We talked about manufactured structural wood panels and honestly those manufactured products are superior to natural products such as dimensional lumber and boards.
In the same vein let's look at pipes that will be throughout your new home. Again, manufactured "plastic" tubing is superior in quality and price over what was used earlier, copper pipes. Years ago all of the pipes in your home would have been made of copper, a mineral that is mined. In 2000 a pound of copper cost 76¢ today the exact same pound of copper costs $2.63 As the price of copper skyrocketed it use has dropped significantly and has been replaced with PEX tubing.
PEX's real name is Cross-linked Polyethylene but we often think of it simply as a plastic tube. PEX has become the standard for pipes in virtually all residential construction. There are many advantages to PEX:
- Cost, PEX is far less expensive than copper pipes
- Quality, PEX is actually a superior product because
- Using PEX requires less fittings as the tubing can easily bend around corners without a fitting
- PEX has a memory, when it is stretched to go around a fitting it will return to its original shape creating a water tight seal
- Because of its memory capabilities PEX can expand with freezing and it will return to its original shape
- Colors, PEX comes in a variety of colors the most common are RED and BLUE. Red is for hot water pipes and Blue is for cold water. This makes onsite work so much quicker and easier.
The PEX tubing does have a few drawbacks:
- PEX does not like exposure to the sunlight so its application is limited to spaces where it will not be exposed to the sun
- It can not be installed directly into the soil
Again, despite individual preferences, PEX has become the vastly preferred product for residential use. Vermont Modular Homes are all PEX houses.