Upgrading the Essentials and Polishing the Look


After living in their home for a number of years, this couple had a laundry list of improvements they wanted to make — including the laundry room itself! The problem: there was no laundry room, nor was there enough storage. They wanted a more luxurious bathroom in the master suite and they wanted to update all the finishings on the main level: new doors, trim, and a refresh for their hardwood floors. In other words, the works! Finally, the basement needed attention, as did the utilities. From baseboard to boiler, it was out with the old and in with the new. 

The Initial Plan

The Bredins wanted some cosmetic upgrades in addition to a couple of infrastructure improvements that would usher the look and feel of their home into the 21st century. They had a grand plan for updating the entire home but decided to focus on the bathrooms and laundry room first — the essentials, plus a few added touches here and there to polish the look of their home. 

The Obstacles

The Bredins wanted a dedicated laundry room, but in its present condition, there was no official laundry room. Additionally, the basement was configured in a way that made it a very unusable space.  

They wanted an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower but the space in its current condition would not accommodate those upgrades. The plumbing and drainage had to be reconfigured 

The JBC Solution

For the ensuite master bathroom, we did a complete reconstruction of the space. This gave them access to the main bath via the master suite and the powder bath. 

The laundry room solution was to rebuild the basement, adding a new bathroom along with the big new laundry room. We also went long on storage in the laundry room, which more than satisfied the client’s desire to increase the storage capacity of their home. 

The new stainless steel boiler heats the house as well as the hot water for the plumbing fixtures (the domestic hot water supply). It’s a combination boiler for hydronic space heating, meaning it offers both types of heating: your living space and your domestic hot water. To complement the combi boiler, the on-demand water system by Rinnai provides forever hot water for the endless, luxuriating showers.  

The Outcome

The Bredins are excited about the way their plans are coming to life. In retrospect, they agree that they couldn’t have chosen a better approach: renovating the essential areas of the home first, where changes would have the biggest impact: bathroom, powder room, laundry room and utilities. 

They now have the bath of their dreams, just off their bedroom, complete with powder bath and main bath accessible to the master suite. The new walk-in shower features a bench that measures six feet by five inches which, in terms of shower benches, is a luxury-level, king-size bench that only makes sense in a large bathroom with a roomy shower, like this one. The heated towel bar is built into the wall tile, which gives the look and feel of a high-end luxury hotel bathroom or a spa. That theme is continued, with the heated floors and dual sink vanity — worthy of the Waldorf Astoria!

After many years with outdated bathrooms, the Bredins are more than thrilled with the outcome of their new bathroom!

Back down on the main floor, the new trim and baseboards along with the refinished hardwood floors make a huge difference in terms of updating and polishing the look of their main living area. The special inlay in the hardwood floors is one of our favorite aspects of the project. The pot lights we added modernize the space for a completely new look without much fuss and no structural work at all. 

They also now have full use of the space in their basement, which affords them a big, brand-new laundry room and tons more storage because of the custom cabinetry we built for them — all of which were on their list of requirements for this phase of the home renovation project. And finally, for an added, unexpected touch of luxury, the floors in the laundry room are heated, too. 

The new bathroom in the basement features a new tub, new tile, a tub tile surround, heated floor, floating vanity, and a frameless glass door and wall for the tub.

Now that they have dipped their toes into these basic home renovation projects, they have some experience under their belts to plan the next phase. 

One of the large-impact changes they love the most is the refinished hardwood floors — it was important to them to do this throughout the home, in order to keep the overall space cohesive and to give a refresh in other areas of the home, even though those areas weren’t being remodeled at this time.