Plumb­ing busi­ness on “bust”

The Compass - - SPORTS -

It’s 10 a.m. on a cool, crisp Oc­to­ber morn­ing in Up­per Is­land Cove and Coombs & Com­pany Inc. is teem­ing with ac­tion.

Pat Coombs stands at the counter, chat­ting with the half dozen cus­tomers, while at the same time help­ing them with all of their needs.

When his wife Diane comes in to work, Pat goes on about his busi­ness, han­dling var­i­ous work or­ders in the area.

On this day, the Coombs’ full-time plumber Harry Hig­don is go­ing about the store pick­ing up ma­te­ri­als for a job he’s about to start in North River.

Pat and his wife Diane are get­ting ready to cel­e­brate their 15th year in busi­ness this month.

Hav­ing only three staff, Diane said busi­ness “keeps get­ting busier and busier.”

“It seems Bay Roberts, Car­bon­ear and area is ex­plod­ing”, said Diane.

Not only are the Coombs’ deal­ing with new build­ing re­quests in those ar­eas, the com­pany just fin­ished a nine­u­nit apart­ment build­ing in Up­per Is­land Cove.

“That’s prob­a­bly the big­gest project we’ve done this year,” Diane stated.

Coombs’ also serves clients from Pla­cen­tia Bay to Trin­ity South, and parts of the north shore, in­clud­ing Ochre Pit Cove and Browns­dale. “There’s lots of work,” she said. “It’s just go, go, go.” It is be­cause of this in­crease in work­load that the Coombs’ de­cided to hire a full-time plumber.

That’s not the only change in the 15 years the com­pany has been in busi­ness.

Ac­cord­ing to Diane, the de­mand for heat pumps in new dwellings started pick­ing up in the last three years.

“It seems the young peo­ple are lean­ing more to­wards heat pumps,” she said.

Coombs does a va­ri­ety of jobs for their clients. From, elec­tri­cal items, wiring new houses, rewiring old houses, plumb­ing and ven­ti­la­tion, there is no task the com­pany is not able to per­form.

If there is a piece of equip­ment or fix­ture that the cus­tomer wants but can­not be found in Coombs’ store in Up­per Is­land Cove, the part will be or­dered from one of Coombs’ sup­pli­ers and will arrive the next day.

“Houses are built in stages,” said Diane. “When the time comes for bath­room and lighting fix­tures, we usu­ally set up an ap­point­ment for the home own­ers with a cou­ple of our sup­pli­ers in St. John’s. Then the cus­tomer can choose ex­actly what they want.”

When the home­own­ers have made their se­lec­tion, it will ap­pear on the Coombs’ doorstep the next day.

“We are very for­tu­nate to be able to work in our own community and would like to thank all our cus­tomers for their con­tin­ued sup­port – we are very grate­ful.”

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