Design Build Master Bathroom Renovation in Washington, DC
We got to know this homeowner well while designing and then remodeling her kitchen in the fall of 2012. She owns a row home in Northwest Washington, DC, that was built more than one hundred years ago. Updates had been made over the years, such as pull and replace jobs in the two small upstairs bathrooms, and upgrading the original galvanized plumbing risers to copper. The thickset floors in the baths remained, however, and the replacement copper was thin and prone to pin-hole leaks. Once the kitchen was complete, the homeowner planned to gut and renovate both upstairs baths. So within several months of completing her kitchen, our design team began planning the bathroom remodel.
Design and Layout
The two upstairs bathrooms were installed in close proximity to one another. One was accessed through a door off the hallway, while the other, through the master bedroom. The hall bath had a tub/shower combo, while the master bath had a stand-up shower only. Both bathrooms had been remodeled within the last fifteen years, but the end result was less than desirable. The homeowner wanted to explore two options: the first involved remodeling each bath in the existing footprint, and the second involved removing the partition wall that separated the two rooms to create one large master bathroom. We quickly settled on the second option, since it made more sense to include all the desired features in one large space rather than divide the fixtures between two small rooms. Plus, the existing skylight in the hall bath let in significant natural light that we could take advantage of in the bigger space. After several iterations, the homeowner selected the floor plan in which the walk-in shower, soaking tub and double vanity were laid out in an L-shape at the long walls in the room. The commode was set back in a corner, and entrance doors were retained at the master bedroom and hall. Since storage space was needed in the two adjoining bedrooms, we designed and built custom wardrobes to replace the existing closets.
Style and Finishes
As is typical in older homes in Washington, DC, many traditional details (original to the era when the house was built) had been maintained. Much of the trim was original, and we had to custom mill crown molding (to match the original profile) during the kitchen remodel. Also typical, was the homeowners desire to insert a sleek contemporary space (in this case the bathroom) in her traditional home. Because the bathroom is enclosed from the rest of the house, we were not worried about the clashing of styles. And so our design team went all out to make the homeowners dream of a spa-like bath a reality. Customization was the name of the game in this project. The vanity and wall surround, Caesarstone countertops, shower pan, tub surround and floor tile, were hand crafted and are unique to this bathroom. A frameless glass shower enclosure enhances the open feeling, and the vessel sinks and wall-mounted faucets give the space the finishing touch.
Construction and Final Product
Due to the high level of customization, the construction phase was especially tricky (and sometimes frustrating). The framing and substrate had to be installed precisely, or the hand-cut tile and shower pan would not fit. Tied in to the bathroom remodel, was some structural work as well. At the front of the home, the second floor joists spanned the width of the house, which is close to eighteen feet. This is a wide space, and the joists were sagging close to four inches in the middle of the room! This deflection is significant, and we were afraid the joists would eventually pull out of the pockets in the brick party walls, and crash to the floor below. Therefore, we removed the living room ceiling, jacked each joist back up to level, and bolted fast a structural beam that spanned the width of the home. This was time consuming and unglamorous work, but well worth the effort considering the destruction a falling floor would cause. In the end, all the tedious work paid off. The finished bathroom is stunning, and exceeded the homeowner’s expectations!
What the Customer Said
“In 2011, Four Brothers remodeled our kitchen. We were so satisfied with the service and work, in 2012, we invited them to remodel our bathrooms and build customized wall closets and storage for our master bedroom. When I reflect upon why we are so satisfied with Four Brothers, three phrases constantly come to mind: 1. Commitment to quality, 2. Candid input and trustworthy guidance, 3. Exceptional service.
In the two years that we have worked with Four Brothers, there has never been a moment of hesitation. Each member of the team is talented, respectful and trustworthy. They meet their deadlines and commitments, keep lines of communication open, offer valued opinions, help keep your ideas aligned with your goals and give their best to each activity they perform. For the bathroom remodeling, they combined two bathrooms into a master bathroom that is modern, sleek and peaceful. They built a customized cabinet and carried over the design to the master bedroom wall closets and storage. The cabinet, closets and storage are stunning. The team listened to what I wanted and created a unified, beautiful and peaceful space. If you are looking for a team to help you realize your vision, one which is committed to creating a beautiful and comfortable space with the least amount of trauma to your life during construction, Four Brothers is the company for you. Aside from recommending them to colleagues and friends, we have already found another reason to have them back into our home.”