You have made the decision to build a new home or remodel an existing bath or kitchen and are now asked to select plumbing fixtures and faucets for the project. You will quickly discover that gone are the days when only the very high-end homes are appointed with decorative plumbing fixtures and faucets. Although it is true that most fixtures and faucets are manufactured to operate in a similar way mechanically, with only minor variations, the style and finish can be very different and it is with the decorative variety that prices can vary substantially.

The average plumbing budget for a building project in years past would only allow for basic utilitarian items and the selection was minimal at best. Manufacturing innovations have thankfully allowed for the cost of some of the more stylish fixtures and faucets to be reduced and available to those with a more austere budget. To be sure there are still those items that, for whatever reason, are priced beyond the means of the average customer but plumbing selections are no longer nearly as limited by a modest budget as they once were.

Choosing a kitchen sink is a good example of where several choices are available in materials such as acrylic, stainless steel and granite, and they are offered in a wide array of styles from one and two bowl units, to under-mounts and farm sinks. The assortment of kitchen faucets offered is as varied as the sinks and can be found in many styles and finishes. . The touch-on/ touch-off product line is an example of a faucet feature that is currently very popular.

Much like kitchen sinks, vanities are offered in many materials and styles as well. One-piece vanity and counter-tops are an option that has been popular for a very long time and continues to be so. The vanity faucets are also offered in many styles and finishes.

Although one might not expect it, toilets are offered in many styles and performance levels as well. Since the government mandated water-saver toilets in the 90’s, manufactures have made steady improvements on the performance of these toilets but there is still a substantial difference between an inexpensive unit as compared to a pricier model. It makes good sense, in my opinion, to investigate the models you’re considering with a consumer products rating agency for an unbiased opinion of the product.

Bathing units are yet another item that must be selected for your new home or remodeling project. Not unlike toilets, care should be taken in the process of selecting a bathing unit due to a considerable difference in quality from one manufacturer’s product to the next. This is true whether you select a fiberglass or an acrylic product.

With the popularity of ceramic shower stalls, the product is, by necessity, built on-site, most commonly by an employee of the floor covering provider. These have a very wide range of cost depending on factors such as quality of tile, size and type of product used for the floor. Generally, a site-built unit will cost in the neighborhood of 10-15 times more than a fiberglass or acrylic unit.

Site-built showers have become so popular that buyers are electing to forego having a garden tub installed in their maser bath which has been ubiquitous in new homes for many years. The space needed for the tub and the cost dedicated to it are now being used for these walk-in custom showers. Remodeling customers are requesting that we redesign their bathrooms by removing the existing garden tub and installing a custom shower stall.

There are basically two ways to address the plumbing fixtures and faucets in the specifications for your project. One way is for the builder to simply give a monetary allowance included in the contract for those items or the other method commonly used is for the builder to specify individually each fixture and faucet intended to be used on your project.

As your builder, we would enjoy the opportunity to discuss this part of the construction process in more detail with you.