Plumbing business on “bust”
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.”