Approximate cost to move bathtub drain/plumbing?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jimithing78, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. jimithing78

    jimithing78 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    Hello, hope some of the pros can give me an idea of what it should cost to move some plumbing. Right now we have a standard sized tub in our master bath. Where it sits there's room for a garden tub and my wife would like to get one. Before we get into all this I'm trying to approximate the cost of this. We live in Texas and have a concrete foundation. The house was built in 1980 and my guess is that the current drain is cast iron. I'm assuming the drain will need to be moved over to re-center with the garden tub and the water supply lines as well, right? And the plumber would probably want to replace the cast iron with PVC to the main drain, right? Is there any way to get a ball park idea of what this should cost? I know I can call a plumber and get an estimate but the ones around here will charge just to come give an estimate and I'll have no idea if he's full of it or if he's giving me a fair price. In case it matters the tub is against an outside wall on the long side and sandwiched between two closets on the short ends. I can take or draw a picture if someone things it's needed. Thanks in advance.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I know I can call a plumber and get an estimate but the ones around here will charge just to come give an estimate and I'll have no idea if he's full of it or if he's giving me a fair price.

    He is going to use fuel to get to your residence, and the time he is using to make the inspection and estimate could be spent on a "productive job" where he would be making an income, so WHY would he want to give you a "free" estimate. You get more than one estimate so you can tell if he is "full of it". Many homes here had garden tubs in the 60s and 70s. Shortly after they were installed they became "gardens" because they were too cold and uncomfortable to use as "baths". Make sure it is REALLY what you want before you spend the time and money to create one.
  3. jimithing78

    jimithing78 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    Because he wants an opportunity to get another "productive job"?

    I would actually have no problem paying one or two people to come give an estimate but I don't want to pay 6 people to give me an estimate. So that's why I'm trying to get an understanding of what's reasonable for a job like this. I'm not looking for exact figures here, just a ball park. $500? $1000? $2000?
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    IL
    I suspect your house is on a slab, so that would be the more descriptive term.

    Looking around, it seems that garden tub means many things. Does https://www.google.com/search?q="garden+tub"&source=lnms&tbm=isch have a picture of what you had in mind?

    I suspect you guesses are low for your area.
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,237
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Particularly on their internet, where we come from all parts of the country, there is no standard for anything across the board. Identical repairs can vary by 300-400% depending on where you live.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,780
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    A standard size tub is 60x32
    Your garden tub, 60x42?, 66x42?
    If you are replacing like for like in the same location, you will be breaking concrete, depending on where the drain is moving and moving water lines. A home built in 1980 in most places would have either ABS or PVC for the drains and copper for the water supply.
    If you have a large garden tub, then consider a 75 gallon water heater to fill it.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,816
    Location:
    New England
    You can save some money if you are willing to do some of the grunt work, such as actually breaking up the concrete to expose the existing plumbing, and then maybe closing it back up again after the plumber does his thing. If you want turn-key, you'll be paying a specialist for that grunt work at much higher rates, but it certainly is easier, except on the pocketbook. Sometimes, you don't know how bad it will be until you've broken the concrete and see what is there. Moving drains could also mean having to deal with the vent lines if the distances change, or, if the install may have met codes when installed, would no longer when tweaked to meet your new requirements. Code dictates that changes be made to current code, which may be different than what it was built with. So, it's not an exact science.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Because he wants an opportunity to get another "productive job"?

    That will only happen if you choose HIM, and if that is the program, then sign his contract as soon as he presents it to you> NONE of the "all wise gurus" who advise contractors about making a profit "allow" them to give free estimates. In fact, in one instance I read about recently, the cost of the estimate was $135.00, which would be deducted from the job if they did the work,, and the person telling the story thought he was getting a bargain.
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