Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an upcoming bathroom remodel that will require the cutting of the basement concrete slab to install a shower drain. The slab will need to be cut about 5 feet from the shower to the main stack.

Should I cut the slab myself and have the plumber just install the drain or let the plumber do the entire thing?

Are most plumbers up for this or will trying to have them do the whole thing eliminate a bunch of them?
 

·
Flooring Guru
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
Depends on if the plumber is prepared for that kind of work.

Sounds like having an electrician do drywall, but maybe the Plumber is o.k. for it......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
I'm with Flor. All depends. My plumbers wouldn't quibble, outside help might.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Most of the plumbers in my area would say, "Call me once the floor is cut out". After hearin' that enough times, - - I just decided to go ahead and do all the plumbin' too. Never called them again.

It's an easy enough job, - - I used to have to rent them, - - but now I own both an electric cut-off saw, - - and an electric jackhammer.

Just make your 'sideline' cuts about 1" deep, - - then jackhammer it out.

Lay your sloped PVC on sand, - - then 'top' with gravel mix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
Tom, that would not pass inspection here. Plumbing must be done by a licensed plumber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
You're walking a very thin line. Who will be responsible in the future if there is a leak and the bath has to be rennovated again?
Are you ready for the hit?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Ultimately the responsibility will come down to Tom no matter who does the work.

If it leaks the homeowner will be calling Tom no matter if Tom did the work himself or subbed it out. If Tom subbed it, it would be up to him to get the plumber to fix it, but if the plumber has dived underground, ultimately Tom is going to be responsible no matter what. The homeowner hired Tom and Tom would have hired the plumber. The homeowner wrote the check to Tom not the plumber.

In regard to homeowner permits, the homeowner is putting himself at a serious disadvantage with falling for the old homeowner permit routine. Liability rests on the name of the person who is on the permit. If the permit is pulled in the homeowners name basically the contractor is getting a free ride should anything go wrong. I doubt the homeowners who agree to pull permits in their name and have a contractor do the work are aware or ever made aware by the contractor just how much of a disadvantage they are putting themselves at.

I've considered it from time to time, but always pass, since ultimately the homeowner deserves the protection of the permit process and if the job doesn't have the budget to pay for a licensed plumber or electrician it is doubtfull the budget will allow enough profit to entice me to take the job in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I have done this Quite a few times . If you are working by your self ask the plumber if the 2 of you can tag team it . The last 2 jobs thats how I worked it.
I also would use a licensed plumber .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
For as long as I have been in business, I cut out the floor and jackhammer for the installation. If there is a dumpster there that where the debris go, if not we take care of them.
Most if not all of the time I also repair the concrete, unless the GC has other plans.

To me its like 2nd nature, and its part of the job.

BJD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I have been involved in this type of scenario many times. If the contractor is willing to pay me my rates then work is work.But, most contractors would rather pay a laborer to do it. Either way, I always mark the floor and area that needs to be removed and if there is any other plumbing that can be done while I'm there, I will do that to keep myself on the job in case there is any problems or ?'s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
mdshunk said:
Not cool. Big thumbs down.

Got news for ya', - - me callin' in a plumber doesn't mean he'll do the work, - - just means he gets to charge me for the 'stamp', - - what a racket!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Mike Finley said:
Ultimately the responsibility will come down to Tom no matter who does the work.

If it leaks the homeowner will be calling Tom no matter if Tom did the work himself or subbed it out. If Tom subbed it, it would be up to him to get the plumber to fix it, but if the plumber has dived underground, ultimately Tom is going to be responsible no matter what. The homeowner hired Tom and Tom would have hired the plumber. The homeowner wrote the check to Tom not the plumber.

In regard to homeowner permits, the homeowner is putting himself at a serious disadvantage with falling for the old homeowner permit routine. Liability rests on the name of the person who is on the permit. If the permit is pulled in the homeowners name basically the contractor is getting a free ride should anything go wrong. I doubt the homeowners who agree to pull permits in their name and have a contractor do the work are aware or ever made aware by the contractor just how much of a disadvantage they are putting themselves at.

I've considered it from time to time, but always pass, since ultimately the homeowner deserves the protection of the permit process and if the job doesn't have the budget to pay for a licensed plumber or electrician it is doubtfull the budget will allow enough profit to entice me to take the job in the first place.

Mike,

My customers have been with me for years and years, - - they are 'well-informed' that, - - in effect, - - 'they' are the GC on these type of jobs, - - they prefer to have me do all the work, - - no losses in scheduling time, - - no strangers in the house, - - no 'risks' of the unknown.

These decisions aren't based on a 'budget', - - but on the quality of the work.

P.S. Several years ago, - - in one of the towns I work in, - - I remodeled the 'conference room' at the inspectors office, - - they had me do the electric, too. Life goes on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Teetorbilt said:
You're walking a very thin line. Who will be responsible in the future if there is a leak and the bath has to be rennovated again?
Are you ready for the hit?
All my work is guaranteed, - - any kind of problem I would be right there, - - but fortunately for me, - - the only 'call-backs' I ever get is for more work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,858 Posts
Right now I'm 'adding-in' a bathroom at a Private Home Inspector's house. He had originally had a licensed plumber come out to price that part of the job, - - unfortunately he was told it couldn't be done, - - right under the location where he wanted the bathroom added are the utilities (heater, ductwork, hot water heater, sump pump).

Then he called me in (which he had planned on doing anyway), - - showed me what he wanted, - - told me the plumber said it was 'impossible', - - I told him 'anything' can be done, - - next I call in a different licensed plumber, - - he takes a look, - - says the rough is just too tough, too many obstacles, - - I told him I don't really see a problem, I guarantee I could do it, - - that's when he offers for me to do it and him to 'sell' me his stamp.

Umm, - - no thanks, - - but I really appreciate the offer.

Obviously, - - this is a situation where the homeowner's rights come in handy.

The rough plumbing that was so impossible is done, - - today I'll be laying in the stone tile floor.

The second licensed plumber has since called me and threatened to 'report' the job to the inspection department, - - excuse me, pal, - - the permit is in the window and the job has already passed it's rough inspections.

Wellp, - - gotta get to work, - - 'impossible' jobs don't get done on their own!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Good thread, in about 2 months I plan to add a bathroom into my basement when I get around to actually being able to work on my OWN home. Nice to see what Im up against. I think I will have a real live plumber do the actual plumbing, I'll handle the prep...lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Longacre said:
Good thread, in about 2 months I plan to add a bathroom into my basement when I get around to actually being able to work on my OWN home. Nice to see what Im up against. I think I will have a real live plumber do the actual plumbing, I'll handle the prep...lol.
Yeah, I think hiring a real live plumber is a good idea!! The dead ones smell funny. :eek:

It all comes down to budget and experience. Some are GC's and others just are'nt there yet. I love it when I'm hired to do demo work and I bring in a laborer to do a laborer's job and charge my rates!I mean think about it, would you want to pay a licensed plumber to jackhammer?? and if so WHY?? Eventually, a little light should go off in his head(GC"s), that next time he should have his laborer do it.When a GC or maybe potential GC has to ask himself this question he needs to go back to the drawing board. But, if it is in the budget and you have a willing plumber then everybody is going to be happy and it is not really a question that needs discussion!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,471 Posts
When I was 14 we had a plumbing problem and faced paying plumbers wages to dig about 20ft. under the slab. Dad (a GC) told the guy that "I didn't raise 4 boys for nothing!" and my brothers and I went into the tunneling business for free, of course.
Where we lived the water table was effected by the tides and all of the sand was wet to a certain degree. Dad was a WWII vet and determined that an entrenching tool was our best weapon for the task along with 5 gal. pails. When the tide was up, we were working in almost a foot of water. The sand sides collapsed and we kept hauling. Being typical kids, we also did the absolute minimum required so that when the plumber was called back, the tunnel was too small for an adult. We looked at this dude, sized him up real good, and went back to work. He fit the second time.
I learned a lot in those 4 days. Concrete and copper pipe do not like each other, the pipe was installed before the slab was poured. Grounding electrics to copper pipe in those circumstances is not good, the kitchen drain pipe looked like Swiss cheese. If we had not been in sand, it would have ceased to function much earlier.
It's funny to think back on and being able to dig under the house has a certain fasination for kids but you don't want to pay plumbers wages for this type of operation.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
plumguy said:
When a GC or maybe potential GC has to ask himself this question he needs to go back to the drawing board.
I think you are assuming an awful lot.

1st off I know a few plumbers who don't want to follow anybodies work but their own. Their time is too valuable and they would just as soon do the entire job themselves then come in behind somebody just to have to spend a bunch of time making the hole the right way so they can expedite their plumbing as they would like.

2nd off, the main stack wasn't even in the same room as the remodel, without being a plumber it was just about impossible for me to discover exactly where the drain path was going to be without risking having to do the same work twice in the end.

3rd, there are some plumbers who simply don't want to cut a slab, they are not into it and would rather just pass on the job then get into slab work.

I can say all 3 of these things because I ran into all 3 of them on this job.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top