DES Home Renovations was chosen by this Lawrenceville, NJ Homeowner simply because he knew we were the perfect fit after meeting Stephen Samuels, our Sales Project Manager. The project was designed, developed, built, and managed by DES Home Renovations.


The homeowner wanted a bathroom that suited his Style & Taste – Clean & Simple but also make getting younger not so bad [Yes i said younger]. This small scale Master Bathroom lacked in all areas to meet the needs of this Homeowner.


Green & Sustainable Options:

Wedi Ecobath™ Tub Surround (Backer board)
Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa Paint
Laticrete Permacolor Select
Halo LED Recessed Lighting
Kohler WaterSense® toilet


Project cost: $20,000 – $25,000

Design Process

As always The biggest challenge was making something distinctive out of a very small space, but exceed every time. All the fixtures had to remain in the same location so any interest would have to come from the design and materials. With little room for improvement to the existing configuration, we were able to replace tub w/ new shower base and increase its size while remaining compliant with code. Replace exiting sliding glass medicine cabinet which provided minimal storage w/ a new Triple Door Unit. Frame full width linear niche for extra storage within the shower area. Add Sliding Bypass Shower Doors which are always a WIN in smaller bathrooms [& the options are really attractive these days] as pivot doors normally have clearance issues. Lastly grab bars at entrance of each side and a folding teak bench [to be installed at a later date] which is great when considering aging in place.


Build Process

3 Weeks 1 Days

At project start, site preparation is completed and demolition and debris removal begins. No code violations were discovered but walls weren’t exactly plumb. Our carpenters were able to straighten out walls without completely removing and installing new, all blocking installed per plan specs for the installation of finish fixtures, and then prepped for rough inspection. All Electrical & Plumbing rough completed and inspected.

Pre Insulation & Drywall inspection completed and signed off prior to drywall installation and finish.

As with all of our Bathroom Remodeling projects, Schluter Ditra was then installed and our substrate prior to floor tile installation & Wedi Building Panels were installed to shower wet wall as our tile backerboard and waterproofing agent making the bathroom water tight all before any tile installation.

With project coming to a final completion, we were still without a Vanity top as the product status went from being available to being on back order. We were able to find a great substitute at a comparable cost which not only looked great but was able to give us a quick turn around without affecting substantial completion significantly.

Upon final completion, we encountered one additional problem while removing our protective floor covering. The clear finish was stripped from the pre-finished wood floor, this was caused by the heat from the sun baking the film onto the finish. This resulted in the need to sand and refinish the entire floor which turned out great.

3 Easton Ct - 34


3 Easton Ct - 29


View Completed Project



Overall this project went quite smoothly. The homeowners, extremely pleased with the outcome, this is what they had to say:

“I had a very solid vision of what I wanted for my master bath remodel project. It’s a small room (5×10) but that does not mean it can’t be nice. I had been clipping images for some time and trying to learn as much as I could about bathroom remodeling and construction. I needed a project manager/builder who got my design language and could bring accomplished craftspeople to the project. It was a great relief to finally find Stephen Samuels at DES.

Stephen was very organized and detailed in his description of the process, determining material and fixture allowances and how the budget was constructed. This was a central concern of mine since I had not previously hired a contractor to do anything more than hang a chandelier or replace a faucet.

All of the sub-craftspeople were courteous and showed up on time and cleaned up at the end of each work day. We used my garage to store materials and fixtures as they arrived and as a workshop once the work started.

As I stated above I had been researching this project long before I started contacting potential builders. Since the plan called for demolishing the original bathroom down to the studs I wanted to make sure my wet areas were waterproofed with the most advanced materials available today. I had identified the Schluter shower system as the way to go. Fortunately Stephen was able to introduce me to WEDI which has additional benefits.

Stephen was put to the test when my vanity top and sink manufacturer was unable to deliver my order in time to meet our production schedule. Through Stephen’s experience and vendor contacts he was able to source a better quality; more attractive quartz vanity top and porcelain sink at the amount allowed in my budget and keep us on schedule.

There was another contribution Stephen brought to my design that I really appreciate. Originally I planned to replace a 30×60 inch tub with a 30×60 inch shower pan. Stephen suggested I use a larger 32 inch shower pan, which our building code would allow. But this was one area where I hoped to limit project cost escalation. Any time you move plumbing things get expensive fast. This small change might cause moving the shower plumbing drain in the sub floor. And I expected the larger shower pan to cost more. I thought twice about this but I took Stephen’s advice and I am glad I did. But this was all academic until I was able to compare taking a shower in my original bathroom that of the remodeled larger shower. The remodeled shower is much more spacious and well worth the change. In the end our plumber was able to make the current drain location work. And the 32 inch pan turned out to be cheaper than the 30 inch. Little details make a big difference in the experience of using my remodeled bathroom.

Another little detail that pays big dividends every day was ordering a beautiful “comfort height” custom cherry bathroom vanity from WoodPro a company I had never heard of. And I like the WoodPro vanity better than my original choice from that company in Wisconsin.

As Stephen and I finalized various items during the construction he was a very good sounding board for discussing choices and trade off. This is an essential service that ever homeowner can appreciate.”


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