Basement rough-in worth it?

chuckpatrickAugust 10, 2011

Hi, we are building a new home and considering whether to rough-out the plumbing in our basement for a future bathroom. The cost is about $2,000, but we are concerned because we don't really know where we actually want the bathroom, and we won't be finishing the basement for a couple years.

We have normal sewer service and will need an ejector pump when all is said and done.

From a cost perspective, is there a huge advantage to doing the rough-out now versus later?

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randy427

It's not just a big difference in the cost, consider the mess and other disruption that cutting into the basement floor will cause after you've moved in.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:12PM
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lazypup

It depends upon whether you are planning a full bath with shower and/or tub or a half bath, just watercloset & lav.

If you could get by with the half bath that can be done totally above grade and you could place it where ever you want it without cutting the concrete.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:25PM
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chuckpatrick

We are planning a full bath (shower, lav, wc)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:52PM
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lazypup

Sani-flow makes a pump system that has a pad where you can mount a standard W.C. and you can attach both a tub/shwr and lav, however with this type the tub or shower would need to be slightly elevated on a pad to allow pitch for the drain.

The best solution would be to install the roughin complete with a pit for a lift station.

A word of caution. If you are installing a lift station you will need two (2)vents for your bathroom.

The bathroom fixtures must be vented in the normal manner per code, but the lift station requires a separate dedicted vent to the roof.

Also, when placing those vents now keep in mind that if you are under the UPC if you have a horizontal offset in a vent which is equal to or greater than 3' you must increase the diameter of the entire vent by one nominal trade size.

Under the IRC if the total developed length (TDL) of the vent line exceeds 40' you must increase the vent diameter by one nominal trade size.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 1:20PM
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live_wire_oak

Perhaps you should look at your floorplan of your basement and figure out how you might plan to use it later. Locating a bathroom close to where the main drain leaves the home or underneath another draining area like an upstairs bath or kitchen or next to a basement laundry room would be the easiest to plumb. Take a look at the Bathroom Forum here for ideas about what kind of layout can work in what kind of space. Don't forget to add the thickness of the eventual wall covering to your planning. I've seen way too many people forget that tile adds significant thickness and then their toilet doesn't work for the 12" center anymore and is too crowded against a wall.

Doing the rough in now will save you both money and a lot of grief and headache.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 1:20PM
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chuckpatrick

OK, thank you -- sounds like I should pick a good spot near the main drain, and go for it now...appreciate the help!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 1:30PM
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david_cary

$2000 - OMG. I think we paid $250 for a full bath rough-in. I mean - it is simple before the slab is in. That didn't include pump obviously but they did have the area set up for one. They even threw the vent in above the pump location although that could have been done later.

$2000 is highway robbery. Sure the length matters but our house isn't small and the bathroom is 20-25 feet from the ejector pump location.

But maybe farther north there are depth issues but I can't imagine....

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 7:02AM
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lazypup

$2k is not as bad as you might think.

First off, adding another bathroom in the basement or even adding rough-in for a future bath changes your permit and you Will also need a separate permit for the pump location.
That can add quite a bit on your permit.

Second, depending upon your code restrictios, installing a lift station could and generally does require changing the main drain from from 3" to 4" and that can add a considerable fee on your sewer tie in.

While you say the vents could be added later, that would be a fools errand. You have to have a dedicated vent all the way to the roof for the pump, and the fixture vent could not be tied into a stack until it reaches an elavation at least 6" higher than the highest fixture served by that stack, which means on the upper floor. Installing those vents during new construction is fairly easy, but doing so afterwords can involve some serious cutting into the finished walls.

Then you have to consider the local labor rates..In my area labor is $95 to $125/hr

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 8:12AM
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david_cary

In my situation, there were no permit issues (4in is standard) and I assume the pump permit would be later.

And in retrospect, it was probably more like $500 - the vents were billed separately. I don't know what I was thinking - I thought the vents just tied in to another vent but maybe they do as we have 10ft ceilings and open web floor system - so maybe 6 feet is no problem. Would that count shower head or just the mixer?

And at twice the labor rate, I guess I can see $2k.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 6:38AM
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