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Update Plumbing Fixtures and Add Value to Your Client's Home

Small cosmetic improvements can dramatically change the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Increase your business by offering clients smaller remodeling projects. 

Sometimes overhauling an entire kitchen or bathroom seems too expensive or time-consuming to homeowners. But offering simple plumbing remodel solutions such as updating faucets or showerheads adds substantial value to clients’ homes and helps keep your business running.

“It’s these simple things that have kept me open and kept people calling me,” says Rick Babcock, president of Thunder Bay Plumbing in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Whether your clients are preparing to sell a home or simply want to modernize it, the following projects are easy ways to remodel without doing a total renovation.

Replacing Faucets and Faucet Handles

Faucets should be replaced at least every 30 years, says Terry Love, owner of Love Plumbing and Remodel in Bothell, Wash. By then, the finish and the interior ring that forces water up may have deteriorated.

Replacing faucet handles can be a small, inexpensive project that has a big impact in updating a bathroom or kitchen design.

Babcock often helps his cost-conscious clients select quality faucets and fixtures manufactured by lesser-known brands in an effort to save money. These brands often carry products that are comparable to some of the more popular brand name fixtures out there, with no loss of quality or performance, he says.

“You don’t have to spend a kid’s college fund to remodel your house,” Babcock says. “The normal customer doesn’t know that there are offshoots of major brands. It gives them the opportunity to do what they want and control their budget.”

Replace Old Toilets

It may not seem like toilets are worth much attention, but installing a new, energy-efficient toilet can update and beautify a bathroom.

Love says there is a wide range of toilet designs, and homeowners can match the toilet with the indoor décor and overall design of the home.

Babcock says new, water-saving toilets use significantly less water than older models. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush, while newer models require only 1.5 gallons, he says. So your clients will not only update the look of their bathrooms, but they’ll also save money on their water bills as a result.

“The amount of water a new toilet saves could be quite dramatic,” he says. “The effect is also quite dramatic on a water bill. It does add up.”

You should also investigate whether or not your local municipality offers rebates on the installation of a new toilet. Babcock says many municipalities offer rebates as a part of their water-saving strategies, which can cover the cost of installation for your client.

Customize a Bathroom For the Client

Babcock says remodeling is all about customizing the home for the client. If he’s remodeling a couple’s bathroom, for example, Babcock says he’ll have clients stand in the shower so he can measure their heights. He then installs the showerhead and body sprays at a level between their respective heights.

He says there are also multiple volume control options for showerheads, such as fixed head, handheld, rain head and body spray showerheads, so clients can select the option that suits them.

“There are a lot of little things you can do in a bathroom or a kitchen that don’t cost a lot of money that will make it look like you put a lot of work into it,” he says.


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