Step 23 - Interior Rough-in Plumbing


Putting Pipes Inside

The next phase for the interior of the house is the rough-in of the initial plumbing.  The bathtubs and showers are set in place and the water and sewer pipes are run throughout the house in preparation for the toilets, faucets, tubs and sinks the will make up your indoor plumbing.  Our home features a newer type of plumbing called PEX.  PEX is a polymer tubing used for water lines that is easy to install since it is flexible, and connects to fixtures using pressure fittings and ring clamps. PEX has several advantages over copper or PVC in addition to the flexibility.  There are fewer joints when using PEX as the pipe is virtually continuous from the source to the fixture, this ensures less leaks from faulty or worn joints.  Another advantage of PEX is the resistance to freezing, as PEX will slightly expand, preventing pipe bursts like PVC or copper.  Ryland's contractor ran red colored lines for hot feeds and blue for cold to make plumbing that much easier now and later when expanding the system.   The sewage plumbing has several traps for cleanout in place as well for easy maintenance.  

Things We Learned Along The Way

A Basic Guide to Rough-in Plumbing

A well-built plumbing system can last as long as the house itself lasts and operate on its own without regular check up and maintenance. However, it takes a skilled plumber to be able to create a seamless plumbing system both underground and inside the house. Once the piping below the ground has been laid and positioned and the basic framing of the house has been erected, the next step is to install plumbing in the walls.

Traditionally all plumbing systems and drain lines are installed inside walls or concealed for aesthetic purposes. The best time to do plumbing installation is when the framing is complete. Afterwards, additional piping can be added. In installing the plumbing system, several factors must be considered as this job requires sheer mechanical precision and expertise: the joints, slope of the drain, anchoring, etc.

Before you begin installing any piece of pipe, it is vital that you know the consequences of not following correct procedures. First, if you install a leaky joint, the problems it could create can cause many health and safety complications, not to mention the hundreds of dollars' worth of damages that could occur. Second, make sure that the size of the drain is not too small for your projected use and the slope is properly contoured or else you will have to deal with recurring clog dilemmas. Lastly, make sure that supply pipes are anchored every six feet to prevent the faucet from emitting rattles and thumps when turned off.

Plumbing is an important phase in home construction. It is imperative to be careful and exact in installing all aspects of the plumbing system. Here is a quick guide for your reference:

1. Make a plan. Draw out the water supply lines, its route, source and destination. If you are connecting to a public sewer system, make drain lines, which connect to this area. If you are using a septic tank, connect the lines there. Keep in mind that drainpipes only work on downward slopes.

2. Once you have a plan, stick to it. Planning is a very crucial stage because it will lay the foundation and performance of your entire plumbing system. Once you get a plan, be sure to check with the local building department first, so they can approve your plan. This way you are on the same page as the inspector and should have no problems passing all of your inspections. Avoid making last minute changes as haste causes more waste.

3. Start drilling into studs or rafters using a spade with a larger diameter than a pipe. Repeat this step, passing a section of the pipe through each hole in order to align the next hole to the next stud. To avoid brushing the pipe against drywall screws, drill holes in the middle, with at least one inch allowance from the edges.

4. Add strength and life to weakening wooden compartments of your waste pipes by creating notches in the frames using a reciprocating saw. Put the pipe inside these notches and over the openings, apply metal plates.

5. Using a hole saw, create holes for vertical waste lines using top and bottom plates. Do this for vents as well. On some occasions, you may also encounter the need to make pilot holes using a spade bit and reciprocating saw.

6. The last step in installing plumbing after framing includes installation of blocking in the wall. Using pipe strapping, anchor the shower converters and tub to it. Use this strapping too, to secure stub-outs on the supply and drain lines.

These are just some helpful tips to ensure your rough in plumbing job goes as smooth as possible. If you make sure you have the proper tools and materials necessary, rough-in plumbing can be an easy and successful job for you to attempt on your own.


The Land






Framing Phase

Rough-in Phase

Drywall Phase

Interior Carpentry

Flat-work Phase

Paint & Stain

Finishing Phase