Growing up I was privileged to learn a few things from my grandfather, who had been a carpenter in the service, and from my mom, who was a contractor wannabe. I just never knew what our house would look like when I got home from schoolthat was my early introduction to remodeling. Little has changed today. My wife Kimberly is an interior designer, so I never know when I leave for a trip if well still have the same furniture when I return. Nevertheless, we make a good team.
When I got my contractors license in 1976, at the age of 22, I had to pretend to be an expert in my field in order to get the experience that eventually made me one. That was hard to do at first; I missed out on a lot of jobs because I looked too young to be a remodeling contractor. I learned along the way that I loved to remodel and build new bathrooms. I knew I could make a difference in a 5-ft. by 9-ft. space, the typical size for an average bathroom.
I have written before about bathroom remodeling, but this book project was especially appealing because it presented the opportunity to gut a bathroom and completely renovate it. (Weve lived in our house 18 years and have never done any major remodeling.) I enjoyed working with my wife to create a new bathroom with a 1930s nostalgic feel. It was a complicated project that took months of planning: finding the right products and fixtures; contracting for custom work; and purchasing items and supplies so theyd be on hand when needed. The planning was worth the time invested, as you can see by the photographs on the cover and throughout the book.
The hands-on experience I bring to Build Like a Pro: Remodel Your Bathroom is documented by text, illustrations, and photos. I wrote the book specifically to help you, the homeowner, understand the proper way to start a project and learn the steps required to finish the work. Because the book paints a realistic picture of what it takes to remodel a bathroom, youll be able to make intelligent decisions about the scope of your project. Use the book as tool to help you understand or visualize the remodeling process.You will learn that itemizing a job can help you perform the work in the proper sequence for a smooth and efficient project.
Your work schedule needs to comply with the building, electrical, and plumbing codes established and enforced by your local building department. Be aware that electrical and plumbing permits, as well as inspections, sometimes fall under state rather than city or county jurisdiction. Be sure to check requirements in your municipality.
The information contained in this book is intended to be a resource for you. Its not the final word. The best advice I can give is to take the time to read the entire book to get a feel for what it will take to remodel your bathroom completely. Good luck with your project, no matter how large or small!