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Fast 5: Tips to Boost Your Working Relationship With Your Plumbing Contractor

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We talk with plumber Mike O’Rourke, who shares his tips on how builders and installers can work better together to get the client’s job done well and on time.

Mike O'Rourke of Cedar City, Utah, founded Tradeshow Plumbing Co. in 1974, which serves the plumbing needs of the trade show industry nationwide. O’Rourke, who is the plumber for the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, offers these tips to contractors. 

1. What are some top tips you can give our contractor readers for working effectively with plumbing contractors to get their pool builds and spa installations done right and on time? 

First, it is so important to maintain a fruitful working relationship with all your subcontractors. They are the fuel powering your projects. Without their expertise everything stops.  

Second, set guidelines, rules and expectations from the very start. Write detailed contracts. The terms and conditions should be clearly defined. Settle any disputes quickly. Above all, make deadlines clear. We are talking about finishing these jobs "on time". 

Third, but just as critical is keeping the subs in the loop by communicating often. Collaboration is the glue for any successful construction project. In addition to delivering project information, make sure that the lines of communication are always open and that you are available to your subs on an as needed basis. 

2. What are the top misconceptions about working with plumbing contractors? 

The most common misconception regarding the pool plumber comes down to experience. We have seen plumbing contractors that have performed well on major construction projects but not do well with pool applications. The experience of the journeyman on the job is key to the best outcome. 

3. What are three things you wish pool and spa builders/installers understood about the plumbing process? 

Code conformity, limit of rare material and providing realistic timelines in the scheduling process. 

4. What is the most challenging part of any plumbing job?  

Manpower, without a doubt. The number of employees is not as critical as the quality of those team members. 

5. What can pool and spa builders/installers do to help prepare their site before their plumbing contractors arrive? 

Prep work at the job site is the responsibility of the excavator. Most states require the underground utilities to be marked prior to any digging. Grade elevations must be met as well as a benchmark established. Without these conditions being realized, accurate placement cannot be made. 

 

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