All the Steps to a Successful Cast Iron Pipe Replacement Project

If you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of needing to have your cast iron pipes replaced, you might feel some dread and anxiety about what the entire project entails. While it can feel overwhelming to think about the expense and disruption such a project will cause, we’re here to help walk you through everything you need to know about successfully replacing your cast iron pipes. At BigFoot Construction, we know how to coordinate all the players needed to get your rusted iron pipes replaced as smoothly as possible.

What to know about cast iron pipe replacement

Throughout Miami-Dade County, many older homes are equipped with cast iron pipe plumbing systems. Unfortunately, cast iron pipes can begin corroding within as little as 25 years and may wear our entirely within 40-50 years. To make this problem even more challenging, many of these rusty pipes are sitting beneath your home encased in slab of concrete foundation.

If you find yourself needing to replace your cast iron pipes, here are some steps you can expect your contractor to walk you through.

Step 1: Evaluate your foundation

Do you have a basement or a crawlspace? If so, replacing your pipes may be a whole lot easier as plumbers will have more direct access to the cast iron pipes. If your pipes are encased in concrete, however, repairing or replacing pipe sections requires jackhammering through your floor and the concrete.

Step 2: Assess the damage

Will you be able to make a spot repair or is more in-depth replacement required? Your contractor, plumber, or other skilled specialist will look for signs of water leaks and damage and help locate damaged or rusted areas. If the problem is more pervasive, which is often the case with cast iron pipes, entire sections of the pipe will need to be replaced.

Step 3: Make the repair/replacement

For homes with concrete slabs, a jackhammer or concrete-cutting saw will need to be used to break through the concrete. Beneath the cement is where the rusted iron pipe will be buried in sand or gravel. Once the pipe is exposed and evaluated for decay, the old pipes will be replaced by polyvinyl chloride PVC) pipes. They will then be reburied and new concrete will be poured.

Step 4: Clean up

Throughout the process, your crew will do everything they can to minimize the mess and disruption to your daily life. It is a big job, but at the end of the day, your pipes will be functioning properly and you won’t even know any work had been done.

If you have questions about cast iron replacement in your South Florida home, schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns.

How Soon Can I Start My Residential Construction Project?

It’s a question we get all the time: “How Soon Can I Start My Residential Construction Project?”

If you’ve been dreaming about a new residential construction project for quite some time and made the decision to commit a budget and resources to making it a reality, the waiting to finally kick-off construction can make you feel as impatient as a child waiting for their next birthday to roll around.

The good news is that once you’ve committed to taking the leap into the project, there are just a few key steps to take before officially getting started. Let’s walk through what that general process looks like:

3 key steps to starting my residential construction project

  • Create and finalize plans with an architect – Engaging an architect early in the construction process is important for ensuring that your vision is executed in a way that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and complies with building codes and any community-specific requirements. Together, your architect, engineers, contractor, and any other project stakeholders, will walk with you through several phases of design and planning before committing to the final design plan.
  • Secure necessary permits – Once the plans are finalized, your contractor will secure the necessary permits required to get the job done. Permitting requirements can vary significantly from county to county and municipality to municipality, so the exact timeline for your project is dependent upon your location. Your contractor will be able to advise you on what to expect based on where you live.
  • Start construction – Your plans are set, approvals have been granted, and now the fun can begin! Once construction kicks off, your timeline for completion can be impacted by several variables. For a look at some of those, review our post on how long it takes to finish a project.

Ready to start yours? Schedule a consultation today to discuss the details of your project plans.



Should You Hide Your Budget From Your Contractor?

The short answer: No, you shouldn’t hide your budget from your contractor.

The long answer: Here goes…

First things first, don’t hire a contractor if you can’t trust them to put your interests first. If you’re fearful they’re going to try to work your project for all it’s worth, neither of you will be happy with the outcome (or the entire process, for that matter).

While it’s understandable to feel reluctant about sharing your budget, it’s the best way to ensure that the project you want is the one that ultimately gets built. Even better is that it’s built with an eye towards creating the biggest savings and efficiencies while minimizing any impact on the end result.

In short, by not hiding your budget from your contractor, the project you want is the project you’ll get at a price you can afford. Here’s how it’s done.

Taking a Design-Build Approach

Engaging your contractor early is one of the best ways to get the biggest bang for your buck and have your project completed on time. Here’s why. In a design-build project delivery model, you, as the homeowner, team up with your general contractor who serves as the main point of contact for your entire project. From the outset, your contractor is able to see your big-picture vision and help you nail down specifics that are realistic and feasible for your budget and goals.

For example, if you’re interested in high-end finishes but they put you way over-budget, your contractor will be able to offer you reasonable alternatives that achieve a very similar outcome yet still fit within your budget. By looking holistically at your project, your contractor can help you determine those areas that offer the biggest savings with the least impact on the end result.

Doesn’t this sound better than getting half-way through your project only to see your budget go bust?

Sharing your budget with a contractor you trust sets your entire project up for success. It also helps minimize unwanted surprises and puts you on a clear path to timely completion. If you have questions about the design-build process, get in touch at 305-762-9520.

(Curious what to look for when hiring a residential contractor? Read this first)




How Long Will it Take to Finish My Residential Project?

Home renovation projects – from impact window installation to residential additions, bathrooms, and kitchen upgrades – follow similar processes for ensuring timely construction and quality deliverables that exceed customer expectations. While a construction project timeline is dependent upon the specific project (among other things), certain factors can influence how long it will take to finish your project. Below we’ll discuss just a few of those variables and how they might play out in a home renovation project.

Factors that can influence your construction project timeline 

Location – You may not like to hear this, but your location can have an impact on the overall timeline for your project. For example, the process for some projects can take longer in Coral Gables than in Palmetto Bay even if the projects are identical. Be sure to ask about any potential delays or hurdles that could be incurred just based on your zip code.  

Final design – Nailing down the final design can be a lengthy process for some, while others are able to move more quickly. If you are certain about the items you’re looking to incorporate into your design ahead of time – that will help speed up the process. Changes made into the process will inevitably slow down your timeline.

Revisions – Revisions are a common occurrence during residential construction projects and generally result from either an inspector’s request or a correction needing to be made to an architect’s original plan. The process for revisions includes collaboration between the architect, engineers, and contractor to make the modification(s). The revision is then resubmitted to the county for them to approve or deny before work can continue. The severity of the revision and other factors can influence how long of a construction delay there is.

Finishes – Some homeowners are surprised by the amount of decisions they have to make during a home renovation or construction project. Even more surprising to them is how a delay in making decisions on finishes like fixtures, faucets, and even flooring can impact how long it will take to complete the project. Delaying decisions on finishes (or changing one’s mind) can delay the project, especially if materials need to be special ordered.

Ultimately, your goals and needs for your project will be a leading factor in determining your construction project timeline. If you have questions about your specific plans, schedule a consultation today to discuss all the details you need to ensure a successful project.