The house is up, the paint is almost dry, the backyard is clean, and the place is just about ready for the house warming — or is it?
Many builders will know that vaguely uneasy feeling when all appears to be done, only the picture does not look quite right. And once they figure out what’s missing, an hour’s work often snowballs into frantic telephone calls and a day’s frustration and delay, perhaps even added costs, according to Delta Roofing and Manufacturing managing director Peter Barrett.
Mr Barrett says downpipes, generally regarded as the least of a builder’s challenges, sometimes turn out one of their biggest nuisance factors. But it can be avoided.
Hamilton-based Delta Roofing and Manufacturing recently introduced its aluminium extruded Revolutionary Freeflow Ultimate Universal Downpipe to the market.
Mr Barrett explains why the product, currently available from Carters, Placemakers and Metalcraft, is a hassle-free option for any builder.
In the first instance it is a smart operational decision. A downpipe pack consists of a one-piece bent top and soffit section, a flanged bent wall section and two adjustable brackets.
“The use of aluminium extruded pipe and bends for downpipes has a number of distinct advantages over the traditional PVC or sheet metal lock seamed pipe,” Mr Barrett says.
“The seamless pipes require no joints, can achieve 180° bends, and present no obstructions to flow, even around the bends. As such, Delta is the only downpipe on the market that currently complies fully with the principles in new building code regulations,” he says.
Another advantage is extruded aluminium has a greater wall thickness. This makes it stronger than traditional sheet-metal downpipes so it resists denting better.
“Their life cycle is at least 50 years, and they last three times longer than other types of downpipe — a good embodied energy and future proofing choice,” he says.
In the second instance it is a smart business decision.
“The adjustable bracket and flange mean there are no issues between subcontractors about the alignment of the riser and outlet. And when the cladding is up and it’s time for assembly, the builder can do it easily himself.”
The product needs three cuts with a hacksaw to remove surplus material. The builder then simply pushes the pipes together, seals the joint and fixes the downpipe to the wall.
The pipes are compatible with all roofing products. They are powder-coated in a choice of seven standard colours, which cuts out painting issues, time and costs.
“When all these are factored in, it’s the most cost and time-effective downpipe on the market. The builder saves time by avoiding the hassle of subcontractor fault resolution, and the project saves money in assembling and painting cost.
“So, in addition to its other advantages, the Delta product costs substantially less. The builder can expect a major saving per house lot,” he says.
Pakuranga building consultant Stuart Thomson speaks highly of the benefits of using the Delta pipes.
“An added plus for this product must be in its aesthetic appearance,” Mr Thompson says. “Unlike plastic downpipes, which look like a drain on a wall, smooth bent aluminium looks ‘purpose made’.
“The ultimate test for any product is ‘would I use it on my next house?’ The answer is definitely yes,” he says.