How Hard Is It to Add a New Bathroom to an Older Home?

There are pros and cons to owning an old home. Here we will go over a bunch of red flags and potential problems as well as solutions and perks of owning an old home. One of the major issues you might find yourself running into is a spiraling-out-of-control expense sheet. Unsustainable plumbing technology, tough building materials, and legal issues can make home improvement complicated in houses over 50 years old.

To avoid this fate, your vision must begin with strategy and planning. Here are some of the red flags you have to watch out for:

  • Metallic plumbing
  • Brick or concrete walls and floors
  • Limited water system

1 Metallic pipes vs. PVC pipes

Plastic pipes for plumbing began to be used after WW2. It began gaining popularity in the USA in the 80s. The reason this material has replaced copper so thoroughly in plumbing is that unlike metal, plastic thousands of years to degrade or corrode. It is also much much cheaper and easier to manipulate.

The problem with metallic pipes is that over time, chemicals, friction, and running water can degrade a metallic plumbing system to a point beyond repair. Worse, fragile pipes can quickly become ruptures pipes. Think about how fundamental this problem is. The most common plumbing issues are low pressure, leaks, and clogs. For a home with corroded, 50-year-old metallic plumbing, all of these situations have the potential to literally explode into a million pieces and leave you with a personal calamity on your hands.

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  • If you want to renovate a home with copper plumbing, you may want to consider using pipe lining technology. The idea is to fit a pipe within an existing damaged pipe.
  • Water jet technology is a quick and clean way for plumbers to fix clogged metallic drains without damaging anything. Check it out here.

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2 Hard Walls and Floors

Aside from having a home that looks good, you obviously want your home to be practical. One electrical outlet won’t cut it. That means home improvers sometimes need to reach under the hood and adjust water and electrical systems. You need to plan for this, especially if you want a new bathroom.

It is due to this that concrete walls are the scourge of home improvement enthusiasts and professionals. Any internal systems that you need to adapt become 20 times more difficult to reach and fiddle with if doing so involves breaking concrete or brick walls. If you are paying someone to handle your renovations for you, that means paying double or triple what you would in a newer home with drywall.

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Plan before you begin construction; hunt for house blueprints. What you want is to use the existing systems to make it easy for yourself. Minimize the amount of demolition you have to do by minimizing the distance between any future amenities and existing ones.


  • Get your house assessed if you think it may have special walls or floors. Especially if your realtor told you about the “antique flooring” or “original flooring.” Classic is classic. Once something like stone or marble floors beat the test of time, it is valuable forever.
  • Powerful walls may not be ideal for renovating a bathroom, but some older homes were built with materials that are no longer sold.
  • Before you start breaking things, find out if you’re standing on a gold mine.

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3 Connecting to Water Systems

Homes have a side to them that most of us will never see. If you are experienced in the world of renovation or construction, you have likely encountered this hidden aspect of the built environment. When you are building a new bathroom for a new home, one of the first things you must plan for is being able to connect your drains to the existing system. If you do not plan for this, the amount of work and money you will be forced to spend increases substantially. You really want to be efficient when it comes to your plumbing.


  • Build your new bathroom on the opposite side of a wall from an existing drain point. These drain points can be found connected to sinks, toilets, and washing machines.
  • The most important thing to consider is that you want to minimize the amount of yardage requires to connect your new bathroom to the existing water access points.

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Old homes have a kind of dignity and warmth that new homes don’t have. They can be a great investment and a wonderful environment to live or to raise a family. If you own one and would like to renovate it a bit, just be sure to watch out for red flags!

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