At the start of construction of one’s own house, we tend to focus on what is visible and tangible – the last, finishing elements. We concentrate mostly on design and overall cost saving. Hardly anybody pays proper attention to the quality of systems hidden inside walls and floors. We wrongly assume that if something is not visible, it is also less important and hence can save us money. In practice, however, such approach may eventually cost as a fortune.
With a limited budget we are constantly forced to choose compromise solutions to reduce costs. Temptation to seek savings most often affects water supply and heating installations. We ignore the fact that contemporary sanitary and heating systems work as specific circulatory systems of our homes and flats. And are as significant.
Indoor pipeline circulatory system
Similarly as in living creatures, this network of life-giving pipes is invisible, hidden in the “bodies” of buildings, providing them with warmth and life-sustaining water.
– Most often, especially in case of distribution systems, water supply and heating pipes actually become elements of the construction because they are hidden inside the walls or run in the floor screed – Dominik Schäfer, the head of the Technical Department of KAN-therm GmbH explains.
And he adds: Users generally do not realize that they have pulsating water streams flowing in pipes in walls and beneath their feet. If any element of that system fails prematurely, it is impossible to simply replace it with new one as you do with light bulbs, washbasins, or heaters. Such problems cause a lot more damage. Cutting corners may save money up front, but it will cost you in future. Therefore, it is worth considering long-term consequences of our decisions when we calculate the budget.
The costs of proper systems amount to up to 2% of the total investment so it is not really a big burden that should be further reduced. Due to a relatively low price of installations (in comparison to other necessary construction and finishing elements) it is reasonable to look for savings somewhere else. If we choose cheaper (but short-lived) materials we do not save much, but we take a great risk. In future, if one element of a lower price system gets broken, the removal of damages caused by water (damp, system repair, renovation of floors and walls etc.) may amount up to 70% of the value of investment. Causing also a lot of inconvenience and stress.
From this perspective then, it is easy to reach a conclusion that after a few years it would be much simpler to change furniture or ornaments than inbuilt installations. Bear in mind - it is really a long-term decision with long-term consequences.
How to avoid future disaster
Having a limited budget, focus first on high-quality basic elements (such as foundations, internal systems, roofing) which would be impossible, very expensive or arduous to replace when the construction is completed and only then move on to the interior.
As shown by research: each 1 EUR spent on poor installation may generate in future as much as 20 EUR of additional costs (of repairs or increased everyday maintenance). That is why first and foremost, choose verified solutions of certified quality.
– Pipeline installation systems with unclear warranty terms and conditions, quality that has not been verified in a longer term conditions, availability issues…? All these is a sign of troubles that unaware users expose themselves to when choosing untested pipes or connectors - is a final warning from KAN-therm expert Marcin Rozko.
Repair of a leaking pipe means costs but also various inconveniences related to finding the failure, additional stress and disruptions to home’s internal harmony.