What Is a General Contractor and What Do They Do?

What Is a General Contractor and What Do They Do?

Some home projects are easy for any DIY-er to tackle, but when it’s time to remodel the kitchen or upgrade the master bath, most people need to call a pro. The question is, who do you call?

Home renovation pros have different areas of expertise. A handyman, for example, can switch up your bathroom cabinets or replace the fixtures to give your master bath a facelift. A plumbing subcontractor can install the infrastructure for a new shower or jacuzzi tub to upgrade the room’s functionality. But if you’re completely overhauling the space—changing the layout and adding new elements—a general contractor is the way to go.

What is a general contractor?

A simple general definition for a contractor is someone who coordinates and supervises every aspect of a building or remodeling project. That includes securing the proper permits for the project and hiring, scheduling and overseeing the work of other subcontractors such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians.

Their work goes well beyond managing the hands-on tasks, however. Licensed general contractors take responsibility for the entire worksite which means they carry worker’s compensation and liability insurance. If a worker is injured on the job or your property accidentally damaged, the contractor handles the situation. In short, if something goes wrong, the general contractor is financially responsible for making it right.

The general contractor makes sure that all work is done in a way that doesn’t void any product warranties or guarantees. Qualified professionals must install siding, roofing, windows and major appliances in a particular way or the manufacturer may refuse to honor their guarantee. When a general contractor supervises the project, you know everyone will follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Finally, the general contractor is also responsible for securing the workspace and supplies. They handle major projects such as cleaning up and disposing of all trash and debris—and minor but key details such as ensuring workers wear protective foot coverings to safeguard your floors.

Types of contractors

There are two types of general contractors: Traditional and design-build professionals. A traditional general contractor takes project plans designed by someone else, typically an architect or designer, and develops a bid to complete the work.

design-build contractor is an end-to-end professional that works with you to conceptualize and design the project and then oversee its completion. These contractors usually have in-house architectural and design staff that remain involved throughout the entire process. This is helpful if something unexpected happens during the project that requires a modification in the design.

Licensing requirements and qualifications

Every state has mandatory licensing requirements for general contractors. Contractors must pass a test to qualify, but some states impose additional conditions, such as proof of liability insurance, a tax ID number and proof of business address.

Although general contractors can be licensed with only a high school diploma, many contractors have a degree in construction management, civil engineering or building science. Advanced education is helpful because general contractors need to know different construction methods and materials, how to evaluate and prepare a site, read architectural and design plans and recognize when inspections and permits are necessary to complete a project.

Practical experience is the most important qualification for general contractors. Most of them spend years working as skilled subcontractors, advancing to supervisory roles, before applying for a general contractor’s license. This experience prepares them to estimate costs and completion times, recognize qualified subcontractors, test completed work and control expenses.

When to hire a contractor

No one wants to pay for more expertise than they need, so you shouldn’t hire a general contractor unless you’re tackling a fairly complicated project. A good rule of thumb is if a project can be finished in under a week, a handyman or subcontractor can probably do the job.

On the other hand, if the project will take several weeks to complete and involves permits, inspections and multiple different skilled professionals, you probably need a general contractor.

Think of a major kitchen remodel , for example. Your plans involve knocking down a wall between the kitchen and dining room, swapping your range for a kitchen island with cooktop and wall oven, adding a prep sink, warming drawer and built-in wine refrigerator, upgrading your flooring, installing a bay window and completely revamping your lighting scheme.

You’ll need plumbers, electricians , drywall, tile and window installers, carpenters and painters. You also need to arrange and time the delivery of appliances and supplies so that everyone has the necessary materials for each stage of the project. Finally, your county may require a building permit and plumbing and electrical inspections at various completion points.

Unless you’re an expert in construction methods, project management and your local building regulations—and you have a lot of time on your hands—you need a general contractor to coordinate and supervise all those activities.



Contractor vs. subcontractor

It’s easy to confuse contractors and subcontractors, but they have very different skill sets. General contractors oversee the entire project—they take drawings or plans and bring them to life. Your general contractor obtains permits, buys materials, hires and pays construction professionals and secures inspections. Once you approve the plans, your job is essentially done until the project is finished, unless something unexpected comes up.

General contractors hire subcontractors to complete a specific part of the project. Subcontractors usually specialize in a single area such as plumbing, drywall, HVAC, flooring, painting or carpentry. Subcontractors can be self-employed individuals or employees of a subcontracting business.

You as the homeowner typically won’t have any interaction with the subcontractors, since they are hired, supervised and paid by the general contractor. Most general contractors have long-standing relationships with a variety of subcontractors in different construction specialties so they have access to expertise for even highly complex, custom jobs.

Hiring a general contractor

If you decide to hire a general contractor , do your homework. Find out how long the contractor has been in business and if they’ve completed projects like yours; ask to see examples of their work and if you can speak to previous customers. Only work with licensed and insured contractors; check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any outstanding complaints.

Make sure you understand project costs. Some general contractors charge the cost of materials and labor plus 15% to 20%; others bid a flat fee for the entire project. Cost plus a percentage is a more flexible option, but it can be difficult to predict the final total. A flat-fee bid is better if you have a particular budget in mind for your project.

Review your contract carefully to make sure every detail is covered. If something goes wrong and you need to seek legal action against your contractor, your contract supports your case. It should spell out the project schedule, materials and costs, the names of subcontractors used and how work changes will be handled. Keep detailed records of all payments and receipts and take photographs periodically to document progress.

The right professional makes all the difference when you’re ready to fix up your home. If you’re simply tackling your honey-do list, your local handyman can save you time and aggravation. If your home improvement plans involve a major overhaul, a general contractor may be the best way to go.

10 Things Your Remodeling Contractor Wants You to Know

Remodeling contractors are crucial allies in your quest to improve your home. Few homeowners have the time, experience, or ability to do it all themselves. That’s where the remodeling contractor steps in: to organize your home remodel and see it to successful completion.

Remodeling contractors bear more than their share of complaints on online contractor referral sites. Sometimes, these complaints are legitimate. Yet the majority of remodeling contractors are honest, competent, and diplomatic—and they feel that the process could only be improved if clients knew a few important things before signing the contract.

  • 01of 10

    They Would Rather Not Work With Your People

    Male and female construction workers discuss the building plans inside the building site
     Jessie Casson / Getty Images

    You’ve hired the contractor for a full-scale kitchen remodel. The contractor is fully on-board. Then you spring the news that you want your cousin, who is a plumber, to handle the plumbing. And you have an uncle who will handle the electrical work.

    The contractor is a facilitator at the center of a vast group of subcontractors (subs). The contractor has go-to people, and has others in mind as back-ups. Almost as important, the remodeling contractor has a blacklist of problem sub-contractors, a list forged from years of hard knocks.

    By using your uncle to install HVAC, the contractor would be working with someone with whom he or she has no established relationship. Second, the contractor is depriving work from a group of subs who may depend on the contractor for steady work. Third, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not taking advantage of a group of workers who are pre-screened to get the job done.

  • 02of 10

    They Don’t Like Reusing Your Old Stuff

    Home Renovations - Tear Out
     powerofforever / Getty Images

    You just love those knotty pine kitchen cabinets from 1952. So vintage, so romantic, and evocative of a mountain cabin, right? You ask your contractor to pull, refurbish, and reuse them with the remodel.

    One problem with old things, and cabinets in particular, is that they may hold up while in place but fall apart upon removal. Old things have that tendency. Wood flooring cannot be easily removed and reused. Old leaded-glass windows look great but are impractical in the long-term, both from an energy standpoint and for functionality.

    If you do want to reuse an item, factor in the added time and cost (to you) that it will take to shop it out to a qualified professional.

    Contractors only want homeowners to understand the full implication of reusing old, pre-used items. Rather than being a money-saver, it can add more cost than the homeowner expected.

    Keep in mind that some reused old items will not meet modern building codes and will not be approved for use upon inspection. Your contractor will know what can and can’t be reused legally.

    7 Things You Should Know About Vinyl and Laminate Flooring
  • 03of 10

    They Have a Greater Allegiance to Their People Than You

    Foreman discussing plan on laptop with tradesmen at construction site
     Hero Images / Getty Images

    As a client, you’re valuable to the contractor, not just as a source of immediate revenue but for that all-important thing called word-of-mouth. No contractor referral site or advertisement can remotely come close to the value of positive word-of-mouth.

    While that’s true, it’s also true that you’re only a ship in the night compared to their relationships with the trades. Contractors might know you for two months, but often they know their people for years, decades even.

    Should you have a problem with a certain person in the trades, the contractor might go so far as to pull the person from the project, if only to smooth things over with you and keep the project running. But that’s a rarity. Generally, you should have little or no issues with the trades if the contractor feels good enough to work with that person.

  • 04of 10

    They’re Not Trying to Make Extra Work

    Construction worker examining blueprints while working at construction site.
     skynesher / Getty Images

    Suspicious homeowners are sometimes convinced that contractors underbid remodel projects, all the while planning to load up the projects with extra tasks after the contract is signed.

    While some unsavory contractors may do this, it does not represent the norm. In the book Avoiding the Con in ConstructionKia Ricchi reminds us that “change orders can be costly and disruptive.” Really, who wants another change order?

    In a perfect world, contractors would love to have all of the intended work itemized on the contract. Because this is not a perfect world—walls are found to be crumbly when thought to be solid, foundations worse than expected, etc.—change orders exist. Change orders are not to be feared; they are part of normal business when remodeling a house.

  • 05of 10

    They Can Help With Permits but Cannot Work Magic

    Quality Conscious II
     jhorrocks / Getty Images

    Imagine a scenario where a homeowner wants special provisions: “I want to build my addition on a drainage easement, have no receptacles on the kitchen island, and put no windows in my residential basement. Can you get the permit office to approve this?”

    Likely not. Contractors cannot make the permit office bend the rules. Do not ask the contractor to try to do this. Doing so might jeopardize the contractor’s standing with the permit office and might actually result in fines.

    Contractors may have good relationships with the permit office that have often extended for years. One reason for the good relationship is that the contractor doesn’t ask the office to do things that cannot be done.

    However, we live in a social world. Goodwill that the contractor has built up over years of working with permit officers and staff counts, and this is one reason why you hire a contractor: connections.

  • 06of 10

    They Want You to Shop for Contractors

    Engineers and architects handshake. Agreement and are willing to work together.
     undefined undefined / Getty Images

    Client’s words that are music to a contractor’s ears: “I searched the world over and decided on you because I thought you were best suited for my project.”

    No, it’s not a vanity issue for contractors. Instead, the contractor wants to know that you’re settled and confident that the contractor’s company is best for your job. Second-guessing once the project has begun won’t help anyone.

    9 Quick Tips for Hiring and Working with Contractors

  • 07of 10

    The Markup Fee Is Not Negotiable

    Sign here please!
     skynesher / Getty Images

    Those remodeling contractor fees can seem high. Ten-percent? What about 20-percent? Any fee tacked onto an already high budget might seem burdensome. Should you try to bargain down their fee?

    Contractors can be your ally in saving money. Contractors who operate professionally, which describes the majority of them, work in concert with the client, not against. So, with the contractor’s years of experience, the contractor can help identify a myriad of places where you can pare down costs.

    But the contractor’s markup isn’t one of them. If you envision the fee as pure cream, know that only part goes to the contractor as personal income. The contractor also has a business to run, and that pays for the business.

  • 08of 10

    They Like Perfectionist Clients More Than Legal Opponents

    Couple and Builder
     stevecoleimages / Getty Images

    Do you feel like you’re being a nuisance by delivering clear, exact information to the contractor? Are you afraid to add to the punch list that comes at the end of the project, detailing remaining items to be done?

    Do not be afraid to speak the truth. While no contractor likes a client who is impolite, the contractor does want to deal with requests now, long before the project is finished. Resentments that fester and turn into lawsuits help no one. Just be civil and professional about it, and the contractor will, too.

  • 09of 10

    They Want You out of the House

    Man installing thermal roof insulation layer - using mineral wool panels. Attic renovation and insulation concept
     artursfoto / Getty Images

    The contractor is remodeling the entire first floor. Surely you can live on the second floor. Isn’t that why hot plates and microwaves were invented. Doesn’t that bathroom counter have room for a microwave?

    True, it is your house and the contractor will not tell you to vacate your own house. But for big projects, it’s best for everyone if you stay out of the way. It’s a safety issue. It’s a space issue. The farther away you can go, the better.

  • 10of 10

    They Want to Do Business

    Hanging Drywall
    Spencer Pratt / Staff / Getty Images

    Truths and secrets aside, the remodeling contractor wants to do business. Most likely, the contractor wants to do business with you, specifically. As long as you have the kind of job that the contractor is experienced at, and you are easy enough to work with, the contractor will likely want to go ahead.

11 Ways to Build and Maintain Strong Client Relationships

man reading book

Building and maintaining strong client relationships are important for sustainable business growth.  It’s common for business owners to focus their resources on gaining new business. However, you don’t need to rely on gaining new clients to get new projects.  Continuing to work with existing clients can keep your project pipeline full and lead to referrals to other clients.

Once on board, it’s easier for companies to re-engage the same independent talent.  Building a strong relationship with your clients earns their trust and re-engaging you will save them time and money. Once a client knows that you are dependable and can successfully perform the tasks required for a project, they will be more likely to engage you on future projects.

Here are 11 proven ways to build and maintain strong and positive business relationships with your clients:

  1. Focus on communication
  2. Be positive
  3. Treat your client as an individual
  4. Share knowledge
  5. Be open-minded
  6. Exceed expectations
  7. Understand your client’s goals
  8. Speak your client’s language
  9. Stay humble
  10. Use project delivery tools
  11. Develop appreciation

1. Focus on Communication

Timely, efficient communication should be a priority. When everyone is busy focusing on getting work done, communication can fall by the wayside. That’s why it’s important to clearly and consistently communicate throughout the project. Make it clear from the beginning that you will work with your client to develop value statements that align with their business goals and that you will evaluate progress against these agreed-upon value statements as the project progresses.

Of course, communication with a single client should not consistently and unreasonably encroach on your personal time or negatively affect your productivity. However, being available demonstrates that your client’s project and satisfaction are important to you.

In addition to timely and thorough communication, you can also build a strong client relationship by making your clients feel comfortable being open and honest with you. They should feel that their ideas and concerns will be taken seriously.

2. Be Positive

As an independent professional, you carry a number of responsibilities. As stressed out or overwhelmed as you may feel, it’s important to show a positive face to your clients. Exude the energy and confidence that you want your clients to feel about your work. Enthusiasm and zeal are attractive personality traits that people enjoy being around and that clients enjoy working with.

3. Treat Your Client as an Individual

While your relationship with your client is of a professional nature, acknowledging that you see them as a person—that is, more than just a paycheck—can go a long way. The extent to which this personal connection is appropriate will vary depending on your industry, client type, and the individual client’s personality. If you know your client is a parent, you may simply ask how their children are doing. If you have a closer relationship with your client, something more personal such as emailing them a news article about their favorite musician might be appropriate and appreciated.

4. Share Knowledge

If your client doesn’t understand your area of expertise, they may feel ignorant about the intricacies of the process and therefore disconnected from the development of the project. This is your opportunity to share information that will help the client understand what you do, which will build trust and confidence in the process. Explaining to your client what you did, why you did it, and how you came to your decision will help them feel knowledgeable and in the loop.

5. Be Open-Minded

In order to build strong and lasting client relationships, they must be able to trust and rely on you as an expert. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain a policy of openness when it comes to your professional opinions and point of view regarding the best interests of the project. It can be tempting to want to appear agreeable and avoid uncomfortable confrontation by telling a client what you think they want to hear or withholding your true opinion about their project.

However, these practices are not only counterproductive but can also damage your reputation, decreasing your chances of a lasting relationship. By confidently expressing your honest opinions, clients will respect your initiative and desire for excellence.

6. Exceed Expectations

One of the best ways to help build strong client relationships is to develop a reputation as an independent professional who delivers exceptional results. Make sure that you don’t oversell yourself and promise unrealistic results. By setting reasonable expectations, you give yourself the opportunity to completely impress the client with the final project and position yourself as someone they would like to continue to work with.

7. Understand Your Client’s Goals

To succeed, you’ll need to understand your client on both a micro and macro level. On the micro level, you’ll want to understand the goals and objectives for the project at hand. But on the macro level, you’ll want to understand how this project fits into the organization as a whole, as well as any key details about the client’s culture that might help you in your engagement. The ability to understand your client’s goals will help to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect.

8. Speak Your Client’s Language

Successful consultants can adapt to their client’s style, formality, and preferred method of communication, instead of sticking only with the tools where they may feel most comfortable. For example, your client may prefer video meetings or choose to text message instead of email.

As Matthew Small, Customer Experience Specialist, put it, “Every interaction needs to be modified to accommodate that particular person—everyone communicates differently! Some individuals just want facts, while others are more conversational. The key is flexibility: don’t go into a conversation with a pre-determined dialogue, but have a set strategy of what you hope to learn in the interaction.”

Tap into your emotional intelligence by getting a feel for why the customer feels and/or approaches situations in a certain way, and try to tailor your communications and engagement accordingly.

9. Stay Humble

You were hired for your expertise, but any good consultant knows that the client is the expert on their specific business. Maybe they know the best way to approach a key stakeholder or have a specific insight into their market positioning that can help you achieve your project’s objectives.

Defer to your client as the expert on their specific company and line of business, remaining humble in your line of inquiry about how to best approach the problem and the solution in a way that will work for their company.

10. Use Project Delivery Tools

Organizing project delivery is key to making a positive impression on clients. Use tools that help you deliver your work professionally from beginning to ends, such as a project proposal, contract, SOW, client reports, and a professional invoice. These tools can help increase your level of professionalism and business skills as well as provide transparency and tracking of your project.

Consider your client and determine what would be valuable to them. It could be as simple as delivering the project in an aesthetically pleasing format, hand-delivering the materials and giving an in-depth walkthrough or demonstration, or including a small value-adding feature that enhances the finished results. For loyal clients, a token of appreciation and thanks after key business milestones or around the holidays can be an unexpected pleasure that strengthens your professional relationship. The key is to find the opportunity to go above and beyond in a manner that your clients will appreciate.

11. Develop Appreciation

While establishing client boundaries is important, there are times when going above and beyond can help your business. Keep limits in place, but be on the lookout for moments when you can go the extra mile.

If you’ve been in the business for years, it can be easy to get stuck with old habits. Instead, consider each client situation individually, and don’t be afraid to adjust your work processes. Some clients may really value hands-on access and want to be included in each stage of your process, whereas others may simply prefer a written, detailed weekly summary of what you’ve accomplished.

Remember, communication is key to establishing a trustworthy relationship; talk to your clients to get a feel for what they value most and then incorporate their preferences into your workflow. A little bit of thoughtful listening can go far in building respect and appreciation.

Benefits Of A Locally Owned Plumbing Company

Plumbing is one of the most essential aspects of any home improvement project. So, when it comes to choosing a good plumbing company to take care of your plumbing issues, there are certain things that you should do in order to get the best services available. You must always opt for a company that could offer the best value for your money. It is imperative for a good plumbing company to have the necessary certifications in order to perform the construction plumbing in their area along with establishing reliable relationships with the local plumbing suppliers. Marklein Plumbing is one of the leading plumbing companies in Rancho Bernardo that offers an exclusive range of first-rate plumbing solutions to customers. Although the process of selecting the best plumbing company could be stressful, you must think about the advantages of services that come along with a reputable locally-owned plumbingBenefits Of A Locally-owned Plumbing Company In Wollongong | Blogging Heros company.

24-Hour Service

A good locally-owned plumbing company offers 24-hour services to its customers. Such companies are considered to be a valuable asset to commercial plumbing because customers can call them for emergency repairs even during the odd hours of the night. There is no wonder that sometimes, the plumbing systems break down during ungodly hours, and this is when a good plumbing company can respond promptly to the needs of its customers with its reliable plumbing services.

Guaranteed Plumbing Services

It is one of the major benefits of a locally owned plumbing company. A good plumbing company will offer a service guarantee, thereby allowing its customers to demand a follow-up inspection in case of any problem with the installation or repairing of their plumbing system. The service guarantee is completely free for a certain period of time, and hence, it can help customers save money.

Reasonable Service Charges

Hiring a locally owned plumbing company could offer you a complete range of high-grade plumbing services at reasonable costs, thereby offering you the best value for your money. Certain companies use the latest plumbing technology to deal with plumbing problems, and therefore, they quote a higher price for their services. However, you must remember to never compromise with the quality of these services for the sake of low prices.

Choose The Right Locally Owned Plumbing Company For Your Next Issue

A locally owned plumbing company can easily deal with all types of plumbing issues with its prompt, trustable, and high-standard services. So, with the never-ending benefits of expert and dependable plumbing services, you can consider hiring from among the top-rated plumbing companies in Rancho Bernardo such as Marklein Plumbing for your next plumbing issue. You can also fill out the form provided below to get in touch with our experienced team of professionals and seek help for all your plumbing problems.

Tips For Hiring a Plumber for Home Remodeling Projects

Plumber working on a project

The necessity for plumbing  work often drives homeowners to pick up the wrench and do the work by themselves. And while you can probably install your own toilet or put in a new sink, a professional, licensed plumber is invaluable for helping with more difficult projects like creating a new bathroom, plumbing a laundry room, adding a shower or bathroom, or running plumbing to a new or remodeled kitchen.

Understand Emergency vs. Remodel or New Plumbing

Those ads, commercials, and trucks you might see all around town advertising plumbing work on-call are likely advertising for emergency plumbing, rather than scheduled remodel or new plumbing work. Knowing the difference between the two types of plumbing work will save you considerable money.

Emergency Plumbing

Emergency plumbers show up at your door quickly—usually within an hour or two—and take care of burst pipes, overflowing toilets, balky showers, and clogged bathtubs. Emergency plumbing work is valuable because it is a fast solution to a big problem. Emergency plumbers are expensive but usually worth it: The cost of fixing a ceiling, replacing flooring, or repairing the lower half of your walls’ drywall typically far exceeds the cost of even the most expensive emergency plumber.Expert Residential Plumbing Company | CBUS Home Improvement Ohio

Remodeling or New-Construction Plumbing

When you need to put in a toilet, shower, or bathtub or need to plumb an entire kitchen or bathroom and time is not of the essence, you will schedule a plumber for remodeling or new-construction plumbing work. What you want is a plumber who will come prepared on an assigned date and perform the work, following a pre-determined estimate. Usually, the cost for scheduled work will differ from on-demand, emergency work. Often, plumbing companies that advertise as emergency plumbers will do scheduled remodel work, as well.

Check the Plumber’s State Licensing

Check your state’s licensing website to see if a plumber is licensed and has any pending or resolved complaints. If a plumber is licensed, that is not a recommendation from the licensing body; it just means that the plumber has satisfied the minimum requirements to become licensed and to remain licensed.Expert Residential Plumbing Company | CBUS Home Improvement Ohio

Create a Plumbing Plan

Make a solid plumbing plan before calling the plumber. The plan does not need to be refined down to types and sizes of pipe and fittings since the plumber will do that. But you do need to know what you want the final result to be. If the project is small enough, the plumber will likely arrive ready to work.

Remain Flexible

Having a solid idea of your plumbing project is only a start. Besides the physical labor provided by the plumber, experience and advice are the other advantages of hiring a plumber rather than doing it yourself. Be flexible and listen to the plumber.

Make a Spreadsheet for Your Estimates

When calling plumbing companies, be sure that you are ready to ask the right questions:

  • Hourly rates
  • Rates for non-plumbing tasks such as opening up a wall
  • Is the customer charged while plumber waits for on-site delivery of parts
  • Bonding
  • If the plumber will obtain a permit for you
  • Projected start dates

    Obtain a Plumbing Permit

    Assuming that the plumber is not obtaining the permit for you, obtain the plumbing permit as early as you can. You can usually complete the entire process online. With a permit started, work can then begin. Inspectors will check the plumber’s work upon completion. If the work is satisfactory, the permit is “finalled” or approved.Plumber in Cleveland Ohio | Plumbing Repair Service | Plumber

    Buy Your Own Plumbing Fixtures

    Plumbers supply pipes, valves, and other parts responsible for moving water in or out of your house. As for toilets, sinks, fixtures, bathtubs, and showers, you or your general contractor will be responsible for supplying these items.

    Prepare the Job Site for the Plumber

    Avoid having your expensive plumber wasting valuable time and money by opening up walls, clearing crawlspaces, and lighting dark basements. Even if you think that the plumber should do this, do this for them. The quicker you can get the plumber to the actual plumbing work, the faster the project will go.

    Remain Near the Job Site During Work

    Remain out of sight but within calling distance for questions from the plumber. Most plumbers will tolerate some hovering from the customer. But too much hovering can distract the plumber, extending project time, and costing more money.