What is rough in plumbing?

Whether you are renovating your current home, extending an existing property or completing a new home build, it’s an achievement when certain stages are completed – because this means that your project is moving along! One of these stages is when the initial plumbing lines are installed and this is called ‘rough in plumbing’.

Essentially, this is when your plumber installs the plumbing pipes inside the walls and before the plasterboard is applied over them. Usually, the rough in plumbing stage only takes place when the roof is on and the house has been deemed weatherproof. Any changes made by the homeowner are best discussed during this time, before the walls are sealed with plasterboard. This is the easiest time to make any design changes to your plumbing and it’s also the cheapest time – when the walls are still not plastered.

Important points to consider with rough in plumbing

You will need plumbing in the kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, wet room, outdoor kitchen, and possibly even in a shed, garage or the garden. This is a lot of plumbing that needs to be completed to a high quality and on schedule so that it can pass inspection and the build can proceed in a timely manner.

So, what are some of the things that will be worked on during the rough in plumbing stage?
– Routing pipes through wall cavities
– Making pipe connections as needed
– Running vent stacks to the roof
– Making sure your drain and water supply lines are connected to sewer/septic systems
– Excavating and laying underground pipes that will serve utility connections 
– Putting in components that will attach fixtures to the greater plumbing system, like toilet flanges, sink drains, and sanitary tees

It’s important to realise that rough in plumbing is installed differently for timber and steel frames. For a timber framed home or extension, the plumber cuts holes in the timber studs so that the pipes can be run through the walls. Problems can arise if there are too many holes, holes that are too big or in the wrong place, as these can reduce the integrity of the timber frame and it will then need to be reinforced.

This is one of the issues that building inspectors look for when they make their inspections. On the other hand, steel frames come pre-drilled with holes for the rough in plumbing, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Another problem occurs when the plumbing pipes aren’t secured well enough to the building’s frame resulting in something that plumbers call ‘water hammer’. This is a very loud hammering noise coming from the pipes due to the water and air moving through pipes (which is normal) that haven’t been secured properly. Apart from being frustrating and annoying, unsecured pipes can result in broken pipes in the walls, something that we want to avoid at all costs (and save house flooding!).

For these reasons, it’s important to engage with a skilled and expert plumber to complete your new home, extension or renovation plumbing. Franklin Plumbing are highly skilled at rough in plumbing and have a team of skilled plumbers in the Torquay, Jan Juc, Surf Coast and Geelong and surrounding areas.

today on 0421 844 865 for a free quote or send us an email at

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