7 Tips For Owner Builders

building site

Much of our work in Ballarat lately has been with owner builders who are either building from scratch or doing major renovations.

Here is our quick guide for owner builders with regards to organising the plumbing.

1. Your Availability

The first step is being extremely organised and available. If you’re owner builder then regular meetings with all the trades involved is important for the progress of your project. Your availability for receiving deliveries is also important. Before you even contemplate being an owner builder beware it can sap your time and energy and you don’t want to be the cause of any delays.

2. Budgeting

Make sure you have enough funds to see the project through. If you are  managing the project and are new to building then it might be a good idea to get a couple of quotes from builders. Builders will generally add a mark up for plumbers, electricians and carpenters (upwards of 20%) as a management fee. All trades expect to be paid for work to date.

3. Planning For Success

Planning is one of the most vital areas whether it’s a small renovation job or you have plans from an architect. As tradesman we need to see the plans regularly especially if there are any updates so make sure they are accessible via email and onsite. This also includes scheduling – who is doing what and when!

4. Building A Team

Building a team of compatible tradies will ensure your build will go smoothly. Many times we have seen pipes drilled through and drainage damaged by low quality trades people. We need to work together and communicate effectively with one another so choose experienced tradesman that will support you and each other. We can help you with recommendationms with other tradies we have worked with in the past.

Make sure your team is licensed, has insurance and check out a few references.

5. Plumbing Products & Materials

PCA is the Plumbing Code Of Australia requires that certain plumbing and drainage products and materials are certified materials and authorised to be used in a plumbing or drainage installation.
They have a scheme called Watermark that ensure plumbing products and materials are fit for purpose. If you have bought some dodgy taps from Ebay that aren’t certified no reputable plumber will install them.

6. The Little Things

Its important to be on the ball so laminated site plans onsite, a list of the trades working on site with their contact details and organised onsite access are some of the small things that will immediately make your project run smoothly. In fact its a good idea to ask your team of tradies what they need to make sure your project runs on time and within your budget.

7. Choosing The Right Plumber

Nearly all plumbing work requires its own license whether its gas-fitting, sewerage, roofing, hot water systems and so on. Make sure you choose a plumber that can do the work from the kerb to the roof so you are not left short.(we can help you here) It’s more efficient to have one plumbing company do all the work than add to the burden of multiple providers

Building your own home or major renovations can be hugely rewarding both physically and financially and give you a great return on your time and energy. If you are inexperienced then we can advice you on how to save money and the best way of proceeding. Planning is the key! Contact Wayne Castleman today with a brief description of your project.


Roof Plumbing & Guttering

colorbond roof gutters

I often get asked why you need a licensed plumber to work on roofing and guttering so Ill expand on this and explain why its necessary to get the experts in if your looking to get any work done on your home.

As plumbers we need to understand how water behaves under different conditions such as wind, heat and cold. We also need to know roofing principals and to know how to work safely at heights.

A licensed plumber must understand stormwater disposal and the construction, installation, repair and maintenance of roofing, flashing and drainage systems. This includes installing:

    • eaves gutters
    • downpipes
    • box gutters, outlets, overflows, rain heads and sumps
    • drains above ground and downpipes for the roof drainage system
    • flashings such as soaker, step, apron, valley, ridge, pressure and side flashings
    • flash penetrations to fixtures such as vent pipes, skylights, air conditioning units, flues and exhaust fans
    • rainwater tanks to collect drinking water
    • laying and securing metal roof sheeting safely
    • leaf gutter guard installation and advice
    • low maintenance metal fascia covering

As you can see a roofing plumber has got to know their stuff!

Checking your roof and guttering regularly is a good idea. Catching small issues can prevent future expensive repairs.

Be on the lookout for the following:

  • rotten timber fascia
  • blocked gutters and downpipes
  • eave damage
  • termite infestation
  • rusty box guttering
  • roof leaks
  • water damage to your garden

If you are looking to completely replace your roof and guttering the most popular roofing products today are from colorbond. They have over 20 colours to choose from as well as matching fascia, downpipes, flashing, spouting and guttering.

Whether its your business premises or your home we can provide you with a comprehensive quote on your roofing and guttering especially if you’re renovating or looking to replace your roof. Remember your roofing and guttering are there to protect your biggest asset so make sure you get a licensed plumber to help you (like us!).

Wayne Castleman Plumbing PH: 0417 531 592

Reclaim Co2 Heat Pumps

reclaim energy

Heat Pumps Save Energy – Saving You Money!

A heat pump with a hot water system? Normally heat pumps are associated with heating or cooling your home so how does it work with a hot water system. Let’s find out.

Hot Water Heat Pump. How It Works.

A Reclaim Energy heat pump system works by absorbing ambient heat from the surrounding air and transfer this heat to your hot water system. This is quite high end technology and here’s how it works:

  • heat is transferred from the surrounding air using a heat absorbing, ozone friendly refrigerant.
  • the heat  flows to a compressor which converts the heat to a high temperature gas
  • from here its sent to a condenser and water heat exchanger and bingo you have hot water in your tank.

Because ambient heat from the surrounding air is used which of course is free you can save up to 80% of your hot water energy costs every year. This is because 1kW of electrical input generates about 5kW of thermal output which is extremely efficient compared to your standard hot water system

Heat Pump Features &  Benefits

Here’s a list of features and benefits that you can take advantage of this technology:

  • As the systems are environmentally friendly and comparable to solar , government rebates and incentives are available.
  • Its whisper quiet so no clanging or banging to annoy the household
  • Various hot water tank options are available to suit your needs
  • If space is an issue the heat pump can be located up to 10 metres horizontally (5metres vertically) apart from the hot water tank making it a flexible installation.
  • The Reclaim Energy heat pump has a smart controller giving you these options (quoted from the Reclaim Energy website:Option 1 – a default mode that runs the system 24/7, turning on and off through the thermostat.Option 2 – Off Peak 1 Mode commences at 2200 hours (10pm) and remains active for 9 hours.

    Option 3 – Off Peak 2 Mode commences at 2400 hours (12 am) and remains active for 6 hours.

    Option 4 – a preset mode for customers with PV systems. The system will receive power from the time of day that the PV system is producing power. 10am for a period of 5 hours, or until System has reached 60°C. The PV system creates power and feeds the CO2 Heat Pump to heat the water for free, instead of going back into the grid.

    Option 5 – allows the setting of boosting times based on custom requirements.

As you can see with a residential or commercial heat pump system you can save on your energy bills, installation is easy and you have plenty of options when it comes to controlling how much your system is used and when.

The best thing you can do now is call Wayne Castleman Ph: 0417 531 592 to quote on installing one of these energy efficient hot water systems.