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Bathroom remodel and landscaping

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Joined: Oct 25 2003

Hi- We're getting ready to remodel both bathrooms in our Eichler and are having a hard time finding a good contractor. Unfortunately, we don't know any neighbors that have remodeled their bathrooms so we're looking for recommendations for a good contractor that perhaps has done some remodels on Eichlers. We tried to get an estimate from one contractor that does a lot of Eichlers but he has failed to return our numerous phone calls (not a good sign!). We're also interested in having some landscaping done and are overwhelmed by the numerous options - again, any recommendations?

Thanks!

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Bathrooms are a common target of remodels in Eichlers. Most people want to change the size of the master bathroom, others want to update the fixtures. Think carefully about what it is that you actually want to acomplish. A functional, pleasing bathroom is certainly a selling point for any house but it's saddening to see the number of disappointing bathroom remodels where they either paid too much for they got or never got what they wanted in the end.

Try to figure out what you NEED, maybe its:
- grounded/GFI outlets
- new bath/toilet/sink
- new faucets
- a fan
- new floor
- new walls

You might find you can hire these out individually and do some of the work your self. I was quoted around 11K 2 years ago to update my master and hallway baths. I thought that was outrageous when there was no change in size or location of anything.

Instead, we did the following.

Fixtures and faucets (about $3000 materials and labour)
- ordered almost identical to original Tahoe sinks, complete with new chrome bands, for both bathrooms (less than $500 total)
- bought new sink and tub faucets from Home Depot (less than $500-- spent about 125 of that on a two handle scald-proof shower faucet to retrofit the master shower)
- had the master tub refinished (Miracle Method for about $500)
- bought Toto toilets ( about $1000 for the two)

Floor
- paid to have new commercial grade vinyl composite tiles installed (labour and materials something less than $100)

Walls
- refinished/replaced phillipine mahogony ourselves (20 bucks a sheet plus stain/varnish, our labour)
- had the outlets grounded and a fan put in each (each fan <100 plus cost of labour)

So for $5k plus our time we did both baths, compared to the 22k we would have paid to have others do the exact same thing. Doing it ourselves took longer but then we didn't have others underfoot and could schedule putting different apparatus/baths out of commission to when it was most convenient for us. And we're happy with the results.

I'm sure others have opinions and experience to share.

Good luck.
jake

P.S.expect to use a qualified plumber and electrician for at least part of this, along with necessary permits.

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

We recently remodeled our master bath using the services of a fellow Eichler owner (he's the only contractor who didn't freak out when he heard "Eichler"). He's a licensed, insured contractor and we're very happy with his work. His company is Levill Interior Renovations and the phone number is (925) 937-5300. Good luck!

Marianne Daniel

Marianne D.

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