Pipe Down

Get rough plumbing right now, or jackhammer it later: The choice is yours

The old floor sheeting stripped, now is also the time to install new rough plumbing such as drain lines, sewer lines and water lines. Paying close attention to those plans—especially where slab concrete is concerned—will avert headaches and budget disasters down the road.

ABS piping drain linesWe’re using ABS pipes throughout, and at any points where the pipes will be embedded within concrete, they are first wrapped in plastic foam sheeting before the pour to create a gap that will allow for some movement within the slab to prevent breakage in the event of an earthquake.

While the nature of the job site often dictates whether the house will be on slab on grade or raised foundation, primary contractor Julio Mejia, of Simply Construction, says, “If it’s my house, and I have a choice, I’d choose slab. Yes, it can be cold and hard to walk on, but there are all kinds of products to cushion that. On the other hand,” he adds with a laugh, “If it’s a raised foundation, 3 or 4 times a year, I’m gonna be going under that house to move a TV cable, or for who knows what—because I can! With slab, you have to really plan your plumbing very carefully before you pour concrete, but then you’re done. No more going under the house.”

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