There are many moving parts that come into play when building a home from the ground up. You’ll need to pick out cabinet colors, door styles, and faucet types -- that’s the fun stuff. What’s overlooked is navigating building permits and figuring out how to set up running water. This is where new construction plumbing comes into play. You might strictly associate plumbing with issues with existing piping. But who do you think installs these components in the first place?
New build construction is one vital piece in the enormous puzzle of building a home. If you’re in the process of planning your new build or you’re preparing for a future construction project, you’re probably wondering when new construction plumbing comes into play. Read on to learn more about what to expect from this portion of the new build process.
Before you get started with plumbing for the construction project, you might want an idea of all the components that need to be installed. Each of these facets of plumbing work together to create a functioning plumbing system.
Pipes help shuttle water in and out of a home or building. They draw water in at 50 – 60 psi from the water supply line. Gravity does the work of ushering the used water out into a septic tank or sanitary sewer system. With proper maintenance, well-installed pipes can last upwards of 40 years. Pipes must be connected correctly and hooked up to the main water line in order to pump water in and out of the home.
Using an off-the-grid well? Pipes need to be installed unless you want to casually walk out in freezing weather with a bucket to carry back to the house.
Once the piping is in place, a means to access the water from inside a home or building must also be installed. Faucets, tubs, sinks, drains, and showers are all examples of interior plumbing fixtures. This will usually take place before the walls and doorways of a new build go up. Once installed, these fixtures are covered with plastic or tarps to protect them from dust and paint splatter.
A septic tank is tasked with separating out liquid waste from solid waste. Essentially it’s a mini, onsite sewage facility. Anaerobic microorganisms assist in breaking the materials down before it’s shuttled through a sewage line to an actual sewage facility. The septic tank is housed in an underground chamber 10 to 25 feet away from the home preferably away from steep slopes and trees.
Construction plumbing will overlap with the overall development process. But there is a general step-by-step outline you can expect the plumbing installation to follow. Here’s what you can expect from the process.
Every region will require different considerations and legal processes that must be followed before and during construction. But there are some universal norms established by the National Uniform Plumbing Code followed across the country. These codes and permits allow for a safe, smooth installation that will stand the test of time.
While Colorado doesn’t have a standard state building code, you’ll still need to gain licensing on a city or county level. Most areas abide by the 2015 International Plumbing Code (IPC). But before proceeding with a new build project, check with your local city or county government to see what that process will look like for you.
A lot of the time, your general contractor will be helping you with this process.
Once permits and codes are addressed the actual construction can begin. The first order of business will be to run the drain and vent lines. This is a crucial step in new build construction. The drains and vents must be placed precisely or there could be issues down the line. For instance, you should slope your drains at a 1/4 inch per foot minimum and 3 inches per foot maximum. If you fail to do so, water may not drain out of the home or building properly.
At this point, you have a way to shuttle water out of the home or building. Now it’s time to install water supply lines. Most supply lines are made of copper piping due to their pliable, corrosion-resistant nature. While running these pipes, be sure to avoid crossing over the drain or vent lines. This can complicate any future plumbing repairs.
With supply, drain, and vent lines in place, you can move forward with fixture installation. This is where the construction of the rest of the building can merge with plumbing. Here, you can incorporate stylistic elements such as your preference in faucets and sink basins. As we mentioned, once these elements are in place, they will be shielded by plastic or tarps to protect them throughout the duration of construction.
Now, all the working elements of the home or building are ready to go. The final step is to add wet walls or tile where necessary. It’s crucial to properly install a wet wall or tiles around tubs and showers to prevent the surrounding walls from rotting or growing mold. Be sure to leave enough room at the edge of the tube to allow room for grout. You can also add tile and a wet wall around the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
Whether you’re developing a commercial building from the ground up or you’re building out a new addition to an existing space, expert plumbing is a must. Be sure you hire a contractor that is familiar with the unique needs of commercial plumbing. A lot of industries require more durable pipes and involve a complicated piping system. Addressing these needs is a challenge that some underqualified contractors might not be able to accommodate. Be sure to double-check that your plumber is up for the task.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what construction plumbing entails. But this only scratches the surface of all the finer details involved in the process. Before we sign off, let’s go over just a few other tips and considerations surrounding new construction plumbing.
If you’re looking for reliable, expert new construction plumbing in Northern Colorado, To the T Plumbing and Heating is at your service. Our family-run business has been tackling plumbing and HVAC jobs for over 15 years. When you hire us for the job, you can count on top-tier craftsmanship and an expert execution every single time. Be sure to get in touch if you have any construction plumbing needs.