Plumbing installation – known as ‘rough in’ – generally takes between 3 and 5 days to complete. This occurs during your home’s construction phase, so it helps to know what to expect and what problems to keep an eye out for. Read on for a plumbing installation timeline on your next home build.

Adding a home’s piping from scratch is known as ‘roughing in’ the plumbing.

This refers to a home’s plumbing being installed in wall cavities before walls are lined with plasterboard and the house starts to take shape. This can occur after the home’s exterior cladding has gone up, or while exterior cladding is being installed.

As an excited (almost) new homeowner, you don’t want to be waiting around while pipes and plumbing are installed, so it helps to know how long the roughing in stage takes and what you can expect during this construction process.

And by the end of this article, you’ll have the answer.

When is plumbing installed in a new home?

Plumbing installation happens during the construction process.

It’s necessary to install plumbing before the floors and walls are added, as these will make installation tougher than it needs to be. However, the installation of pipes, drains, and water systems are done after the final framing and roofing have been completed.


Because it’s extremely time-consuming and expensive to remove piping if it’s in the way of a wall or stud. By waiting until the frame is complete, your plumber knows exactly where he can (and can’t) install piping. It’s also helpful to have the roof completed to project the area from rain and weather.

Stages of plumbing installation

The timeline of plumbing installation will vary depending on the complexity of the job. For example, a knock-down rebuild will likely have some of the necessary infrastructures in place whereas a new home built in the middle of the bush would likely need a more in-depth plan to connect to local sewage lines, etc.

We specialise in a range of residential services from general to bathroom projects and pipe relining, but we’re happy to flex our industry muscle and outline a generic plumbing installation timeline.

Keep in mind, this framework is a rough guide only. For specific installation times, contact our expert team on 0411 169 327 for a quote.

Stage 01: Initial enquiries

You’ve found the perfect block of land in Canberra, exciting times! Even before a single brick is laid or slab of concrete poured, there are enquiries that can be made. Your builder can reach out to local authority bodies to ask about water and sewerage connections and if there are special considerations to take into account. For example, will water be supplied by a private main or a body corporate subdivision?

Stage 02: Groundwork Stage

Before your home starts to take shape, plumbing lines will be installed. This is typically a partnership with your plumber and builder to make sure the process is quick and free of disruption. If you’re building a home from scratch, your plumber will help plan key components of your future piping like the type of pipework to be used (e.g. copper or plastic), your preferred hot water system, and so on.

Stage 03: Backfill Stage

With your piping in place, tests will be conducted to ensure all pipes, drains, and sewerage lines are water-tight. Then, it’s time to backfill the site and cover your new piping network with soil in preparation for your new home build. This stage is crucial as any debris or hard waste that’s backfilled into your piping trench may damage your new underground pipework.

Stage 04: Waterproofing and Testing Stage

The hard yakka is done, now it’s time to check your piping is watertight and ready to handle your family’s needs. Testing will cover every aspect of your piping from the water supply, sewerage, stormwater, greywater, and rainwater systems. You’ll be presented with a certificate of Compliance at the conclusion of this step, so congratulations, your new home is officially water-ready!

What plumbing needs to be installed?

‘Plumbing’ is a broad term that covers a wide variety of services and systems. Depending on the complexity of your new home build, you may have a combination (or all) of the following parts and pieces in your home piping system.


The first thing you probably think of when installing plumbing is your pipes. Your piping system is made up of a network of pipes that bring clean, potable water into your home, and take waste away in the form of sewage. This works as clean air is brought into your home at a standard water pressure of 50 psi, and unclean water is pulled out through gravity.

Piping Fixtures

With your pipes in place, you need a way to access water for cleaning and drinking. That’s where your piping fixtures are necessary. Fixtures are found on your bathtub, sinks, and showers and may be required in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, garage, or outdoors. With your general piping roughed in, fixture installation can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours depending on the complexity of the job.

Sewer & Gas Lines

Sewer lines help to remove waste water and keep your new home running smoothly. These inclusions are often the most challenging to install, and may require approval from your local ACT council. While gas lines are a popular addition to heat your water sustainability and affordably. Your ACT plumber will connect your home to the gas meter via a copper pipe either under your home or along the side of your house. Installation time will depend on the length of pipe required, the number of rooms requiring gas access, and the complexity of the job.

What factors might delay the rough-in?

All great plans are disrupted from time to time – including plumbing installation.

Although a typical rough in takes between 3 to 5 days, there are variables that can stretch out or slow down the process. Some of the most common factors that increase delays include:

  • Bad weather
  • Scheduling conflicts
  • Complex systems
  • The size of the installation team

Naturally, a small team of plumbers will take longer to install pipes for a custom home with multiple bathrooms. It’s also important that general contractors and plumbers are working towards the same vision.

Specific floorplans and layouts help plumbers understand the exact location of sinks, counters, baths, showers, and any other inclusions that require piping.

Looking for fast and affordable service in Canberra?

Are you looking to renovate your Canberra home? Or build an entirely new home?

Upgrading your living space is an exciting adventure, but not without its challenges. While a completed piping system can feel as simple as turning on the tap and receiving water, it’s crucial you find the best plumber in Canberra to help install your new network of pipes.

We have 12+ years of experience so we know what it takes to provide a fast, reliable, and affordable service.

Click here for a fast quote online or contact us today on 0411 169 327 for a quote on your next exciting home improvement adventure.