When do you replace the pipes, plaster?


question for the experienced out there… as a rehabber, do you replace the pipes when you redo a home?

What is the life expectancy or cutoff point for pipes? If the house is 100 yrs old and has the orig. plumbing, do you as the rehabber replace the pipes? If it’s 50 years, do you skip it?

I realize there’s a difference if it’s a high-end remodel, but seriously, on an average rehab, are you passing along the ‘old pipes’ to the buyer?

I ask the same question on plaster walls. If they’re 75-100 years old but a little unattractive, are you just skim coating the walls for the sale, or are you doing a quality demo and replacement?


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The way I look at it is that if a house is 100 + years old, at some point the plumbing and electrical has probably been updated. If you turn the water on and it leaks, fix/replace it. If the plaster walls are in relatively good shape, match up any bad spots and paint the sucker. If alot of it is bad and and falling of then I would drywall over it. I guess it just depends on how bad it is.

Spending money you don’t have to is a surefire way to go over budget every time. I’m not saying you should skimp or skip things that need fixing but if its not broke don’t fix it, just like Jared said.

On older homes you could be opening up a real can of worms by ripping out stuff that doesn’t need it…Granted, for a higher end (historic, etc.) older home, you may want to really make sure the plumbing is up to grade, since the old plumbing actually rots from the inside out, but as long as it’s working and not leaking, doesn’t seem to be a need to replace it since you may end up having to replace a lot more than you bargained for, not to mention discovering asbestos related issues that you really don’t want to get into…

As for plaster, if it looks okay cosmetically for the house as a whole, like the other replies said, leave it be…If you have a couple of walls that are really worse than the rest of the house, then maybe think about replastering or redrywalling them, but only if they stick out like a sore thumb when somebody’s walking through your house…

If it’s just an ‘average’ home, nobody’s looking for perfection, anyway (I’m assuming your price will reflect this)…

If you see pipes that are leaking replace them otherwise why spend the money? The only pipes that I would think about replacing would be polyproplene or if they are undersized for what their use is.