Plumbing &
The Owner Builder

On this page we are going to take a look at Plumbing, with reference to the home building process. You, as the Owner Builder, or Home Owner watching your new home construction, need to know how the process works, and what to watch for.

   
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I am not a Plumber, just a humble Owner Builder, that wants to save you some time and money. So let's get rolling!

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to build. So you need some plans. If you haven't selected some already, you can go to our Plan page, and look at thousands of excellent Plans. Go have a look and come back here!

Go to House Plans for more details.

Ok, now you have a set of plans, or you will soon, so now what? You take out your plans, and review them with your family. What are you looking for? Excellent question! You are looking for what you need, or may need in the future. Here is a short list:

  • Hose Bibs (outside water faucets) 

  • Water Softener Loop (you may not want one now, but will you later?) 

  • Connections for a Wet Bar (on your lanai or porch) 

  • Stub out for a Pool Fill Supply 

  • Water Sprinkler Water Connection 

  • Ice Makers Supply from Water Treatment Unit to Ice Maker (no use in treating water, and not the ice)

Remember, once the pipes are in the walls, and the foundation, it is tough, and expensive, to go back, and add things. So take your time, and be thorough. Plan first, avoid headaches later!

You now have a list of all the extras you need. Take out the plans, and mark it up accordingly. Now it is time for bids, from Contractors for your new home. If you want more information on selecting a good qualified Contractor and bidding, go to the Building Contractor page.

Now, I would like to go over a few important points that pertain to your home plumbing. You now have selected your contractor, and all your paperwork is out of the way. If not go to the Legal Page and review it.

You need to meet with your Contractor and discuss the project. Do this face to face. Firm up your dates as closely as possible, for the plumbing contractors part of the construction.

The Plumbing Contractors first task, will be installing all the piping that will go in the foundation. Again, make sure you have done all your planning in advance. Once the plumbing is in the Foundation, and concrete poured, it is very difficult to make changes.

I have included a picture of the finished rough plumbing in the foundation, prior to pouring the concrete. We decided to use copper water pipe throughout the house, for longevity. You will notice plastic jacket, or covers on the cooper pipe. This is there to reduce corrosion. Below is the picture:

Plumbing in the slab prior to pouring.


After the rough plumbing was in the foundation form (prior to pouring), I took my tape measure, and a set of plans measuring to make sure the piping was where it should be. This is not an exact science, but it will give you a good idea, if it is laid out properly. If something is off by an inch, or less, it is not a big deal, but a foot would be a real problem. Of course you also checking to make sure the pipe that should be in the slab is there. What pipe would that be? Good question!

Any drain or water supply to toilets, sinks, bathtubs, faucets, hose bibs etc…. You must consider that some of your water, and drains will go in the walls, and possibly in the attic. This is according to what part of the country you are in, and how cold it gets (for water freezing in pipes).

It is perfectly acceptable to ask your plumber what goes where, and why. I did, and he was happy to help. After all, I had the checkbook! No kidding, most all of the contractors were good, hardworking folks. I treated them right and they reciprocated.

Ok, where was I? That's right the piping is in the slab, we have checked it, and everything is good. One more note: You will have an inspection before the pour in most areas to make sure it meets code. If you don't, hire an inspector, to do an inspection, it is good idea to have the foundation forms checked with the plumbing and electrical in them. Check it yourself anyway! I caught some stuff that everybody missed. We are all human, and we miss things.

The next time the plumber needs to come out is after the foundation is poured, the framing is up, and the house is blacked in (walls up roof on). The plumber will come back now, and top out. This means they will run all the piping in the walls prior to sheet rock, or wall covering. I have included a picture of some of that piping below:

rough Plumbing in the wall


The plumbers next step is the to trim out. This is after the majority of the inside is finished. Including, all the cabinets, vanities, tubs, showers etc…. The plumber will install all the fixtures, faucets, shower heads, hose bibs, toilets etc…. Your plumbing is now done!

For great books on Plumbing Go to the Plumbing Knowledge Center.


For more Information on Building Your Own Home Go to Our Building Knowledge Center.




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