Plumbing Proposal -- what does rough in cover?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Natalieblueeyes, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    My plumber gave me a proposal for plumbing work which was divided into 3 parts with a separate price for each.

    Demo Existing $1000
    Rough-in New $5000
    Fixture Installation $1600

    The plumber's work was not good and when he insisted that he was going to install the bathtub in a way that would have voided the warranty, we fired him.

    He asked for (and we had paid him) 30% of the charges for the Demo Existing and Rough-in New before he started. I was curious and asked him why he didn't charge for 30% of Fixture Installation cost up front and he said that work would not be done until 2-3 weeks later after the bathroom had been remodeled and we would pay for that portion then. He did the Demo work and did the piping for the 2 new toilets, 2 sinks, the shower and the bathtub. He was fired in this first part of the project before he had installed the shower pan and put the bathtub in place.

    We had to hire someone else to install the bathtub and shower pan and will also hire someone else to come back in a couple of weeks and hook everything up. We are trying to figure out what additional amounts we owe the first plumber. We have been told by other people that installing the shower pan and putting the bathtub in place (mortar base) is part of the "Rough In New" and we are planning to deduct the amount we paid another plumber from the amount we will pay the first plumber for the "Rough-In New" section. Now the first plumber says that installing the shower pan and putting the bathtub in place is NOT part of the rough-in, but is in charges of installing fixtures and no amounts should be deducted.

    Can anyone tell me if installing the shower pan and the bathtub is typically considered part of the "Rough-in New" or would be part of Installing Fixtures? We want to be fair, but what the first plumber is saying doesn't seem right (plus part of his other work was questionable.)

    Any answers would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Natalie
  2. BAPlumber

    BAPlumber Plumber

    Messages:
    227
    Location:
    Vashon, Washington
    Installing the tub and shower pan should be part of the rough in cost. It's not something that is done in weeks later in the trim out phase. Although, I don't know how your contract is worded, if it's vague or detailed. As far as the cost of the tub and shower pan, sometimes I provide them and sometimes the customer provides their own.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    phases

    IT depends on the job. Some jobs have a roughin phase where the pipes are installed in the floor. Then a top out phase, before drywalling, where the pipes are installed in the walls and the tubs and shower bases set. Then finally the finish work is done. These three phases basically mirror the steps in the inspection process. You do have a permit and inspections, right?
  4. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    We have a permit and there are 2 inspections -- one after the pipes are in the floor and walls (before the bathtub and shower pan are set) and then a final inspection after everything is done.

    Natalie
  5. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    All plumbing work required before the walls get covered (sheetrocked). Setting tubs (except drop in tubs set on a fininshed surface) and in wall valves would technically be within this description.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    rough

    He didn't break his proposal down into three phases, and it would be VERY difficult to install the tub and shower base if he waited until the finish phase, so anything he did not do prior to the drywalling would be deducted from his rough in price.
  7. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Thanks for everyone's help. The first plumber is not acting responsibility and I sure appreciate being able to ask this question to people who are authorities.

    (This first plumber refused to install a mortar bed under the bathtub even though the installation instructions required a mortar bed or similar material. When I talked to American Standard (manufacturer of the tub), they said that the plumber would have voided the warranty if he had just used expanding foam like he planned. This plumber was not inexpensive -- he was on the expensive end of the bids, but we picked him because we thought he would do quality work. We were wrong and now it appears that he isn't very honest either. Oh well, live and learn.)

    Thanks again.

    Natalie
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    IN most cases I consider a tub that needs any kind "bed" to be less than desirable, unless it is a deck mounted drop in tub, in which case it would go in during the fixture setting stage.
  9. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Is a tub set on a mortar base less than desirable because it is less durable? or for another reason?
    I switched from a cast iron bathtub and I liked the idea of a mortar base for the new tub b/c I thought it would have more of a "solid" feel and not squeak.
    It is just an American Standard tub -- had to be put in before dry wall.

    I may regret giving up my cast iron tub.

    Natalie.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    Is a tub set on a mortar base less than desirable because it is less durable?

    Definitely. If the tub's base is not strong enough to support the tub by itself, then I consider it too flimsy for any use. I installed a tub for a neighbor, which probably weighed all of 40 pounds and wiggled like Jell-o while putting it in place.
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The American Standard Americast instructions say "no mortar"

    I would think that if you had a plastic sheet between the tub and mortar you would be okay though.
    Some acrylic and fiberglass tubs do better with some sort of support.

    Cast Iron does fine without, though the Kohler instructions mentions "metal" shims under the legs. The legs would never touch otherwise.
    I don't know any plumbers that reach in there and find a way to shim the legs though. The front apron does well for support anyway.
  12. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Thanks. I should have been more specific -- it is an American Standard Acrylic bathtub.
    Natalie
  13. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    One foreseeable problem, the contract.
    IF it were a signed contract, he may attempt to recoup the expenses in roughing, which are the bulk of most jobs.
  14. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    I was planning to pay him what I agreed to pay him for the demo and rough-in minus the amount that I had to pay another plumber to install the bathtub and shower pan to complete the rough in.

    EXCEPT, the second plumber was out today to install the pedestal sink, etc. and discovered that the first plumber installed the drain pipe 3 1/2 inches too high for my pedestal sink. My pedestal sink is small and is not completely open in back. The first plumber had my pedestal sink on site when he did his work and I even told him that I thought the drain pipe was too high and he assured me that it was just fine. Now, the pop-up drain in the sink can't open and close because the bottom of it hits the drain pipe and the p-trap doesn't fit through the openings in the pedestal base.

    Now we have to remove drywall -- more than just behind the sink because of how the drain pipes are configured -- have the plumbing redone, repair sheet rock, paint, etc. and delay the project another 4-5 days.

    The first plumber was lazy and careless.

    Natalie
  15. rombo

    rombo New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Ontario
    I actually think a tub is more solid if installed with foam rather than mortar. You may have very well fired a good plumber
  16. Natalieblueeyes

    Natalieblueeyes New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Except that using foam would have voided the warranty.
    And if American Standard "tech" people are correct -- expanding foam could damage the bathtub.

    And given the other things we have found out, we certainly didn't fire a good plumber.

    Natalie
  17. rombo

    rombo New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Ontario
    If done properly foam will not damage a tub.

    I don't even know what american standards warranty on tubs is because i have never heard of a tub having to use the warranty
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