No two bathrooms are exactly alike. Particularly when working in older homes common in the Washington, DC area there are many unique spaces. Often areas that were not initially intended to be bathrooms have been converted to bathrooms, creating interesting and challenging spaces. That being said, most bathrooms involve a combination of the same basic elements: a commode, sink(s), tub, shower, tile, glazing’s, cabinetry (medicine and/or vanity) and accessories such as towel bars and paper holders.
Because we strive to work efficiently for our clients (which helps keep overhead and project costs down) we have systemized our process for the design and preconstruction steps of our bathroom projects. Outlined below are the steps that are typically involved in a Four Brothers bathroom remodel. We like to think of these steps as a “road map” to be followed as closely as possible with the understanding that on any journey, detours may be required!
Site Survey and In-home Consultation
- During this meeting our bathroom designer(s) will meet with the homeowner for a preliminary discussion regarding the general design of the new bathroom. He will take detailed measurements of the existing space, discus layout and finish options, and then provide his recommendations for the configuration of the new space.
- Based on the discussion and findings during the site survey, our designer will develop detailed schematic drawings of one or more proposed new floor plans along with three-dimensional renderings. While the final fixtures and finishes will likely not be defined at this point, the bathroom layout(s) will reflect what was discussed during the in-home consultation.
- Once the bathroom schematic drawings are complete, we invite the homeowner into our design studio to present the drawings and then discuss the pros and cons of each option. Candid feedback from the homeowner will be requested. At this meeting our designers will also present material samples along with suggestions for fixtures and finishes. Typically, homeowners are able to refine many of their material selections at this point. However, when additional options are desired, our bathroom designer schedules appointments to various area showrooms.
Revisions to Schematic Design
- Based on the feedback given during the schematic presentation, our bathroom designer will revise the floor plan to reflect the requested changes. We will then email the homeowner the revisions and request approval.
- Once the homeowner has approved the schematic bathroom design, we schedule a walkthrough with our trusted trade partners: Electrician, Plumber, HVAC Technician etc. This gives them the opportunity to compare the existing bathroom with the proposed plans. For more information on Four Brothers’ trade partners, visit: https://fourbrothers.wpengine.com/subcontractors-how-this-dc-contractor-feels-about-ours/
First Round of Precise Pricing and Materials Selection Report
- Following the trade walkthrough, our Team Leader will complete the first comprehensive round of final pricing. This is based on material quotes (bathroom fixtures, finishes, tile, lighting etc.), trade partner feedback, and estimated labor. He’ll revise the preliminary bathroom estimate into a Working Contract with base pricing along with any options. Lastly, he’ll put together a Material Selections Report (MSR) in which all required materials for the bathroom remodel will be listed along with dollar allowances for everything that has not yet been defined.
Presentation of Working Contract
- Once the working contract is complete, we will invite the homeowner into our design studio once again. At this meeting, we will read through the working bathroom contract together, and discuss all work scopes in detail. Our bathroom designer will discuss the cost ramifications of various design details, along with alternative finish options if necessary. At the end of the meeting we will once again request candid feedback from the homeowner.
Final Contract Revision
- Based on the feedback of the homeowner, the Team Leader will revise the contract as necessary to reflect new work scopes and pricing. If final tweaks to the drawings are required, our bathroom designer will make these at this time.
Sign Contract and Finalize Job Start Date
- Once the contract is finalized, we will request a signature and deposit from the homeowner. This will allow us to order materials with long lead times such as specialty fixtures and tile. We will also determine the exact date that the renovation will begin, and put a placeholder in our production calendar.
Final Selections and Ordering
- After the contract is signed, our design team will work with the homeowner to complete any outstanding material selections for the bathroom, and then place the orders. If a selection comes in below the dollar allowance in the MSR, the homeowner will be credited the balance. If a selection comes in above the allowance, an invoice for the difference will be issued.
- Several weeks before the start of the bathroom renovation, the Team Leader will schedule a preconstruction meeting with the homeowner, Production Manager and Lead Carpenter who will be running the project. This takes place in the clients home, and gives everyone the opportunity to meet before construction begins. We cover our standard pre-construction checklist, and discuss logistical issues such as dumpster placement, alarm codes, lock up procedures, and anything else that might be important in the remodel. At this point, the renovation project is ready to begin!