Here is a simple tip to avoid unexpected cost overruns in your next renovation: Check the size of your water service line connecting the city supply to your house. The size of your water service is determined by the number of ‘fixture units’ in the house. Fixture units are the number of toilets, sinks, washing machines etc., each with a weighted value. The aggregate of this weighted value correlates to a minimum service size which most municipalities enforce. Chances are, if you have an older home and are looking to add additional fixture units during a renovation, your current water service may be rendered inadequate, resulting in a required upgrade being a condition of your building permit.
Too many times we have seen Clients go way over their renovation budget due to an ‘unforeseen expense’ as the ‘City made them upgrade their water line’.
Most municipalities have a published formula you can use to determine the number of fixture units currently in your home, and what your post renovation totals will be. It only takes a few minutes to see whether a water service upgrade is in the cards before you get caught off guard.
Here is an example fixture calcuation from the City of Victoria: Fixture Hydraulic Load Calculation for Water Service Pipe