Meet Russell

Hello, my name is Russell Blackstone, owner of Blackstone Plumbing.

I was born and raised in Austin and began working at a young age with my father in the plumbing industry in the mid-80’s. I have always been interested in construction which has turned into a passion for perfection in a variety of pursuits. Some of these being Plumbing, Fine Furniture, Construction, Engineering and Architecture.

While in college at Southwest Texas State University, I studied Construction Science. I enjoyed a variety of classes pursuing studies in the classic sciences as well as design, engineering and architecture. At SWT I was introduced and became quite proficient withAutoCAD (a computer aided drafting software). Awesome program! AutoCAD has allowed me to design, in full scale, furniture projects and home plans.

Upon graduation, I left the plumbing field to become a project engineer for DL Bandy Constructors, Inc. a commercial contracting company. We built public projects including a multi-story remodel of the ACC headquarters, an addition to the Del Valle Junior High School and the Public Library in Shiner, Texas.

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Though I enjoyed working with DL Bandy, I desired to build my own company and started Blackstone Plumbing. At Blackstone Plumbing our philosophy is to design and install the best plumbing systems possible using the best materials that are available. We desire that every installation or repair we make will last as long or longer than its anticipated lifespan. Currently, the plumbing industry is alive with a lot of new technology pushing the limits of conservative design ideology. We, at Blackstone Plumbing, continually analyze new design ideas and products that we feel improve the services we offer.

A digression
I believe in conservation, whether that may be using less resources to perform the task we need, or rebuilding items with life remaining rather than simply replacing. I feel that we have become a disposable society in which we have created products that are so cheap that after their short lifespan we throw them away and purchase new ones. My desire is to spend a little more time and a little more money (not always) to use or make products that last. I love, like most of us, the look and price of “IKEA” type products, but dislike the cheap materials that a lot of these products are made from. I would rather spend a little more or build them myself in order to gain a product that I will be able to pass down to my children.

Home Building –
In college and over the years, I have drawn home plans from the minimalist ideology to the grand mansion. A home is an extremely complex product that requires coordination of countless products and trades to complete. It includes bringing together various parties to make decisions throughout the process from design all the way to trim. Then to produce a perfect product the highly skilled trades are required to produce their best work learned from years of experience.

Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to examine and work on quite a few homes, some containing the highest quality materials and craftsmanship I have ever seen. I have been blessed with the opportunity to build two houses myself. One of these was our first home. I was even able to install a mesquite floor. We lived in that house for ten years and had all of our children while there.

Family –
During college I married my beautiful wife (1997) and we have four wonderful children. Three boys and one daughter. My wife and I both have a lot of extended family in the area with generations going back to the roots of Austin. I had the privilege of working with my father as a child and have had the occasion to be able to take my older sons with me as well.

We also have our church family at San Marcos Community Church, where we have been members since 2016.

Interests –
Too numerous to count… Family, Church, Furniture, Hiking, Camping, Sport shooting, lots of soccer playing both indoor (Blackstone FC) and outdoor (Elite FC). I am a member of Austin Disaster Relief Network originally created during the wake of hurricane Katrina. With ADRN, Blackstone Plumbing has been able to help perform repairs in some of the flooded areas we had last year in the Georgetown and Round Rock.

Fine Furniture –
One of my favorite hobbies is furniture. Good quality furniture will last numerous generations and be enjoyed by many. Plus it is built from a renewable resource, wood. I cultivated a natural interest in learning how to construct furniture from study and from watching my two favorite shows The New Yankee Workshop and This Old House. Woodworking has also allowed me to justify the purchase of some sweet tools. A finely crafted tool (or piece of furniture) is to me a work of usable art.

Mesquite – If you are familiar with the tree, you know it to be full of long spikes and to be the bane of the farmer’s existence. Well, have you ever seen the wood? Wow! The most beautiful color and character ever to exist. It is my favorite wood for building furniture – extremely stable and has very little movement with varying moisture content. Ideal for fine furniture.