Tradespeople part 3: Local plumbers

In part 3 of 7 where we discuss the various professionals you’ll need for a self-build, we talk about local plumbers and what they’re responsible for.

local plumbers

You’ll probably know local plumbers who you can trust to do a good job. Whether they’re a friend or just someone who was recommended to you, you may be very well acquainted with someone who’s a plumber. It certainly helps to be, considering the amount of times various pipes around the house leak, freeze and then crack, and generally cease to work effectively.

For a self-build project, local plumbers will be responsible for laying down all the pipework for the property’s water supply. They’ll also fit central heating systems and connect it up to the water supply. Other things they’ll fit for you (although you may have to supply them yourself, as not all plumbers supply their own) include toilets, baths, sinks, showers and anything else which needs to be connected up to the pipework. They won’t be involved with any of the construction side of rooms like the kitchen or bathroom. Local plumbers’ jobs, funnily enough, are limited to sorting out your plumbing.

How involved do I have to be with their work?

It depends if you’re sourcing your own sanitaryware or not, and whether or not you’re your own project manager or if you’ve hired an architect or design and build company to be in charge of your self-build project. If any of your local plumbers can source the sanitaryware for you, then you won’t need to be as involved as if you were the one responsible for it.

As long as local plumbers have a copy of your self-build home’s plans they should be able to get stuck straight in to the work unguided, as long as you’re confident of their ability. But once again it won’t hurt for you to be on site in case anything goes wrong, or at least be available to travel to the site from where you live/work.

Where can I find local plumbers and how much do I have to pay?

If you don’t already know reliable local plumbers, just ask around. It’s guaranteed that somebody you know will be able to recommend you local plumbers who’ve served them well. After builders, they’re some of the most numerous tradespeople around.

When you’ve come across someone who could be a good local plumber, enquire if they’re registered with the CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering). Members of this organisation need to hold recognised qualifications or have a long history of plumbing experience in order to join. This should be a good guarantee of a job well done.

It won’t be a guarantee of a decent price however. While generally speaking plumbers will charge a price which is consistent with their knowledge, qualifications and experience, you need to see if they charge a call out fee, how many people they think will be needed for the job, and if the hourly rate includes all the workpeople or if there’s a different fee charged for each one.

Tradespeople part 4: Local electricians.

Image: Raould

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