STORIES

With Renovated Bathroom, Couple Can Stay in the Home They Love

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With Renovated Bathroom, Couple Can Stay in the Home They Love

Carl and Faith Scovel were generally happy with the bathroom in their Jamaica Plain home. But, they knew that, as they got older, the daily act of stepping in and out of their old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub put them at risk for a bad fall. To stay safely in the home they love for as long as possible, a bathroom renovation was necessary. But how to get started?

“We had never rehabbed anything,” said Carl. “We went around to showrooms looking at stuff. And we ended up discouraged, confused….”

Longtime supporters of Boston Building Resources, the couple enrolled in the Working with a Contractor and Bathroom Remodeling workshops. The two classes provided an essential framework for what to expect and how to sift through the vast amount of information to focus on the essentials. “We got enough from the courses so we could begin to think,” Carl recounted.

When planning the remodel, they found themselves confronting “innumerable, tiny, very important decisions,” Carl said. For example, the choice of tile is not just a matter of aesthetics, but also the friction coefficient—especially since preventing falls was a primary concern. While their first choice of floor tile was pure white, they opted for an off-white tile with the slip-resistant quality they needed.

The contractors class was “very straightforward, very helpful, very well organized,” said Faith. “They also told us to be prepared for surprises. That’s just the way it is.” The class gave them the confidence to choose a contractor who they felt would listen to their needs and desires rather than just coming in and doing things their own way.

Now finished, their bathroom features a curbless shower with a folding seat and celadon subway tile, bordered by an edge strip in shades of sea green. “Faith chose the tile. She has an excellent eye for color,” said Carl.

The “Each of us, the first time we took a shower, said, ‘Wow! This is great! This is what a shower should be!’” enthused Carl. For a small space, this remodeled bathroom has had an outsize impact on their quality of life.