When Nathan Cravens decided he wanted to focus on bathroom remodels that could be completed in five days, two things were critical to his success: a mobile showroom and a custom software system.
For his company, BathroomsIn1Week.com, most clients are empty nesters looking to update their 25- to 30-year-old master bath, but who also usually ask Cravens to return to upgrade a secondary bathroom as well. “We average two bathrooms per house,” the remodeler says.
Though the Lexington, Ky., company markets a one-week bath, most projects take 10 days to complete and average $25,000 to $30,000, with some larger $60,000 custom baths in the mix. The bath remodels that Cravens completes in one week cost around $10,000 to $13,000.
Cravens and his two crew members handle the demolition, framing, tile-setting, trimwork, and painting. Plumbing and electrical work and, occasionally, drywall are subcontracted.
BathroomsIn1Week.com’s mobile showroom selections center on a neutral palette of products that go well together. Cravens has found that his core clientele prefer to be given a starting point rather than being overwhelmed by showroom selections. As a result, many of the company’s baths have a similar look. Clients who want a more custom style have the option to go make selections from tile and cabinet showrooms.
Cravens orders all the materials before construction begins. This helps to both keep the job on schedule and to alleviate any homeowner anxiety because “clients know what they are getting — they’ve seen and touched all the products,” Cravens says.
To allow Cravens to update the project estimate, based on client selections, he hired a programmer to create a custom Microsoft Excel–based estimating program. “We build the bathroom based on what the client wants,” Cravens says. “We don’t do allowances. They can see me create the estimate in front of them.”
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.