How Plumbers Can Take Advantage of Uptick in Home Renovations

Increased downtime during the pandemic has more homeowners taking on remodeling projects that have long been on the to-do list. Here are ways that you can turn this trend into work for your company.

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How Plumbers Can Take Advantage of Uptick in Home Renovations

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With safety guidelines calling for homeowners to stay indoors during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many used the downtime to tackle or manage home renovation and design projects themselves.

Recent studies have shown that home improvement projects are on the rise. According to a study by Houzz, 52% of homeowners who were in the midst of a renovation when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic continued with their plans. Additionally, of the 79% of homeowners who reported adding renovation projects to their wish list, nine out of 10 plan to fulfill their plans after the pandemic. 

What home renovations are they taking on? Aside from outdoor projects, Houzz survey respondents named master bathroom and kitchen remodeling as their top priorities. During the first three weeks of stay-at-home orders, there was a 76% surge in Google search volume for building products related to kitchen and bath, according to HIRI, the Home Improvement Research Institute

As homeowners plan for more renovations in the coming months, they still need to rely on professionals. Even during the pandemic, homeowners need the expertise of plumbers to complete renovation jobs. And with more people at home, there is more scheduling flexibility for professionals. 

With all of this in mind, here are some services you can market to your customers right now:

1. Bathroom or kitchen renovations

Most major renovations require moving existing plumbing or expanding it, so this is a great job for your crew to pick up. Offer customer-centric services designed to create a solid foundation so homeowners can avoid mishaps or dangers. 

One of the most common DIY plumbing mistakes is mismatching pipe materials and fittings, and subsequently, installing them incorrectly. Assure customers your team can save them a headache and plumbing issues down the road with your expertise.

Many homeowners also tend not to realize bathroom or kitchen renovations require a permit before getting started, which, to many, is overwhelming or intimidating. Educate your customers and help them secure permits and take necessary precautions. Guide them through any building codes or regulations they’re unfamiliar with. Your guidance will demonstrate commitment to safety and quality work, identifying you as a reliable professional they can call for future repairs or renovations.

2. Extensive pipe leaks

Even if they may seem like an easy fix, most pipe leaks should be done by a professional, especially ones that are behind the wall. 

Emphasize to customers that pipe leaks are often a result of a bigger issue, such as a drain leak that is either behind the wall or under the surface. Although homeowners can typically make temporary fixes, professional services are required for long-term solutions.

Additionally, extensive pipe leaks tend to require products or tools homeowners don’t have. Build trust by taking the time to explain to customers what you’re doing and why before promoting additional services. Demonstrate that working with a plumber can save them time and money, and cross-sell for future opportunities. And since they are already doing renovations, recommend the installation of a smart leak detection device to help protect them against future leaks. 

3. Replacing a water shut-off valve

Since this is a job most homeowners can go years without worrying about, proactively bring this to their attention. When creating a renovation project to-do list, this can (and in many cases should) be added. 

If you’re looking to take on this job, find out which customers might need this service. Talk to your current customers — or reach out to prospects — who own older homes. Chances are, they also have older, copper pipes, making them perfect candidates. Offer an inspection or consultation to first determine the state of the pipes. 

Still uncertain about at-home visits? Adapt. Use Zoom or other virtual solutions. Whether you’re conducting a socially distant in-person meeting or a virtual consultation, offer knowledge and services to help them identify the right tools and products and to establish a good project flow. 

4. Installing or repairing underground waterlines

Depending on the home, underground waterline installations or repairs can be extensive. Some may require cutting pipes, while others may require products homeowners don’t readily have available. 

Outdoor jobs are sometimes an easier sell, as they can be completed using safe social distancing in an open area. While you’re working on this, proactively offer to inspect customers’ current waterline situation and then make repair recommendations if needed. 

While providing a consultation, tout the ways you and your team make the job easier. Most homeowners aren’t familiar with permits, so show off customer service skills by helping to determine what’s needed to file necessary paperwork. Serve as an expert consultant. Demonstrate specialized services, such as camera inspections to examine the pipes, to show homeowners you’re needed to effectively complete the job.

While homeowners are busy lining up tasks to accomplish, so should you. Use this time to be proactive by recommending these services to benefit both you and your customers. 


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