10 plumbing tips when constructing a new home.


By Evan Crowther

For anyone looking to build a home, installing new construction plumbing can be exciting and daunting. At the same time, it can be difficult to know where to start.

In this guide, we’ll provide 10 helpful tips for installing the plumbing for a new home.

1. Start with a solid plan.

Before the first pipe gets laid, you have to create a detailed plan. Not only should you decide in advance where every line and plumbing fixture should go, but you should also know the order in which you want everything installed. Having a clear plan in place will help ensure the installation goes smoothly.

Your general contractor and builder should already have a plan for the plumbing system in your new home. If you're taking a more DIY approach, consider hiring a plumber — especially if you have very little DIY experience with plumbing and construction.

2. Choose fixture placement wisely.

When plumbing a new home, the strategic placement of water fixtures can help improve efficiency. A more efficient plumbing system will reduce water and energy waste, as well as save money on utility costs. So, it’s important to centralize the placement of fixtures like faucets. 

There are several standard fixture layout plans, each with advantages and disadvantages:

  • Trunk and branch: It's the most common type of fixture layout, but it can be difficult to centralize.
  • Core: It's often inexpensive to install, but it requires intense planning.
  • Whole-house manifold: It's easy to install and more efficient, but it can be expensive.
  • Demand-initiated recirculation: It's very efficient, but it requires specialized knowledge.

3. Secure any necessary permits.

Any new construction project will require some level of permitting. Requirements vary by state and even county, so you should check with your local officials to determine what permits you’ll need. Familiarize yourself with local building codes to ensure you aren’t in violation.

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4. Learn about the rough-in process.

“Rough-in” refers to the installation of every part of a plumbing system that one can install before installing fixtures (toilets, tubs, sinks, etc.). This includes drainage and water supply.

Drainage rough-in.

To give water a way out of your home, your plumbing system uses a system of drains and vent pipes. The vents allow air to flow to each fixture to prevent negative pressure. This part of the installation involves connecting your plumbing to the sewer lines.

Water supply rough-in.

The water supply rough-in gives your fixtures a steady flow of water. For this stage, the plumber connects the home to water supply lines. 

Both phases of the rough-in involve routing pipes throughout the home to create a direct path through which the water can flow.

5. Incorporate shared wet walls.

One way to make your home’s plumbing more efficient is with a shared wet wall. This process involves putting two showers or baths on opposite sides of a single wall. This allows them to share the same pipes, reducing water waste and the amount of pipes needed.

6. Install plumbing appliances together.

To help centralize your plumbing, it’s best to install all your major plumbing appliances (like water heaters) in one place. It's also a good idea to keep water softeners and other machines in this central location. A centralized plumbing system helps make plumbing systems less wasteful.

7. Don’t neglect insulation.

Particularly in cold climates, insulating your pipes can help prevent issues like freezing or even burst pipes. Insulation helps protect pipes from extreme temperatures. This also prevents condensation, which can also cause water damage.

8. Consider the possibility of future additions.

When you install plumbing in a newly constructed home, keep in mind any additions you may want to install in the future. Try to make your designs flexible so you won’t have to undo all your hard work to make an addition. You should also save all your records of pipeline locations for easy reference.

9. Make the shutoff valve easy to get to.

In the event of an emergency or extensive repair, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to your home using the main water shutoff valve. As such, this valve must be in a location that’s easy to get to. This valve is typically somewhere along the perimeter of the home near the water meter.

10. Know when to hire a professional.

While a DIY installation can be an exciting undertaking, it’s important to know your limits. A mistake in the plumbing installation of a new home can lead to disaster later on. Problems like mold, flooding, and water damage can result from faulty plumbing, and there are municipal code considerations.

If you aren’t completely confident in your ability to tackle a plumbing installation, it’s best to hire a pro.

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Common new construction plumbing issues (and how to prevent them).

Faulty plumbing can lead to a host of issues down the line. These issues include:


For your pipes to carry water without leaking, every joint has to be solid and watertight. Errors in plumbing installation can lead to unexpected leaks that can waste water and damage your home. Throughout the installation, ensure you inspect every joint.

Water damage.

If enough water collects somewhere it shouldn’t, it can damage your walls, floors, and ceilings. Over time, this water can cause rot and even mold, which can lead to health and safety risks. Have your home regularly inspected for undetected leaks and water damage.

Fixture and appliance malfunctions.

If water can’t flow properly through your home, your appliances and fixtures may not function properly. Having a professional install your appliances can help ensure they work properly.

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For those looking to install plumbing in a new construction home, the task is often too involved for a DIY plumber. Proper installation is essential for plumbing to work properly and safely, so errors can be disastrous.

To reduce the risk of plumbing system failure, it’s usually safest to hire a professional. Download the Thumbtack app to get a free quote on plumbing for new construction homes. 

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