It’s cool in Campbell today…yet, Deanna, our client, has a fan sitting in her front doorway, pointed directly into her house.
“It’s warm in here in the summer,” she says. “We don’t have air conditioning. One of the sacrifices you make when you want something nice in the Bay Area.” She reaches down and hits a switch, and says, “The only part that sucks is that I have to turn it off when people talk to me from outside…otherwise, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”
I’m here with Melissa, our newest team member and we’re waiting for Batel and our contractor, Chris, to arrive.
“We didn’t wake you up too early, did we?” Melissa asks.
“Oh! No…” Deanna says, moving away from the doorway. “I wake up early. My roommate is up early too…I think he’s gone around eight…” She looks at her watch. “Eight-ish…I’m the only one here at the moment. My roommate is gone, so you’re welcome to come in.”
Batel is here at this point, walking up to us while informing us that Chris was “right behind her”.
“But at least the party can begin!” She says, smiling.
Deanna’s home is a modest, two-story townhome located in the large western suburban patch of Campbell, California. It’s nicely decorated with modern and contemporary decor and is very charming. The brighter walls and fixtures are offset with art pieces and decor that are dark red or cherrywood in color. Blues Brothers Construction is here to inspect her upstairs bathroom for a remodel job.
We start in the garage, taking a look at the home’s fuse box. At the same time, Batel proposes bringing in a Port-a-Potty for the workers — but Deanna objects.
“The problem with a Port-a-Potty is that this place is HOA,” she explains. “My property line ends at the garage door, so you can’t put the thing anywhere. Some of these places have their own parking space which you could have used — but I have a two-car garage…so there goes the parking space idea.” She motions toward the garage door. “And you can’t put it on this side because it will bake like a cookie. This side gets all the sun.”
“What should we do if they need to use a restroom?” Batel asks.
“Well, they can just use the one downstairs,” says Deanna. “They’re human. As long as they flush, we should be a-ok!”
There is a small issue with the fuse panel: all the new bathroom lighting would overload the circuits and blow the electricity out.
“I was told the electrical panel wouldn’t be an issue,” Deanna says. “I was told that the lighting was going to be LED, which doesn’t pull as much juice as regular lights do…”
Batel says, “Let’s see what we can gather from the bathroom upstairs before we make that assessment.”
Before moving upstairs, Melissa has us wear foot protection so we don’t track dirt or mud on the impeccably clean carpeting, just one more way we serve our customers and address their concerns.
Once we get up there, the inspection is on.
Deanna’s shower is currently in the corner near the bathroom door. If the door is opened just right, the user can actually trap themselves in there and have a heck of a time attempting to get out. The mirror also spans the length of the wall and the lighting isn’t so great. Additionally, Deanna would like to have more cabinet space and would also like better flooring.
Deanna wants the following changes to be made:
- Two recessed LED lights in the ceiling.
- The shower, located right next to the bathroom door, is to be improved with new hardware. The door is to also be reversed so the user won’t get “trapped” in the shower.
- The tiles on the floor are to be replaced with all new flooring.
- The mirror is to be reduced in size and lit around the edges.
- Cabinets will be placed on both sides of the mirror.
- New lighting above the mirror as well.
- The counter will be improved with two sinks and faucets instead of just one.
- The toilet is already low-flow so it will stay.
Here’s what our mock-up looks like:
Back downstairs, Chris and Batel go back to inspecting the fuse panel, leaving me to talk with Deanna.
“Your home is nice,” I tell her, looking around. “The decor reminds me a lot of what you’d see in a model home — but in the best way. it looks like you have a theme going with your color pallet.”
“I like the color red for the downstairs area,” she says. “Not too much of it but just enough to accent everything else.”
I look at two painting prints which sit on a small table to the left of the entrance to the kitchen.
“Vettriano, right?” I ask.
“Jack Vettriano…that his work? I’m not quite sure…I don’t remember those pieces…”
“Oh!” She puts her hand to her chin and says, “Those, I’m not sure of. Those are just prints we bought because I love the colors. They match the color scheme of the rest of the room, so I put them there. Jack…what’s his name?”
“Vettriano. He’s an artist who is known for the same type of style: smoky, shadowy, 40’s noir.” I look back at her. “He was known for a painting called ‘The Singing Butler’. His work is divisive. A bunch of people adore him because they think his stuff pays homage to simpler times and the film noir genre. Others hate him because they think his work is derivative of other artists such as Edward Hopper and that he’s also hopelessly sexist in his depictions of women. Personally, I think he’s somewhere in between.”
“Yeah…” Deanna says. “I just liked the color and the lighting.”
What convinced her to do the bathroom remodel?
“Well, eventually, I’d like to sell this place,” she tells me. “You see the kitchen…you see the cabinets and the appliances…when we moved in here, we had a lot of work done to improve the place. So, everything you see downstairs is new.” She motions upstairs. “The bathroom upstairs, the cabinets are falling apart and the lighting is all wrong…the shower is a lost cause, so everything has to be re-done.”
Batel comes into the room and requests Deanna’s presence at this point.
“Here’s the situation,” says Chris, as she walks into the garage. “If we do just the lighting, we will be safe — but I think you’re gonna have to lose the heat lamp. If you use the heat lamp in the upstairs bathroom, that will most likely overload everything and blow out your power.”
“Take out the heat lamp…” Deanna’s thinking hard about this.
“You would be able to run everything…just that heat lamp is a bit too much.” Batel says.
Deanna turns to Chris and says, “Would I be able to take it out and then put it back?”
“I suppose, but you won’t pass inspection,” he replies.
Deanna turns back to Batel and asks, “What about the added recessed lighting above the shower…that won’t be an issue?”
“No,” Batel says. “Those are the same as the other LED lights in the ceiling so you are good to go.”
Deanna thinks about it again and finally says “Ok. Let’s do it.”
After it was all said and done, it was time to plant our flag. Our sign has found another home and another bathroom is about to be remodeled…
Stay tuned for the finished result!
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