Searching for bathroom design ideas led Fairfax homeowner Lesley Palmer, 33, to a new Web site developed by Case Remodeling Design in Bethesda. Called “ibby” (Inspiration Built by You), the site allowed Palmer to choose every part of the room and price the renovation within a few minutes.
“We can’t put a lot of money into our bathroom right now,” says Palmer, who shares her 1980s townhouse with husband Mike, 34, and infant son Everett. “But the site gave us an idea of what it would cost, about $13,000, for a design we like a lot.”
Launched in November 2013, ibby offers bathroom renovations ranging from $12,000 to $30,000 that are about 20 percent cheaper than the typical Case renovation.
“Ibby is for a person who wants a simple, quick process and great materials and craftsmanship, and who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on it,” says Case general manager T.J. Monahan, who developed and runs the Web site. “
Case’s ibby service also keeps renovation costs in check by staying within the existing bathroom and replacing plumbing fixtures and finishes, rather than moving them to new locations.
Monahan says ibby is meant to appeal to 25-to-45-year-old homeowners such as the Palmers.To get started, a user clicks on one of four floor plans resembling the size and layout of the current bathroom. “We emphasize that your bathroom does not have to look exactly like one of our layouts — it only needs to be close to one of them,” Monahan says.
Then a traditional, transitional or contemporary style is chosen, along with each element of the room, from the vanity and lighting to the toilet paper holder.
Wall and floor tiles, some with accent patterns, can be arranged into 26 layouts. The six toilets and six bathtubs — all in white — are made by Kohler, and the site offers the option of a glass shower enclosure or a curtain rod. Shower heads, faucets and accessories available in polished chrome and brushed nickel can be requested. All of the tile and surface finishes come in neutral tones, and the site offers only four paint colors — blue, white and two gray hues.
“I wanted to make sure people could mix and match all the materials so the combinations would look good,” Monahan says.
Before the price of the renovation is revealed, the homeowner is asked to supply information on the age and type of the dwelling and the size and location of the bathroom. Remodeling in a home built before 1940 and on an upper floor increases the costs.
After initial design selections have been made, users of the site may adjust their picks to change the overall renovation cost, which includes labor. They can request samples of chosen materials and schedule a consultation with Case ($100 credited to the project costs) to review the ibby design and discuss the renovation realities of the actual space.
Once the contract is signed and construction scheduled, says Monahan, the bathroom renovation takes about two weeks and comes with a five-year warranty on the work.
The remodeling service is available only in the D.C. area, but homeowners in other parts of the country can purchase the online bathroom designs for $250 and hire a local contractor to complete the project.
DIYers may find the ibby kit useful. The package includes a set of drawings, including a plan and elevations; a list of materials and fixtures with model numbers and quantities needed for the size of the bathroom remodel; and names of vendors who sell the products.
In addition to bathroom designs, ibby offers a mudroom layout with shelving flanking a bench. Monahan has plans to add other renovation options to the site but didn’t specify the particular areas of the home. “In the coming years, our goal is to offer our services to every room inside your house and some spaces outside,” he says.
Deborah K. Dietsch is a freelance writer.