Dear PoP – Shower Renovation

Photo by PoPville flickr user Tyrannous

“Dear PoP,

I bought a condo in Shaw last year. It is a new building, and while I love most things about the place, the developer installed my shower stall incorrectly. The grout is jacked up, and the floor needs to be completely replaced. I only intend to renovate the shower, though – the rest of the bathroom is fine.

I started my research with Washingtonian’s home improvement issue, but most of those firms either don’t work in Shaw or handle much larger, more expensive projects than mine. So, that’s where the commenters come in. Has anyone had a good experience hiring a local contractor to do a small-scale bathroom project? If so, how much did you pay, and how long did it take?”

Anyone have a small scale bathroom renovation done? (If so in addition to the reader’s questions – if you like the reno please send an email of a before and after photo to princeofpetworth(at)gmail.)

15 Comment

  • Call Dominic Puchalla at 703-623-0011. The majority of his work is on Capital Hill and Shaw. He finished our bathroom a few weeks ago … really great work at a reasonable price.

  • That is one of the cutest pix I have ever seen on this site! The dog looks like he is dreading his inevitable bath!

  • Unfortunately I only know of contractors to avoid. Looking forward here to finding someone to finish my bathroom job that got abandoned

  • I’ve had a really small tile job (bathroom floor, maybe 6′ x 8′) done by a local guy. For what it cost me (maybe $800 for labor, plus my expense for tile, which were hard-to-work-with, mesh-backed pebbles), the work was fine. That said, I just finished up a major bathroom reno in my new house, including building a pimped-out shower, and seeing the work that went into that, I would not be pennywise and pound-foolish on any shower replacement project. Well built, those things really will be waterproof. I’m not sure a local guy is someone I would trust to follow all the manufacturer specs, though, at least not the guy I used on my earlier project. Just be careful — whoever you use, I’d get references for other showers built and check with those folks about the quality of the work.

  • Yes, Bill Mann. He works in the city every day and one of my neighbors works with him. They did a bathroom floor for me and have replaced 3 windows. I have been happy with their skill, punctuality, and prices. He remodeled the entire house behind mine and it looks great.

    I dont want to put his cell phone number up on the internet, but feel free to email PoP, he has the phone number.

  • Baaaathfitters….it’s the perfect fiiit!

    • OP here… I actually called up Bath Fitter out of curiosity, and they quoted me over $4,000 to cover the shower. Yowza. The salesman was also extremely pushy and got upset that I wouldn’t sign on the dotted line during the “free” initial consultation. Not cool.

  • Leo Silva is AMAZING – he’s done both large and small projects for me AND has been mentioned on this site before!

    I haven’t talked to him in ages but I assume he’s still taking on new clients…301 404 6607

  • I know a contractor, Chris, who has done a bunch of bathroom and kitchen remodels all over the District, including Columbia Heights and Petworth. Here’s his website, where you can see pictures and testimonials. I recommended him to my boss, who still raves about the job he did on his home remodel in Petworth.

  • bfinpetworth

    I built a 6′ x 4′ walk-in shower several years ago in my old home. I’d done a good amount of tiling work but that did not prepare me for the building of a shower. A good deal of engineering goes into a properly built one. I learned by researching on the internet and talking to the pros at my local tile store. In the end, it came out great and after living there for 7 years, it never leaked.

    I was able to learn on the fly but I was the homeowner and actually cared about the outcome. I would be very careful to find someone who is experienced in building fully tiled showers, and not just a person who can lay tile on a floor or wall. They are apples and oranges.

  • I think you need to decide what you want first. I have yet to find a decent contractor that will get off their butt for <$1000 profit on a job which means all told you're into the $3's and $4's for total package. To be honest, I wouldn't get off my butt for much less than that either.

    As Petworthian mentioned, you should educate yourself about how a bathroom gets put together and what you want to accomplish. If all you want is to update the tile, then can you do it yourself? Or do the demo yourself? Do you want a new vanity (Perfect DIY) and paint? If the tile just needs to be grouted, then it's either a DIY or you hire an actual tile person, not a general purpose handyman.

    If you need a full overhaul, then you need to be prepared to spend the money to have it done at an appropriate cost, not the cheapest you can find. I can guarantee you that the materials and workmanship get cut out before the profit.

  • love that pic

  • Don’t use CASE. They will lie to you, overcharge you, and take waaaay to long to finish… And they won’t even get it right.

  • I used Kurt at Handyman Masters (you can google them). My shower was also new and similarily screwed up. Water was leaking into the wall and the grout was coming up. He spent over a 1/2 hour (free) to come take a look. I thought the price was reasonable to fix ($600). He was very easy to work with and professional.

  • Hi,I’m Leo Silva and I’d like to help you out with your bathroom.Call me to make an appointment.My cell is (301)404-6607

Comments are closed.