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1.1 Market definition and scope

The hydraulics sector is a sub-segment of the construction or engineering market, and includes all activities used for the circulation of fluids, using in particular water pipes.

The hydraulics market can be divided into two types of players:

- Companies

- Private

The plumber is intended to work in particular on new buildings, in order to install pipes, and in the context of renovation or maintenance, such as a bathroom. 

The sector is dominated by small businesses, and has experienced some difficulties before 2016, but since has benefited from a slight recovery in activity, which should continue during 2019, helped in particular by the fight against illegal employment and government aid for renovations, which should encourage private individuals. 

The study will cover the plumbing sector, while at times referring to heating and HVAC engineering, two activities that plumbers often perform.

1.2 A national market that has been recovering since 2016

The plumbing market represented in **** a turnover of *.* billion euros according to the association UNCP-FFB (***). According to FFB data, this represents *.*% of the construction sector's activity . [***]
The plumber's trade actually includes various activities which may possibly overlap:
The work on the water and gas piping The installation of toilets, boilers … Emergency ...

1.3 Summary of the determinants of the sector


2.1 The unstable construction sector

The plumbing sector is a sub-segment of construction. It is therefore necessary to look at the available data on construction in France, demand and its evolution
On the building market the FFB (***) notes a moderate increase in activities . In **** , approximately ***,*** housing units have been started or a *.*% decrease compared to the ...

2.2 The number of new homes decreases in 2018

The construction of new housing
Plumbing is an activity particularly important during the construction of new housing since it is a matter for the plumber to make the connections of piping, the installation of sanitary facilities, or even the installation of central heating systems . The aim is therefore to give an ...

2.3 Maintenance-renovation should help the growth of the sector

Maintenance and renovation is the other segment in which plumbers are present. In this case, they can intervene for the bathroom restoration or the pipe reorganization as part of more general work - sometimes in partnership with other craftspeople.
It seems that the primary concern of homeowners is energy consumption, which ...

2.4 Do-it-yourself: a potential threat to plumbing

The construction sector is particularly affected by the phenomenon of do-it-yourself which consists of carrying out the work by individuals without using a professional in the sector Leroy Merlin offers tutorials for plumbing work, for example.
According to the survey CSA only **% of people are currently carrying out the work at ...


3.1 A sector composed almost entirely of VSEs

The plumbing sector is mainly composed of small companies, generally composed of a craftsman who surrounds himself with a few professionals to work with him. At * er as of January ****, the profession had nearly **,*** companies registered under NAF code **.**A, associated with the activity of "water and gas installation work in ...

3.2 Plumbing companies are geographically concentrated

The ACOSS database makes it possible to determine the location of companies associated with NAF codes **.**A and **.**B, which include water and gas installation activities in any location and installation of thermal and air conditioning equipment.

Source: ****
The Île-de-France and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions are concentrated in **.*% of companies with ...

3.3 Competition from seconded or illegal work

The construction sector is particularly affected by illegal competition concealed work and fraud posted workers . In ****, adjustments of ACOSS in the construction sector reported ***.* million euros to the tax authorities. [***]
On the one hand, companies can use the" undeclared work "In other words, it is not declared or concealed, which consists ...

3.4 Hardware trading

The activities of the wholesale hardware dealers increased from *.*% in **** according to the figures of iNSEE a more nuanced increase in **** and **** estimates according to Xerfi, with respective increases of *.*% and * % for these two years. [ Xerfi In ****, the turnover of companies registered in this sector of activity was *.* Billion euros .
The ...


4.1 Plumbers' services and their average price

The site Building craftsman offers an overview of the different services that a plumber can provide, as well as their average prices. The latter charges an hourly rate, travel expenses and a fixed price linked to the service provided.
Source: ****

4.2 New technologies for plumbing

More efficient equipment
Increasingly, plumbers are using new technologies to simplify their work. It is now possible to use small cameras that pass through the pipes to detect pipe malfunctions (***). [***]
To facilitate the unclogging of the pipes, they can also use high-pressure pipe uncloggers. The latter unclog the pipes in just ...


5.1 Regulations concerning plumbers

Several important rules apply to plumbers:
All sprinkler fire protection installations must be checked every six months by an installer or auditor approved by APSAD. These systems must also be protected from freezing during the winter. [***]
L’ decree of ** September **** lays down certain rules concerning the maintenance of boilers (***). If their ...

5.2 The creation of a plumbing company

Co-expert summarizes the conditions to be met in order to create a plumbing company.
The person wishing to become a self-employed plumber must hold a CAP or BEP plumbing diploma. Have experience as an employee or temporary employee for a minimum of * years. Not be prohibited from directing, managing or administering ...

5.3 Quotation regulations in France

Before purchasing a product or service, the French consumer, whether an individual or a company, must be informed of the price, essential characteristics and delivery time. The estimate is mandatory if the work to be carried out costs more than *,*** euros. In particular, an estimate must contain:
The name and address ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Engie Axima
  • Bouygues Construction
  • SPIE
  • Anvolia
  • Fouchard
  • UTB
  • Gallier
  • Entreprise Clément
  • Entreprise Marin
  • Habitatpresto
  • Izi by EDF

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chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

Hugo Schott

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Associate Consultant

Mathieu Luinaud

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PhD Industrial transformations

Robin Charbonnier

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Pierre Doussau

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President Ross Alumni Club France

Arnaud Walter

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Analyste de marché chez Businesscoot

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Pierrick Cudonnec

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Project Finance Analyst, Consulting

Maelle Vitry

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Imane Essadiq

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Jules Decour

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Alexia Vacheron

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