Plumbing subcontractors should do more for you than rough-in the lines and hook up the fixtures. Like all the members of your team, the plumbing sub is part of a silent sales force that influences potential buyers as they walk through your model homes. Your customers perceive the overall quality of the homes you build partly by the quality of the plumbing installations. Good-quality plumbing enhances your reputation as a builder; inferior quality hurts it.
Good-quality plumbing enhances your reputation as a builder; inferior quality hurts it.
And the influence of plumbing sub continues even after the sale is made. Hire a great plumber and your customer will sing your praises for many years to come. But if the plumber's work is sub-par, the homeowner may never let you hear the end of it. If a system leaks, it can result in extensive damage. Builders need plumbing subs who are capable of taking charge of their part of the job and don't require constant supervision.
Builders need plumbing subs who are capable of taking charge of their part of the job and don't require constant supervision.
Poor-quality installations can be the source of multiple customer complaints. It's as simple as this: Good-quality plumbing enhances your reputation as a builder; inferior quality hurts it.
As a practical matter, builders need plumbing subs who are capable of taking charge of their part of the job and don't require constant supervision. Nonetheless, it's in your best interest to take an active role in managing plumbing subcontractors. You must assure that you're giving the plumbing sub all that he needs to do a professional job and that you're getting what you're paying for. You must also make sure that plumbing installations are coordinated with work by other trades and most of all, that the quality of plumbing work helps you sell your homes profitably.
Most experienced builders are familiar with the fundamentals of managing the installation of residential plumbing systems. Yet through my experience as both a builder of custom homes and a licensed master plumber, I believe I can offer special insight that can be helpful to builders who want to get the most from their work with plumbing subs.
About the Author
Tim Carter is an award-winning builder, remodeler and a licensed master plumber. He built custom homes for more than 20 years and is a syndicated newspaper columnist. His popular column, "Ask the Builder," appears weekly in newspapers nationwide. Tim also maintains a Web site, askthebuilder.com, which is updated on a daily basis.
The advice presented in this article reflects the personal views and professional opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the Copper Development Association. CDA believes that Tim Carter's independent viewpoint will be helpful.