
Last edited by al_roethlisberger on Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Lewis D. Isenhour House
http://www.isenhourhouse.com

al_roethlisberger
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Post by al_roethlisberger »

lrkrgrrl wrote:
stand-up crawl space

Sorry, this just cracked me up; it's a classic oxymoron, right up there with "jumbo shrimp." :wink: We might call that a "cellar" around here.
And "hot water heater" :wink: ...of course now it really does sound like I am picking on the original poster, and for that I beg forgiveness. Honestly 8)

But "hot water heater" is always one that makes me grin :lol:


Oh, if you feel uncomfortable about the quote, go get one or two more. No harm is done, and it may make you feel more reassured.

Good luck! I hope to hear you are buying a new old house after this one!

Al
Lewis D. Isenhour House
http://www.isenhourhouse.com

Phx Matt
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Post by Phx Matt »

Why not just do it yourself?

al_roethlisberger
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Post by al_roethlisberger »

Phx Matt wrote:Why not just do it yourself?
Well, expanding on that, I wouldn't do it at all frankly.

If the estimates all come in at $500-600, I'd offer them, say... an even $1000 off the house and let them decide to do it themselves.

It's a personal choice, but ... personally... I know that when I am trying to sell a house, get ready to move, and maybe am in the process of buying or building a new house.... I really don't want any extra projects to do myself or even have to "manage". You are probably already busy enough.

It really depends on your own priorities and budget of course, but I'd recommend considering just offering to credit them the cost of replacing the pipes. Tell them that if you have the work done, you will of course have it "done right" , but honestly it will be their house after this, and wouldn't it make sense to have them get it done to meet their expectations, their standards? This reverse psych usually works, and to be honest, is really the truth anyway. Offer to give them the money and let them get the job done how they want it. The worst they can say is "no" :wink:

Al
Lewis D. Isenhour House
http://www.isenhourhouse.com

mountain_one
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:15 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Post by mountain_one »

I saw the thread about the price of copper, but since my realtor has been the one dealing with the plumbers and I know nothing about plumbing, I hadn't assumed what these pipes would be replaced with. I am guessing now that it is copper...
I am just trying to keep my costs down anyway I can on getting out of this house and wondered if this was one of the place I might be able to save a little bit of money. In the almost 2 years I have lived there, I have run out of room. I am purchasing a slightly older home (ca. 1923) one block away. I am not making anything off of the sale of my current home, but with all the demands from the buyer, I am at the point where I could start losing money off of the sale. Granted, it would only be losing a few hundred, but when you don't have it, it's a lot.
I had just assumed that since there wasn't that much piping that needed to be replace that it would be that much money. PhxMatt, if I thought this was something I could quickly learn and tackle, I would try. My closing is less than 3 weeks away, though, so I don't think there is much time. Thanks for the topic-related replies.

lrkrgrrl
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Post by lrkrgrrl »

mountain one, we are not picking on you, really! $600 bucks can feel like a heck of a lot of money, particularly on an 811 square foot house.

and Al, you may not realize this, being of the California and southerly persuasion, but up north here, we call it the "hot water heater" to distinguish it from our "cold water heater." Really. No kidding.It's that freezing here in the winter, that we need to heat water just to make it "cold." Would I lie? :wink:

Phx Matt
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Phx Matt »

Counter with $250 credit to buyer for replacement of pipes. Really, are they going to haggle over $250 past that point? How much is the house selling for? Over $500, I'd likely tell someone to go pound sand just out of principle.

al_roethlisberger
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Post by al_roethlisberger »

lrkrgrrl wrote:mountain one, we are not picking on you, really! $600 bucks can feel like a heck of a lot of money, particularly on an 811 square foot house.

and Al, you may not realize this, being of the California and southerly persuasion, but up north here, we call it the "hot water heater" to distinguish it from our "cold water heater." Really. No kidding.It's that freezing here in the winter, that we need to heat water just to make it "cold." Would I lie? :wink:
Yep, you do have to watch about the buyer nickle and diming you to death for sure. Are you sure this is a deal breaker, or they are just trying to see what they can squeeze outta you?

I mean, conversely to the point I make about it "only" being $500, from your perspective, if they really want the house... I don't see why you can't push back and say: "Well, I understand you find the PB plumbing an issue, but my estimates say it is only a $500 issue. So I don't think that is really enough to break the deal. Buy the house as-is." Maybe that's an option too *shrug*


heh, no worries on the "hot water heater", although I have to point out that I have lived:

- Born, Louisiana
- Albuquerque, NM
- Pittsburgh, PA (second longest duration)
- Houston, TX
- Tampa, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Dallas, TX
- Louisiana again
- California
- Here in NC =)

...and I still think saying one needs a "heater to reheat hot water" is kinda funny and repetitive :roll:

Al
Lewis D. Isenhour House
http://www.isenhourhouse.com

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