Providing Plumbing Solutions Since 1986

Full Home Underground and
Above-Ground Rough-In of Drains,
Vents and Waterlines

What is a Rough-In?

This is the above-ground work of planning and preparing and laying out all of the plumbing water lines, drains, drain pipes, and plumbing vents for the entire house. Most of this work begins in the basement. In homes with no basement, the rough-ins begin below ground, before the slab foundation is poured. Rough-ins are the next stage in the building process after the home’s water and main drain service lines have been installed and connected to municipal services, or in a rural setting, installed and connected to the water source (lake, well, river, etc) and the septic system.

What’s Involved?

Plumbing lines, hot and cold water pipes, run from the main water supply coming into the house to the fixtures. Final hook-up to fixtures occurs later in the process. Drain pipes will also need to be laid out and installed, from the main sewer line branching out to each fixture that uses water. The final connection to the fixtures will be completed later in the process. Most of the rough-in work is hidden from view within the walls and under the floors.

Plumbing Vents

The vent is a vital part of the home’s plumbing. It connects to the drain system and extends through the roof via a vertical pipe which is called a vent stack. Every plumbing fixture needs a vent. The vent is roughed in from the fixture, a toilet for example, and hidden in the walls where it
can’t be seen unless viewing the roof from outside the home. The vent removes sewer gas and helps the waste water drain faster.


Before any of the drywall can be installed on the walls of a new home or flooring is finished, all of the fixtures will need to be selected. Choose the style of plumbing fixture, colour, and size. Make sure they are all CSA approve fixtures and have brand names. Order ahead to determine the availability of a product, and if there are supply shortages or shipping delays to delivery. It’s best to have all of the plumbing fixtures in place before rough-ins begin. The choice of fixtures determines the type, size, and location of the water lines, drain pipes, and vents.

Size Matters

The size of the water line depends on the fixture it is serving. A dishwasher, for example, has a different water line than a faucet. A rain head body shower requires a different size water line than a faucet even if it is the same bathroom. Drain pipes are larger than water lines and sizes change with the fixture and water flow.


Drains and sewage/wastewater lines will be required for every plumbing fixture. The pipes run from each fixture and connect to the main drain line. The main drain line runs outside the home, underground, to connect to the municipal main drain/sewer system. In rural areas, the drains and sewer lines are part of a septic system.

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Drawings, Permits, Inspections

Drawings will need to be submitted to the city’s building and water departments before any permits can be issued. Once the drawings are complete, indicating the location of all the plumbing lines, drain pipes, and vents, the builder or architect will apply for a permit for the rough-in work to begin. Installation and final hookups are done by a licensed plumber such as Plumbtech Plumbing in Barrie. After the rough-in work is completed, an inspection will need to be arranged. The last step is to connect all plumbing lines, drain pipes, and vents to the individual fixtures and test them to ensure all is in working order.

Plumbing Connections

Just as a certain level of expertise is required for builders, contractors, and architects, the same is true of plumbers. If the rough-ins are not done properly there will be trouble with the water system, ranging from leaks to blocked drains. It’s best to have a qualified licensed plumber do the rough-ins, installation, hookups, and any finishing plumbing. It will ensure quality throughout the process.

Call Plumbtech

Plumbtech Plumbing has plenty of expertise and experience with all phases of plumbing for new homes. The Barrie-based company has been in business for more than 35 years, serving the plumbing needs of Barrie, Simcoe, Muskoka, and Parry Sound areas. For a free estimate, call 705-722-7209.

We pride ourselves on being the local plumbers Barrie and area property owners trust.

Contact us for all your plumbing needs.

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