What Are Plumbing Rough-Ins?

What Are Plumbing Rough-Ins?

The construction or renovation process encompasses a number of stages, one of which is plumbing rough-ins—but what are plumbing rough-ins and what do you, as a homeowner, need to know about this important stage in the building process?

Here we will fill you in on what you need to know about plumbing rough-ins so you can approach your next kitchen, bathroom or laundry renovation with confidence.

Key Summary

Plumbing rough-ins involve the installation of plumbing lines in wall cavities before the walls are enclosed with plasterboard.

What Are Plumbing Rough-Ins?


What Are Plumbing Rough-Ins?

Plumbing rough-ins describe the stage in the building process whereby the initial plumbing lines are installed within the wall cavity, prior to the walls being lined with plasterboard.

Plumbing rough-ins ensure the required water supply and drainage pipes are available in the required locations in preparation for any sinks, taps and any other outlet or end-point fixtures to be installed later down the track (which is known as fit-off).

How Are Plumbing Rough-Ins Completed?

Plumbing rough-ins are completed slightly differently depending on whether you have a timber- or steel-framed home.

Steel-framed homes are generally pre-drilled with holes to run plumbing pipes and electrical cables through. However, if you have a timber-framed home, the plumber will need to drill holes within the studs to run the pipes through the walls to the required locations. If too many holes are needed or the size of the holes is too large, it could jeopardise the structural integrity of the timber frame. In this case, the frame will need to be reinforced to ensure it retains adequate strength. 

When Are Plumbing Rough-Ins Completed During the Building Process?

For newly constructed homes, plumbing rough-ins (along with electrical and HVAC rough-ins) are generally conducted after basic framing is complete and the home is weatherproof (i.e. the roof is on and windows, doors and exterior cladding has been installed). Plumbing rough-ins are usually conducted for all wet areas of the home at the same time, with the process generally taking several days.

If you’re renovating a wet area, plumbing rough-ins will be performed after the existing wall sheeting is removed, in preparation for the new sheets to be installed. If you’re retaining the same or a similar layout to what you originally had, the required plumbing rough-ins may only be minimal and could be completed relatively quickly.

Can You Make Design Changes After Plumbing Rough-Ins Are Completed?

It’s best to avoid making any design changes after plumbing rough-ins are completed unless absolutely necessary. 

Rough-ins are conducted at a specific stage of the building process when the interior wall cavities are most accessible. Once the walls are enclosed, making any changes to your plumbing lines will be difficult as the plaster sheeting will need to be removed to be able to access the pipework. If the area has also been waterproofed and tiled, this will need to be removed and re-completed which can be both costly and time-consuming.

What Problems Can Occur if Plumbing Rough-ins Aren’t Completed Correctly?

‘Water hammer’ is the most common issue that can result from the improper installation of your plumbing rough-ins. 

If the pipes aren’t appropriately fastened to the frame of the home, the flow of water and air through the pipes can lead to movement, which can create a loud banging or knocking noise. Not only can the noise be an annoyance, but it can also lead to damage such as broken pipes and water leakage. For this reason, it’s important to use a licensed and registered plumber to ensure the plumbing rough-ins for your kitchen, bathroom, laundry or other wet areas are completed correctly and in accordance with current building codes.

We Take the Headaches Out of Home Renovation

Renovating a kitchen, bathroom or laundry in your home? Choose the Mint Group for your next wet room renovation.

With more than 30 years of experience to share with you, we’ll work closely with you to perfect the new design for your renovation, before managing every aspect of the project with the greatest level of care and attention to detail. We only use licensed and registered building practitioners to ensure your renovation is completed to the highest possible standard, and we won’t be satisfied until we know you are.

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