Your plumbing is a top priority when it comes to your home’s functionality and your water usage. Leaks, old fixtures or other plumbing issues can create water damage inside the home and can also be the source of water waste. To make sure your plumbing project is completed on time and on budget, you’ll want to set a schedule. Small, one-time fixes generally don’t require a schedule. However complex projects like replacing polybutylene piping, adding a bathroom or remodeling a kitchen will take longer and will do better with a workback schedule. Depending on the size of your project, from fixing a clog to adding a new bathroom into your home, your schedule will lay out all necessary costs, materials, and an estimated timeline. Hiring the right plumber and keeping track of just a few of the important plumbing project factors will keep you in line with your project schedule. Doing your part to move the project forward can ensure that the plumbing work is completed on time and within your budget.

Keep in mind the following factors that may have an impact on your plumbing schedule:


Gauging an appropriate budget is important to your plumbing schedule. This is because the prices you’re willing to pay for materials and labor has an impact on the delivery date, installation and availability. A supplier might have competitive price but might not have items in stock. Add some cushion time into your schedule for ordering, handling, and shipping of materials.

Depending on the type of plumbing project you are undertaking, the cost can range significantly and is dependant upon the scope of the project. Adding a faucet, or repairing a toilet and sink will only be a couple hundred dollars, but more expensive remodels such as installing a shower or new plumbing pipes will require more time. Most plumbers will charge upfront flat fees for the hours that they are at the project site. There are also equipment fees as well as extra costs for repairs and renovations. The quality and number of fixtures will affect the cost of a plumbing project as well as the completion time. Older plumbing will inevitably cost more to replace as the plumber could be dealing with rust, leaky faucets, and water damage. Keep in mind that some companies will charge low hourly rates for plumbing jobs, and then add on larger fees for equipment and materials you did not anticipate paying for. Remember that if a plumber needs to open up a wall or flooring, you may need to hire a separate drywall installer or repair person to fix the hole.


The time allotted for your plumbing repairs or additions will be impacted by the materials you use. Some types of material may require additional maintenance or tools, which could end up adding extra costs. Depending on the fixtures you are replacing, you will need to purchase the fixture as well as the correlating piping. Air chambers may also be needed for plumbing fixtures. Be sure to consider your hot water system or septic tank when making material decisions for your project. Keeping these factors in mind can help you and the plumbing contractor make and stick to a schedule.

The busiest season for plumbers

Recognize that holiday seasons such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually the busiest time for plumbers. This is caused by excess use of plumbing systems due to parties and events occurring at one time in a given area. When planning a home renovation project where you are installing new plumbing, you may want to schedule it away from busy holiday seasons to ensure your plumber and home have adequate time and materials to complete your plumbing project to your needs. Avoid really cold times of year as well; plumbers are often hired to fix frozen pipes during the winter months.


Almost all large plumbing projects will require a permit before construction begins. There are local building codes and laws that need to be adhered to. Your local building and safety department will have the most up to date information on plumbing permits for your project but your licensed plumber should offer to file for the permits. Your plumber should discuss with you ahead of time which permits are needed and the costs involved. If they do not mention it, ask. Permits and inspections can be critical to when the job is finished.

Planning a project timeline

One way to ensure that your project runs on schedule is to plan a timeline in advance. This will make sure that your plumber knows your timeline and expectations for completion well ahead of time before they even start the project. Your schedule can be included within your contract between you and your plumber, which will act as a guideline for the work you want done. It can be a good idea to consolidate plumbing projects so that the plumber can complete all required work during the least amount of time spent at the project site. This would mean giving an outline of all plumbing work needing to be done, including clogged sinks and toilets as well as other minor plumbing jobs. Discussing your estimated schedule with the plumber is also a great way to set expectations for the general crew and working hours. Some plumbing companies are juggling multiple projects at once. Ask if your project is a high priority or if you are one of many projects.

What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty of unexpected events can set back your schedule. These are the kinds of things that defy even the most diligent planning. Flooding, pipe bursts, and water drainage problems could all interfere with your plumbing project schedule. In the case of plumbing emergencies during your project; holidays, weekends and after-hours calls will cost more. Decide early on whether schedule or budget should take precedence in handling the unexpected because you might have to make a choice between the two.

Find the right plumber for your home on Porch to begin planning your plumbing project.