Choosing the Right Contractor for a Community-Wide Pipe Replacement | SageWater
Choosing the Right Contractor for a Community-Wide Pipe Replacement
Choosing the Right Contractor for a Community-Wide Pipe Replacement

Choosing the Right Contractor for a Community-Wide Pipe Replacement


Shopping for a community-wide pipe replacement isn’t any fun. Deciding it was time to replace an entire piping system was already a complicated journey. You probably experienced leaks, resident complaints, insurance claims, damages, debates about when to proceed, and angst about how to pay for it.

Now you’ve made the decision to proceed with one of the most comprehensive capital improvement projects your community will ever undertake. Where do you begin?

Fortunately, there’s a way to make the project significantly less challenging: choose the right contractor to work with.

Here’s an outline of the three types of contractors that communities typically engage, and why it’s best to choose a specialty contractor who focuses on turnkey pipe replacement solutions.

1. Working with a General Contractor

The advantage of a general contractor is that they are suited to handle large-scale construction projects. But they may never have conducted a community-wide repipe project in an occupied community. Even if they have, they’ll employ a bevy of subcontractors to perform the work—e.g., plumbers, drywallers, painters, carpenters, and so on. This creates layers of management and mark-up (i.e., increased costs). As the GC coordinates across all these parties, it can mean you experience scheduling challenges, a lack of consistency in quality between vendors, and uncertainty about the credentials of people working in your residents’ units.

2. Working with a Service Plumber

Another option is to work with your service plumber. They’re certainly adept at replacing sections of pipe, and you may anticipate advantages from already having a good working relationship with them and their familiarity with your building.

Typically, though, your service plumber won’t have the experience and resources for such a large-scale project. This may drive up costs for you. For example, your service plumber probably doesn’t purchase materials at high volumes, which means they may not be able to command the best prices from their suppliers. Also, they may only want to replace pipes, which leaves you to find additional contractors for all the other work like opening and repairing walls, painting, and project management responsibilities like obtaining inspections and communicating with residents.

3. Working with a Turnkey Specialist for Pipe Replacement

A third option for your repipe project is a specialty contractor who focuses on turnkey pipe replacement solutions, which means they’ll be much more time- and cost-efficient. For example, the best specialty contractors will directly employ all the tradespeople required for a repipe project, so they’re able to establish a “production pace” for working through your community. This gives them a major scheduling advantage over a general contractor or a service plumber, enabling them to complete the project faster. Specialty contractors are also more up to date on the latest repipe project techniques and materials, which allows them to engineer money saving solutions without sacrificing quality.

For the most cost-effective solution, remember that even among specialty repipe contractors, they’re not all created equal. If you’re tempted to select the cheapest option, remember the adage that you get what you pay for. Do your diligence when selecting your specialty contractor. In addition to proven plumbing and finish work, look for high-quality project management and resident communications (such as status updates, individual resident notifications, town-hall meetings, and more). When embarking on one of the largest and most comprehensive capital improvement projects your community will experience, you don’t want to skimp.

Client Success Stories

Hear a few clients talk about why they feel they made the right decision for their communities by selecting SageWater as their specialty contractor for turnkey pipe replacement.

Watch their brief testimonials.

Find Your Turnkey Pipe Replacement Specialist at SageWater

Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Takeaway: Choose a Pipe Replacement Specialist

A repipe project may not be as fun as adding a new amenity like a game room or upgrading your lobby with a chic new design. But it is a major and important investment in the value and health of your community!

Choosing the right partner for this investment will make you a good steward of your community’s resources and offer the peace of mind that comes with a low-stress, cost-efficient project that will benefit your community for years to come.