How To Start A Plumbing Business

Photo of author

By Sam

So you want to start your own plumbing business? That’s great! This can be a very lucrative and rewarding career. However, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. This guide will walk you through creating your own plumbing business from scratch. We’ll cover everything from licensing and permits to marketing and financing. By the end of this guide, you’ll have more knowledge on how to start a plumbing business.

Laying the Pipes for Success: A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Plumbing Entrepreneurs

Embarking on a journey to start a plumbing business involves more than just technical know-how—it requires understanding the market landscape, emerging trends, and the regulatory environment. Here’s a fluid guide to help entrepreneurs tap into the plumbing industry.

Current Market Analysis: Flowing with Opportunity The plumbing industry is a staple in the construction sector and essential for residential and commercial maintenance. According to a report by IBISWorld, the plumbing industry in the United States has a market size of $124 billion as of 2023. This reflects the industry’s stability and importance in the overall economy.

Overall Trends: The Current that Drives Demand There’s a growing trend towards sustainable and water-efficient plumbing systems driven by environmental concerns and the desire to reduce water bills. Additionally, the rise in new housing construction and renovation projects continues to spur demand for plumbing services.

Technological Trends: Innovations in the Pipeline Advancements in technology are shaping the plumbing industry. Video inspection for pipes, trenchless pipe repair, and smart home water systems are examples of tech improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. Plumbing businesses that adopt these technologies may gain a competitive edge.

Consumer Preferences: The Drip Feed of Demand Consumers increasingly seek reliable, timely, cost-effective plumbing services. There’s also a preference for plumbers who can provide eco-friendly options and educate them on water conservation practices.

Market Size and Potential: Gauging the Waters The plumbing industry is expected to continue growing, with forecasts suggesting a steady increase in demand. Entrepreneurs entering the market can find opportunities in urban and rural areas, mainly if they offer specialized services.

Regulatory and Legal Considerations: Keeping the Pressure Regulated Plumbing is a highly regulated trade, requiring licensure in most regions to ensure that work meets safety and building code standards. Entrepreneurs must stay informed about the National Uniform Plumbing Code, local regulations, and environmental laws that affect how plumbing work is conducted.

Growth Rate: The Steady Stream of Expansion The plumbing industry’s growth rate has been positive, with an annualized rate of 2.6% from 2018 to 2023, according to IBISWorld. This trend will continue as infrastructure ages and the need for water-efficient systems rises.

For entrepreneurs considering starting a plumbing business, the outlook is promising. However, success hinges on understanding the market dynamics, keeping up with technological advancements, adhering to regulations, and catering to consumer preferences. With the right approach, your plumbing business can flourish in a market that shows no signs of drying up.

Tapping into Success: Selecting a Profitable Plumbing Niche

When starting a plumbing business, honing in on a specific niche can be a game-changer. Specializing allows you to target particular customer needs, making your business the go-to for those services. Here’s a breakdown of various plumbing niches to help you find the right fit for your entrepreneurial ambitions.

1. Residential Plumbing Services: Focus on home plumbing needs, from fixing leaks to installing new fixtures. This niche requires good customer service skills and the ability to handle various small to medium-sized jobs.

2. Commercial Plumbing Contracts: Specialize in plumbing services for businesses, large buildings, or complexes. This niche often involves more extensive projects and may require a team capable of managing multiple large-scale jobs.

3. Eco-Friendly and Green Plumbing: Offer services focusing on water conservation and environmentally friendly solutions. This niche is growing due to increased environmental awareness and can include installing low-flow fixtures and rainwater harvesting systems.

4. High-End and Luxury Installations: Cater to the high-end market with luxury plumbing installations, such as designer fixtures and custom bathrooms. This niche requires a keen eye for design and detail.

5. Emergency Plumbing Services: Provide 24/7 emergency services for urgent plumbing issues. This niche demands quick response times and the ability to troubleshoot and resolve problems quickly.

6. New Construction Plumbing: Work with builders and contractors to install plumbing in new homes and buildings. This niche requires knowledge of construction practices and the ability to work on a timeline with other trades.

7. Remodeling and Renovation Plumbing: Specialize updating and upgrading existing plumbing systems. This niche can be particularly lucrative with bathroom or kitchen remodeling projects.

8. Smart Home Plumbing Integration: Offer installation and maintenance of smart plumbing technology, such as leak detection systems and automated water heaters. This niche is ideal if you’re tech-savvy and interested in the latest home technology trends.

9. Specialty Piping Services: Provide services that require specific expertise, like installing and repairing gas lines or radiant heating systems. This niche requires specialized knowledge and certification.

10. Water Treatment and Purification: Specialize in systems that improve water quality, such as water softeners, filters, and purification systems. This niche meets the growing demand for better home water quality.

When choosing your niche, consider factors such as your expertise, the demand in your area, the level of competition, and your interests. It’s also important to consider the niche’s scalability and whether it aligns with long-term market trends. By selecting a niche that matches your strengths and fills a market gap, you’ll set your plumbing business up for a flow of opportunities and a steady stream of success.

SWOT Analysis of the Plumbing Business

Before starting any business, it’s essential to do a SWOT analysis. This will help you determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your business. Let’s take a closer look at each one:


  • You have experience in the plumbing industry.
  • You have a strong network of contacts in the industry.
  • You are knowledgeable about the latest plumbing technology and trends.


  • You do not have much experience in business ownership or management.
  • You do not have much money to invest in your business.


  • The demand for plumbing services is always high.
  • There is a lot of room for growth and expansion in the industry.
  • You can use your experience and knowledge to differentiate your business from others.


  • There is a lot of competition in the plumbing industry.
  • The cost of plumbing supplies and equipment can be expensive.
  • There is a risk of injuries when working with plumbing tools and equipment.

Now that you understand the SWOT analysis for starting a plumbing business, let’s move on to the next step.

What It Takes To Start A Plumbing Business

So you want to start a plumbing business? Great! There are a few things you’ll need to do to get started.

The first step is to research the industry and learn as much as you can about it. This includes understanding your area’s regulations and licensing requirements and the competition. You’ll also need to develop a business plan and get financing. This will include setting up a website and marketing your business. Finally, you’ll need to find a good location for your plumbing business and stock up on supplies.

Licensing And Permits

Go ahead and determine what licenses and permits you need. The most common permits are for the business license and business in the city or municipality where you will work. You may also need a contractor’s license, depending on the type of work you will be doing.

Be sure to research the requirements for each license and permit, as they can vary from state to state and even city to city. You can usually find this information on your area’s governing body’s website.

Once you have all the necessary licenses and permits, keep them up-to-date and always have them on hand when you are working.

Choosing The Right Location For Your Business

When starting your own plumbing business, one of the most important decisions you will make is where to locate your new venture. You need to consider a few key things when making this decision.

Proximity To Your Target Market

One of essential factors in choosing a location for your plumbing business is its proximity to your target market. If you are targeting homeowners, you’ll want to be located near residential areas. If you are targeting businesses, you’ll want to be located near commercial districts.

Availability Of Skilled Manpower

Another essential factor to consider is the availability of trained plumbing professionals in the area. You don’t want to set up shop in an area without qualified workers.

Consider the Cost of Living and Business Costs

What about the cost of living and doing business in that area? You’ll want to find an area that offers a good quality of life for you and your employees while being affordable for your business.

Think About Your Future Goals

When choosing a location for your plumbing business, think about your future goals for the company. Do you see yourself expanding into other areas? If so, you’ll want to choose a location that offers easy access to other parts of the country or world.

How To Start A Plumbing Business - Imae from pixabay by Dyanap

Access To Other Parts Of The Country Or World

Plumbing locations are often chosen based on the availability of resources and the distance to other parts of the country or world. For example, a company might decide to locate in a city with an ample water supply to quickly get the water they need for their business. Additionally, if a company needs to import goods from other countries, they might choose to locate in a city with an airport or seaport so that it is easy to get the goods they need.

Quality Of Life For You And Your Employees. 

Quality of life is essential for both my employees and me. Having a good quality of life means maintaining a healthy work/life balance. This means having enough time to spend with my family and friends and plenty of time to enjoy hobbies and other interests. It’s also important to me to feel mentally and physically, which means having good health, a positive work environment, and enough financial security to feel comfortable and content.

For employees, having a good quality of life means feeling appreciated and valued by their employer, having access to training and development opportunities, and enjoying a positive work environment. Employees with a good quality of life are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work, ultimately benefiting the company. 

Equipment And Supplies You’ll Need

A plumbing company needs business tools to ensure smooth operations and meet customer demands and service levels. 

For instance, plumbing companies need HVAC estimating apps to create estimates and bid packages and connect estimating to other business workflows effortlessly.  

You also need a business software program to centralize and manage all digital assets for easy and secure access and analysis. Plumbing business software lets you seamlessly upload digital files, track bookings, manage documents, assign tasks, and communicate seamlessly with field service employees. So, having a project management tool that allows you to perform this task would be great. 

And you’ll need plumbing equipment and supplies for your business, which include the following:

1. Plumbing tools – You’ll need a basic set of tools, including wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.

2. Pipe cutter – A pipe cutter is used to cut pipes. It is a handheld tool with a blade inserted into the pipe. The pipe cutter is then turned around the circumference of the pipe to cut it.

3. Hacksaw – The hacksaw is used to cut through metal. It has a thin, sharp blade that can easily cut through metal. This makes it the perfect tool for plumbing, which is removing the burrs from metal. Using the hacksaw, you can quickly and easily remove the burrs from your metal pieces.

4. Tubing cutter – A tubing cutter is needed for cutting copper tubing.

5. Soldering iron and solder – Soldering is necessary for connecting copper tubing.

6. Teflon tape – Teflon tape in plumbing is to help create a watertight seal between the male and female fittings. This helps prevent any leaks from occurring and keeps the fluid flowing through the line smoothly.

7. Pipe dope – In plumbing, pipe dope is a sealant to prevent leaks. It is a viscous, sticky substance that is applied to threaded joints before they are joined. Pipe dope forms a tight seal and prevents water from leaking through the joint.

As you can see, the business tools, plumbing equipment, and supplies you’ll need can cost you a hefty amount. But investing in high-quality tools and equipment can help you provide the best plumbing services to your clients. So, it’s important to prioritize quality over the upfront cost because you’ll save money in the long term and acquire more customers for your plumbing business. 

When procuring tools, equipment, and suppliers, research on different vendors. Check their offerings and services from verified customers and credible review sites. You can also obtain expert recommendations from plumbing organizations and seasoned plumbing professionals.  

Marketing Your Plumbing Business

Now that you have created a plan for marketing your plumbing business, it is time to implement it. One of the best ways to market your business is through online marketing. This can include creating a website, optimizing your website for search engines, and using online advertising.

Don’t forget to promote your plumbing business across your social media channels to reach more residential customers. You can create a plumbing business page to boost your online presence and communicate with potential customers seeking plumbing services.

Another great way to market your plumbing business is through word-of-mouth. Ensure you provide excellent service so your customers will happily recommend you to their friends and family. You can also hand out business cards or flyers to promote your business.

Finally, participate in local events and networking groups where potential customers are likely to be. Attend trade shows, community events, and other functions that would be relevant to your target market. Get involved in the community and tell people about your services.

Financing Your Plumbing Business

  • You may want to start your plumbing business with some of your own money. This can be done by saving up or by using assets you already have.
  • You could also get a loan from a bank or other lender. This can be a good option if you have a good credit score and can provide a solid business plan.
  • Another option is to look into getting funding from investors. This can be a good start, especially if you lack the capital. However, you must give up some business owners to get investors’ funding.

Starting a plumbing business can be a great way to earn an income and provide a valuable service to your community by choosing the right location, equipment, and marketing strategy. Remember to think about your future goals for the company and how you see it expanding. With a solid plan, financing your plumbing business should be easy.

Plumbing the Depths: Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Plumbing Business

Starting a plumbing business can be a rewarding venture, but it’s essential to understand what the business entails clearly. Here’s a comprehensive analysis of the likes and dislikes of running a plumbing enterprise to help entrepreneurs gauge whether this is the right path.

What We Like About the Plumbing Business:

  1. Essential Services: Plumbing is a critical service that is always in demand, providing job security.
  2. Diverse Opportunities: There are many niches within the industry, allowing for specialization and various work experiences.
  3. Potential for Growth: With the right business strategy, there’s significant potential for growth and expansion.
  4. Independence: Running your own business offers independence and the ability to make executive decisions.
  5. Problem-Solving Satisfaction: The work often involves diagnosing and solving complex problems, which can be intellectually rewarding.
  6. Customer Interaction: You have the opportunity to help people in their time of need, which can be personally fulfilling.
  7. Technological Advancements: The industry continuously evolves with new technologies, offering learning opportunities and more efficient work methods.
  8. Profitability: With a solid client base and good management, plumbing businesses can be pretty profitable.

What We Dislike About the Plumbing Business:

  1. Physical Demands: The work can be physically demanding, with the potential for injury if not careful.
  2. On-Call Schedule: Emergency services may require on-call during nights, weekends, and holidays.
  3. Competition: The market can be competitive, especially in areas with a high density of plumbing services.
  4. Regulatory Challenges: Staying compliant with all the regulations and codes can be complex and time-consuming.
  5. Economic Sensitivity: The business may experience downturns during economic slumps as construction and renovation projects decrease.
  6. Customer Service Challenges: Dealing with unhappy or difficult customers can be stressful and impact job satisfaction.
  7. Investment in Tools and Equipment: Starting and maintaining a plumbing business requires a significant investment in tools, equipment, and potentially a fleet of vehicles.
  8. Administrative Overhead: Running a business involves administrative tasks such as accounting, marketing, and managing employees, which can be daunting for some.

In sum, starting a plumbing business comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. Entrepreneurs must consider their preferences, strengths, and lifestyles when deciding if this industry aligns with their professional goals. A successful plumbing business requires technical skills, business acumen, customer service excellence, and a willingness to adapt to industry changes.

Final Thoughts

Starting a plumbing business can be a great way to earn an income and provide a valuable service to your community. By choosing the right location, equipment, and marketing strategy, you can set your business up for success. Remember to think about your future goals for the company and how you see it expanding. With a solid plan, financing your plumbing business should be easy.


How do I start a plumbing business?

To start a plumbing business, you must have the requirements, get the license, choose a location, get equipment and finance the business.

How do I market my plumbing business?

Some great ways to market your plumbing business are through online marketing, word-of-mouth, and by participating in local events and networking groups.

How do I finance my plumbing business?

You could start your plumbing business with some of your money by getting a loan from a bank or other lender or by looking into funding from investors.

What are some final thoughts on starting a plumbing business?

Starting a plumbing business can be a great way to earn an income and provide a valuable service to your community. By choosing the right location, equipment, and marketing strategy, you can set your business up for success. Remember to think about your future goals for the company and how you see it expanding. With a solid plan, financing your plumbing business should be easy.


Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos