With one child already and another new arrival these clients found that their current three bedroom, one bath house was not providing enough space to accommodate their growing family. Since moving was not an option, the family decided to expand their 1400 square foot South Tampa home. Construction started April 2, 2012 on the previously converted 1950s garage and was completed on June 6, 2012. The project added almost 500 square feet of living space that included a beautiful master bedroom with a modern en-suite bathroom, in addition to a spacious outdoor entertainment area that was sure to impress their neighbors.
Starting construction in the garage provided a bit of a design challenge with its traditional A-frame roof. The low horizontal beams needed to be removed in order to provide the high ceilings the clients were hoping for. Unfortunately, the beams were needed to maintain structural support. To overcome this challenge, the ceiling was reengineered and new, shorter boards were installed higher in the structure to provide the tension and support needed to maintain architectural integrity. This allowed for the high, airy ceilings that the clients were requesting.
The concrete slab in the garage was not level and was being compromised by tree roots. Because it was below grade it also posed a flooding risk. To prevent these issues from affecting the new living space a new slab was poured over top of the existing slab with wire mesh for additional re-inforcement.
A breezeway from the main house into the garage was already enclosed from a previous home project. Because the breezeway was sitting about 18 inches higher than the area that was becoming the master suite, a creative solution was needed to convert this area into a seamless transitional space. An alcove area and steps were built to provide a stylish and practical solution as a passage into the main house.
The client requested through a change order, after the project had started, a way to access the outdoor living area from the master suite. The wall that was built for the original garage conversion stuck out from the structure and was a bit of an eyesore, it was also not installed to code. This wall was removed and a new wall was constructed flush to the structure providing a more suitable application for the remaining components.
When planning for a home expansion such as this it is very important to consider the capacity of your air conditioning unit. AC units are designed to work according to several factors, including cubic footage and air flow. This client was aware of these factors when they planned the addition. Before construction started, they acquired a larger air conditioning unit that would function properly and cool the added cubic footage. The new space required both supply and return ducts to the main AC system, which can be a tricky task to accomplish depending on the homes construction.
A spacious walk-in closet adjacent to the new master bath and a smaller linen closet were built to provide much needed storage along with a stackable washer/dryer closet. A louvered closet door was used to allow for the dryer to freely bring in air which it displaces out of the exhaust duct during the clothes drying process.
In the master bathroom the shower was installed using our standard Schluter Waterproofing System which provides a ten year guarantee that insures against any moisture damage. Because cement and grout is porous, traditional methods of installing shower surrounds allow moisture intrusion which will eventually cause mold and degradation of the wallboard supporting your tile. The shower was enclosed with a frameless sliding bypass door that is simple, clean and contemporary which provides an ideal showcase for the custom tile work. A traditional hand-held shower head was installed along with a luxurious rain head. The master bath was finished off with a floating vanity topped off with a marble counter top that added additional storage and modern style.
After expanding their indoor living space the clients were interested in creating an outdoor living space ideal for entertaining. Belgard pavers, a higher end variety, were laid in an intricate pattern extending to a second level which surrounds the new fire pit. An outdoor kitchen and grill were added along with a low voltage lighting package. The pergola was built with careful consideration to sun exposure in order to maximize shade coverage, and as an added bonus, will help to reduce the temperature underneath as much as five degrees.
The client is so happy with the completed project that they are already considering starting another with us. To add more functionality to their floor plan they have expressed interest in converting the home’s original bathroom into a Jack and Jill style that connects the two original bedrooms. It has been a pleasure working with this client and it is exciting to see this home transform to accommodate this amazing family!
All projects have their own unique challenges, in this case, the bathroom was on the 4th floor of a townhome with a restricting stairwell, and a 45° angled wall which created an awkward layout to the room.
Additional concerns with a multi-story bathroom remodel exist because you are dealing with framing. Framing is more of an issue with a multi-story remodel because if there are any leaks they will run down to all of the floors underneath. Obviously that could be an expensive and unexpected turn of events!
Because of the inherent risk associated with a traditional shower water management system, which is the culprit for 90% of the shower remodeling we do, waterproofing is of the upmost importance. This bath remodel was actually the first time we used the Schluter Shower System. That was where our great respect for this waterproofing system, which has a 10-year warranty against water intrusion, began.
As you can see from the photo, this was a tight space. What you can’t tell was that none of the walls were “plumb” (level vertically), in fact, the wall to be tiled was one inch off from top to bottom. This is a common occurrence which we account for, however not to this degree typically. Aesthetic, this poses a real problem when your intention is to install rectified tile (square edge) like many modern bathrooms are trending towards. This type of tile is designed to be installed perfectly plumb in order to achieve the crisp look it is intended to create. If your installer is not a professional tile layer or your contractor doesn’t catch it, you’re finished tile work will reflect the inexperience.
This is just one of the many unanticipated things you can run into on any project. At Jack O’ Trades we try to cover every potential “change order”, or “thing that we might encounter unexpectedly” during the course of the project that could change the cost or length of time it takes to complete, so that our clients don’t have too many surprises.
Though the size of the room was small, it did have high ceilings. By using a larger format 12″ x 24″ tile, installed floor-to-ceiling, and a floating vanity cabinet, the illusion of a larger space was created. These two components were the key to achieving the modern, minimalist feel of the clients were craving in their remodeled bathroom.
The obtrusive track lighting on the ceiling was replaced with six inch recessed can lighting, which is another look we prefer because of the space and simplicity it provides. Also, whenever we do a bath remodel we always proactively replace the various plumbing fixtures throughout the remodeled space to minimize the chance of future leakage and ensure a warrantable finished product.
This client was very happy with their new bathroom. We were able to achieve the more open-looking, modern feel that they had in mind. We enjoyed working with them and they have called back to have more work done–a great success for all parties involved!
Owner & President Logan Steege relocated to Tampa in 2003 to assist in a local start-up building 25 new homes in under two years. In 2005 Jack O’ Trades was launched. In 2010 he acquired a State Certified Residential Contractor license (CRC 1330291). Logan has an uncanny eye for detail and imaginative functionality. Jack O’ Trades is more than a contractor bidding and completing your job, we will share ideas with you, inspire design, and work with you to visualize and create the best use of your space. Logan continues to keep both hands on every project, but also offers you his eyes for aesthetics and ears for understanding your desires to make you love where you live.