Maximum Value Mechanical Projects: Plumbing

Although plumbing projects are not always the most fun thing on your Saturday to-do list, they are crucial to the functionality of your home and the standard of livability that all potential homebuyers are sure to look for.

The plumbing in your home is comprised of two separate subsystems. One subsystem -- known as the supply system -- brings freshwater in while the other -- the drainage system -- takes wastewater out. Because there are many different pipes, drains, fixtures and valves that are all a part of the plumbing in your home, it is important to understand their importance when it comes to the big picture.


  • Tankless water heater. Not only do they provide endless hot water, but tankless water heaters provide water only when it is needed. Without the use of a storage tank, you avoid standby heat loss -- saving money in the end. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years with easy-to-replace parts -- making them a wise investment at purchase and in the long haul.
  • Recirculating hot water systems. Thanks to this system that constantly recirculates hot water, any spigot in the home can immediately have hot water available. A recirculating hot water system is a pump and valve combination that delivers hot water wherever you need it -- in an instant. Water and money can be saved by installing this system because you don't have to wait for the water to heat up.


According to appraisal expert Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, the biggest plumbing mistake you can make is putting in a system when it's not necessarily needed. Features like a recirculating hot water system are mostly found in higher-end markets, so instead of spending a lot of money and seeing less of a return, Sellers recommends sticking with the basic repairs and making sure everything is in proper working order.


  • On a Budget: In order to stick to a budget, it's most practical to replace old technology with newer, more functioning systems. Sellers notes that just by taking an "old, clanky hot water heater" and putting in a new one will help tremendously. Nowadays, energy efficient models come in all price ranges, so even if you are on strict budget, you can still keep up to date with current trends.
  • Mid-Range: Along with replacing old technology with more efficient systems, other features -- such as a tankless hot water system -- can be purchased at a mid-range price point. Recirculating hot water systems can also be a nice option, but it is important to remember that these types of "extra" systems will all depend on what market you find yourself in.
  • High-End: Commercial quality fixtures and systems are the new trend in the high-end housing market. All kinds of technology fall into this category -- from recirculating hot water systems and drainwater heat recovery to low-flow fixtures and tankless water heaters. The more on-trend you can be, the more attractive the features are to potential homebuyers.

Next Up

Maximum Value Mechanical Projects: Sewage/Septic

Even if the topic might be a little less than desirable, new trends and timely updates can ease the pain of entering into the world of wastewater and treatment plants.

Maximum Value Mechanical Projects: Electrical

Electrical projects can range from a simple light fixture swap to the more tedious and specific whole-house electric remodel.

Maximum Value Mechanical Projects: Water Systems

Get tips and advice for your water system project and mechanical improvement ideas that increase your home’s value.

Maximum Value Energy Efficiency Projects: Water Heater

Water heaters that are more than 10 years old are doing your home more harm than good.

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Learn how your home's windows can up its efficiency (and lower your bills!) as well as add to its selling value.

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Maximum Value Budget Projects: Painting

Remodeling, landscaping and other home projects can take a toll on your budget, but painting can transform any room with a few swipes of a brush.

Maximum Value Budget Projects: Lighting

With many lighting styles to choose from including: ambient, task, aesthetic and accent lighting, there is an abundance of ways to brighten up a room with the best light for a particular space.

Maximum Value Big Ticket Upgrade Projects: Pool

More than a simple backyard addition, a pool is a reflection of your lifestyle. It can be tailored to custom fit your property and accent your home’s architectural style and landscaping.

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