Master Bath Addition in Washington, DC
We first met these clients in 2011 just after they had purchased and moved in to a new home in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC. Their new house was stately and large, but as is the case in many older homes, short on closet space and lacking a true master bathroom. Hence, they were seeking to reconfigure the second floor to solve these problems. We discussed a number of options, but ultimately, they decided to live in the home for some time so as to better ascertain their needs.
They promised to call us back when they were ready to move forward.
Design and Layout
True to their word, after living in the home for several years, they called us back to discuss their project in earnest. As we saw it, two options were on the table: 1. Combine two forward bedrooms to create one large master suite and extend the 5’ x 8’ “master bath” by claiming space from the rear guest bedroom, or 2. Convert the large rear guest bedroom into the master bedroom, while adding an en-suite master bath and walk-in closet by way of a second story addition. While more costly, we ultimately decided for option 2 in the interest of preserving the additional bedroom at the front of the home. The existing first floor kitchen addition (albeit constructed poorly), served as a perfect platform for the new master bathroom and closet. After several iterations, our project architect and the clients settled on a structure in approximately the same footprint as the lower addition, with a cantilevered overhang to create a space for the barbecue grill. The interior included a private toilet room, large steam shower, double sinks and a walk-in closet.
Style and Finishes
The clients’ aesthetic leaned towards the traditional, which matched the original details throughout the rest of the home. A key objective was to include as many windows as possible in order to enhance natural light, which in turn would highlight the elegant finishes. For the floor tile, they chose a marble basket weave, which was complimented by the large format marble and glass subway tile on the shower walls and ceiling. The double marble console sinks were from Restoration Hardware, with complimenting Roburn medicine cabinets. At the closet floors, a dark large format tile was installed to create separation, with neutral gray built-ins, scribed into the painted (formally exterior) brick chimney. For the cladding outside, our architect specified a paneling and cedar shake detail to compliment the siding of the existing home, while creating some interest.
Construction and Final Product
Early in the design process, we dug test pits to confirm that the footings at the existing kitchen addition were sufficient to support our second story addition. Our findings were favorable, but despite additional exploratory holes in the kitchen, we were somewhat unsure of the structure of the roof and walls. We had several theories, but agreed to finalize the plan for the kitchen ceiling following demolition. As it turned out, the additions ceiling had been dropped several times over the years; once to accommodate venting for the kitchen exhaust hood, and once to add recessed lighting. None of this made sense, so we were able to dramatically improve the kitchen by raising the ceiling by close to a foot. Additionally, we were able to raise the exhaust hood to a more comfortable height. In the process we had to remove (and then reinstall) the majority of the upper cabinets, but the clients were clear that the benefits outweighed the costs. Construction of the second story went smoothly, with one minor hitch. Due to an internal miscommunication, our remodeling team removed all the plywood subfloor in the bedroom to expose the original hardwood flooring (rather than a small test patch) with the assumption that this could be preserved. Once exposed, it was clear that this was not an option. New plywood had to be installed, followed by new carpet. In addition to the primary master suite project, we gave the first floor powder room a makeover, and completed other miscellaneous carpentry projects throughout the home. We are happy to report that the project finished on time and on budget.
What the Customer Said
“We recently used Four Brothers for a project that included a master bath/closet addition, woodwork and a powder room makeover. From start to finish, we found Ben and his entire team to be professional and responsive. The design portion of the project was easy, and we felt like we had options and great guidance. During the construction portion, the team showed up on time every day and took great care of our home as they were working. No detail was left untouched as they finished the project. We would definitely use Four Brothers again and give them out highest recommendation.”