Design it out: Improve communication

Designers and fitters need to communicate better says former CIPHE president Paul William

02 Jan, 19

Design it out: Improve communication 1Former president of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers (CIPHE) Paul Willams says designers and fitters need to improve communication to create the best bathrooms

In the first of a new, regular series of features, we ask installers what are the most common issues they encounter with bathroom designers’ plans.

We find out what designers need to consider, at the initial stages, to avoid fitting issues and possible snagging later down the line.

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Paul Williams says, first and foremost, communication is vital between fitters and designers to create beautiful and functional bathrooms.

“I have fitted bathrooms for over 20 years and, on average, I was installing 35-40 bathrooms a year. During that time I found bathroom designers don’t understand the plumbing side of the business.

“They can specify products that just aren’t suitable for the project, and it can result in a total redesign at times.

“Bathroom designers don’t necesssarily understand the complexities of plumbing and all the work that goes into installing one of their projects.

“I’ve had designers say ‘you should do this in three days’, and I’ve replied ‘try a fortnight to three weeks’.

“I don’t think designers need to be taught all the intricacies of plumbing but they need to know the basics.

“I should add a common problem in the plumbing industry is the fitter may not be familiar with, or understand, the product.

“With the increased use of plastic push-fit pipe, and consumers wanting cheaper installations, skilled plumbers may be replaced by general labourers who have the attitute ‘if if fits in, it works’.

“I’m not going to defend mistakes made by designers but you may have an installer who doesn’t understand what they want or what they are trying to achieve.

“I find there is often not enough communication to clear the air.

“There definately needs to be better communication from the designer to the installer, and back again.

“That way will provide the most efficient fit, not to mention the best results for overall looks.

“I once had a customer complain to me about the pipework going to the toilet because there wasn’t any shown on the toilet in the bathroom showroom display.

“So issues with bathroom fits can be caused by a lack of communication between installers, designers, and their customers!”