Functional is beautiful

authors Laurie Banyay | December 1, 2015

Russ Glickman, CAPS, MCR, GACP, UDCP, EPA CR, not only had to complete a bathroom renovation in a one-month time frame, but he also had to customize it to make it completely accessible for his client with ALS, a degenerative neuron disease.

Glickman is president and founder of Glickman Design Build, N. Potomac, Md. The firm focuses on designs that are based on master plans that can be implemented in phases over the long term.

One of the biggest challenges of this Arlington, Va., bathroom remodel was the strict one-month time frame to work within — it needed to be completed before the client returned to the D.C. area from Florida. Glickman says a project of similar magnitude generally would take two months in design and two months in construction. “Working with limited design options, we had to choose materials we knew would look great and be available to fit our time frame for completion. We explained the materials with the clients via phone and email with photos,” Glickman says. “And knowing we had limited design options being a condo bathroom, we were able to come up with a plan that suited the space perfectly while accommodating the client’s needs.”

The 18th floor unit also presented challenges relating to ease of getting in and out of the building. Fortunately, the team regularly works in similar buildings and knows the ins and outs of being as efficient as possible when dealing with parking, elevator and other building issues. The building manager also was helpful and willing to coordinate to get the project completed on time.

The renovation scope included removing a platform and tub; shower seat and niche; shower glass enclosure; marble shower and bath, floor and walls; a framed partition; stone countertop; wall-hung glass mirror; slider door and toilet. An existing medicine cabinet, vanity base cabinets and sink were relocated within the same room.

New elements include wood-framed partitions for the  accessible shower, grab bars, a Schulter water membrane system on walls and floors of the shower, a built-in cabinet and shelves, toilet, electrical work and tile. The existing drains in the 6-in. concrete floor could not be moved so had to be worked around.

This 200-sq.-ft., $150,000 project was completed in February 2015. “The result of the project was a redesigned condo bathroom that looked beautiful and provided functionality the homeowner desired,” Glickman summarizes. “An accessible shower, toilet and sink transformed the room perfectly. The homeowners didn’t see the project until it was complete and were truly shocked by the transformation. They didn’t realize an accessible bathroom could look so beautiful at the same time.

“I’m very proud of our team,” he continues. “Everyone rose to the occasion and quickly created an amazing space that exceeded the client’s expectations. It was especially rewarding that the client showed great appreciation for our work. Winning a national award [the 2015 Chrysalis Awards National Residential Universal Design] for the project was icing on the cake. I ordered an extra trophy and personally delivered it to the client. He and his wife appreciated the gesture.”

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