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Up to the Challenge
Up to the Challenge

When you’ve been in the home remodeling business for over 30 years, you’ve tackled it all, from small projects to complete gut jobs of various rooms, such as kitchens or bathrooms. But what Gehman Design Remodeling excels at is taking on the most challenging projects; going the extra mile for each client and making sure they are nothing less than satisfied with the finished product.

An example is a recent project they completed for a client who wanted their first-floor office space and powder room turned into a guest bedroom and bathroom. Master Certified Remodeler and owner Dennis Gehman and his team were faced with many challenges and specific requests, but completed the project beautifully; exactly to the client’s liking and won two awards— Bucks Mont National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) chapter—Contractor of the Year (CotY) and the NARI regional award.

 “We enjoy projects with challenges, knowing that we bring the most value to our clients when other contractors have told them it can’t be done,” Gehman says.

The first challenge with this project was reworking the hardwood floors to create seamless flooring. “The flooring is maple with a natural finish that can be very tricky to color match so that the floor doesn’t look patched,” Gehman says.

One request was to install a floating vanity in the bathroom, which makes the vanity appear as if it is floating from the wall. This piece makes the room look larger, is wheelchair accessible and  brings a modern touch, but is somewhat tricky to install.

 “The vanity counter is heavy, plus we [had] to account for additional weight when someone decides to sit on the vanity. The trick was to design a steel  frame that [would] support the needed weight while achieving the look that the vanity is floating,” Gehman explains.

Another client request was making the bathroom accessible to everyone, but at the same time, giving the guests access directly from their bedroom. Additional- ly, they didn’t want to take up wall space by using a traditional door. The solution? Installing a pocket door with a full-length mirror mounted on the bedroom side, which presented a bigger challenge.

 “The standard pocket door hardware is designed for normal thickness doors. The mirror made the door a quarter-inch thicker and heavier on one side, so we needed to center the rollers at the top on the weight of the door rather than the center dimension of the door so that the door will roll easily,” Gehman explains. “There are three doors within a couple of feet, so using a hinged door would be awkward. The mirror fits with the modern style and gives the room the illusion of being larger.”

During the bathroom renovation, the clients asked Gehman to match custom-made barn doors to their fireplace mantel in the adjacent great room. Due to a high number of client requests for barn doors they have received, which Gehman says is because of popular television shows on HGTV such as Fixer Upper, they have experience in knowing what materials work best.

 “Stained wood planks tend to warp so we were careful to use only furniture-grade, kiln-dried poplar boards that were flat to begin with and then to finish them uniformly to keep the wood from warping,” he explains. “The barn doors added the functionality the client was looking for, and the matching stained wood tied them into the fireplace mantel combining them into the overall room design.”

The barn doors added a rustic touch to the newly contemporary modern style bathroom they completed, which includes porcelain tile floor that extends to the shower and vertical faux wood tile that ties the barn door into the design of the shower.

 “A touch of rustic is very ‘in’ these days, especially with modern styles,” Gehman says. “Rustic ranges from an accent wall, the ceiling or the doors.”

The clients were so thrilled with the finished product, they have since had Gehman Design Remodeling install custom storage in their walk-in pantry and are in talks with the company  about doing future projects in their home. More importantly, they have built a lasting relationship.

 “Now they are talking with us about adding an exercise room as part of their unfinished basement and [adding] an outdoor kitchen.  They have been cheering us on through various design competitions, even attending a gala event with us when we won the Bucks Mont NARI chapter CotY award for their bathroom project.”

Gehman Design Remodeling
Harleysville, Pa. | (215) 513-0300

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 19, Issue 4 (October 2018). 
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