Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Steam Shower Cometh

On to projects....

My favorite project this "season" is a modern steam shower that I am putting into a very Victorian home. Now, while the juxtaposition could be jarring, this design will still showcase fine cabinetry, vintage styled tiles, classic statuary marble, and original wood details. The steam shower is located off a bedroom at the back of the house looking from above down on the beautiful garden. We closed up the second doorway from the central hallway to the former bathroom to make the space more private and accessible to the owner. The old bathroom was a hallway like design with walls that obscured the light and the window. The new design creates a spacious 4 foot by 6 foot glassed in steam room/shower at the end of the room with no walls to obstruct the window. A new vanity and narrow cabinet tower will double the storage space and heated floors will now provide the warmth for the room as the steam radiator and pipe were removed.

The owner has been very much involved in the evolving design of the bathroom. She even took the first swing with the sledgehammer! I told her that one of the great things about working with me is that we can modify the design as we progress and new ideas come to mind. I also explained that one of the tough things about working with me is that we can modify the design as we progress... There are however two caveats with this design and build style: First, you can't go backwards with the construction because we don't want to undo anything we've already built or bought and, Second, changes and additions almost always cost money!

With the definition of "fluid" design now understood, we can talk budgets for a moment. My estimates usually come in right on target. But as a rule any project is about 10% over the original estimate. In this case, custom cabinetry and an upgrade from a quartzite granite to statuary marble are the over budget culprits.

Tiling starts next week. But first I will be applying a waterproof vapor barrier to keep the steam in the shower and out of the walls and ceiling. Notice the beautiful copper is now covered with 4 inches of cement and ready for the floor tile.


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