Reimagining the Bath


24 years ago, when I was starting out, the conventional wisdom for those remodeling a bathroom was that one had to have both a shower and bathtub in every full bathroom.  This was a shame because the thought of many seeking a bathroom remodel was to forego the awkward tub/shower combo for the convenience and luxury of a stand-alone shower.  But for fear of resell value, most opted to forego the bathroom they wanted for the bathroom they thought they needed.

Slowly, sentiment evolved and the mandate became for at least one tub in the home.  Many still hold to this premise. But, I’m glad to announce, many have let go of the myth of the mandatory tub. To be sure, there is some wisdom in the legend of the tub. It has to do with bathing small children.  But many who do not have small children are reasoning that, should a family with small children buy the home in the future, there are options, including adding a tub back to the bathroom or using a temporary tub. The number of years in which the average family is bathing small children is relatively small.

Let’s face it, bathroom space is at such a premium that even the 13.35 square feet taken up by the average five-foot tub is worth harvesting for more effective use in a shower, for a larger vanity, or in storage.

But the tubs that we most frequently remove take up a good deal more space. They are the space-hogging garden or spa tubs that continue to be seemingly mandatory in every new home’s master suite, even though they are used on average less than once a year.  The tubs with jets tend to break down and their infrequent use causes unpleasant build up in the lines. Most of the time the water heating capacity in the home does not match the requirement for these tubs.

Not to overlook those who enjoy the relaxation of bathing. There are few things as stress abating as a warm bath.  Sadly, those who seek this escape are not often well suited by the typical builder grade tub.  Many would prefer a hot tub in a well-designed outdoor setting. And for those who prefer a solitary quiet escape, we recommend consideration of something more luxurious than the 5’ tub/shower combo or the oversized and too cool garden tub.

Is there a bathtub in your home that is not frequently used or one that does not fit your bathing needs? Can you imagine a better experience or use of space?

Equation for Value in Remodeling

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Do you want value?  Of course, you do. But what does that mean?  Value is not a fixed point. It is an equation. And that equation is different for everyone.  An often-used example in discussions of value is the fine Italian shoes that cost five times more than a regular pair of shoes but last ten times longer.  The Italian shoes are an excellent value… if you can afford them.

Homes provide a much more complex equation than shoes.  Like shoes, durability, fashion and design are key issues but with many more variables within each category. Additionally, the cost of maintenance and utilities are also at issue.

Unfortunately, the single variable for home buying is cost per square foot, which throws all of these variables of value out the cheap, builder grade window.  Price per square foot is not a good benchmark for value and cheap per square foot is a near perfect equation for bad value.  But that is what sells homes.

To get their price per square foot down, builders are encouraged to provide the most space possible for the lowest price possible.  This has given birth to a whole line of building products called “builder grade.”  This means the lowest possible quality that will get through the short warranty period. 


The average American home is built with around 2500 various parts. With everything from the baseboards to the roofing provided at builder grade, the home can be built at a very low price.  The lower the price, the quicker the home will sell.

As a remodeler, we are the beneficiaries of this approach.  Not only are corners cut on materials but design as well.  Though poor-quality materials are an often-mentioned complaint as families consider remodeling, poor quality space is the most common reason for remodeling.

What most homeowners don’t see is the unnecessary energy loss due to corners cut in order to reduce the price per square foot.  But just like you pay a mortgage payment every month, you also pay your utility bill every month. Unlike your mortgage payment, as long as you are buying energy rather than producing your own, you will never pay it off. 

So, what is your equation for value in remodeling?  If you are in a position of needing to get a project done with as little money as possible, we may not be the right company for you. Our crews are trained not to cut corners.  Nonetheless, we are happy to put our expertise to work for you. If you are doing work yourself and have a question, don’t hesitate to email or call us. We will do our best to get you the information that you need.

Presidents Speaking to Our Core Values

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We are passionate about our four core values. In celebration of President’s Day, we will let a few of them speak to these values.


"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."George Washington


“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly…” Ronald Reagan


“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Thomas Jefferson


If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Holidays Home Assessment

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Goodness, are the holidays a busy time? Decorating, shopping, entertaining: for most, this is not a time to think about remodeling. But maybe it should be.  Chances are that this might be a time when your house is under maximum stress.  These are the times that many remodeling projects are geared to improve.

When your home is full of guests is a great time to take inventory of traffic patterns and places of congestion.  Is there a bottleneck coming into the living room? Do you need more space at the front door?  Would an additional guest bathroom be helpful?

When there are extra cooks in the kitchen is a perfect time to think about changes that might be helpful there. Remodeling Magazine says, “We all love to hang out where the food is, so your kitchen and eating space need to be designed to flow and function for cooking and entertaining.” Are guests in the way of cooking? Do you have enough counter space, storage space, refrigeration? Are the spices where they should be? Are there too many steps between the frig and the prep area? This is the time to think about efficiency in your kitchen.

Is there room for everyone around the dining room table? Is there a protected screened in porch for spillover space? How are those floor coverings? Does everything come together in the coordinated way that makes you proud to show your home off?

The holidays are a busy time and a time to enjoy family and friends. It is also a great time to think about your home and imagine great improvements to make it even warmer and more of a reflection of you.


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Are you an aspiring, or even established, entrepreneur?  It can be exciting, exhilarating, terrifying and often you feel like you are all alone.  But you don’t have to. There are lots of outlets that can provide great information and let you feel less all alone.

Most professional organizations provide resources for learning more about your profession or just asking questions.

Your local peers. Often people are scared to turn to their “competition.”  But most of the time they are a great source of information. In most industries quality professionals help raise the bar and raises awareness for their industry by working together. Working together with your local competition can be both rewarding and provide a great return for all involved.

There are many mentor organizations that can be very beneficial for some.

Most Universities provide aid either as a class project or as an extended practice.

National peer groups. There are many national peer groups both within industries and also across industries. In these groups, you meet other noncompeting businesses. This format allows a deeper dive than most business owners would be comfortable with within their local market. I meet twice a year for three days with ten other top-flight remodeling companies. We review accounting, sales, marketing, policies, and procedures. I learn a great deal from these peers.

Do not overlook the wisdom of friends and family. They want to see you succeed. Granted they probably do not know much about your business but that is actually an advantage. They can provide rich insight from an outsider’s perspective. 

I have been very fortunate to have had peers and mentors that made my journey less scary and more enjoyable. When possible, I return the favor.  I have been a business owner for over 30 years and I know how overwhelming it can be at times. I will provide free consultation to anyone thinking about starting a business or who is running a business within 70 miles of College Station.

I do this because it is a passion, I stand to learn, and I believe that communities that encourage entrepreneurship are more vibrant and interesting.  Sometimes just having someone to tell your ideas to can help you work through them. At other times hearing a different perspective can help bring things into focus. Mistakes provide the best learning opportunities, it is much less costly if you can learn from the mistakes that others have made.

I reserve one hour a week for this service.  I am available for one session or a series of once a month sessions. You can contact me at [email protected] or call our office at 979.696.0524 and ask for Hugh and tell them that you are interested in business coaching.