Quick Bath

Area company cashes in on our desire for rapid remodels — and our need for bathroom access.

By Kim Lamb Gregory, Star Home & Garden (Ventura County Star Nov. 11, 2005)

The pink and navy blue color scheme in the bathroom of their Camarillo home looked tired to Keith and Mary Hurt. The fixtures were dull and the bathtub color resembled coffee-stained dentures.

“The previous owner did ceramics and did a lot of her acid work in the tub,” Keith said.

But remodeling seemed too expensive for a couple living in the suburbs on the combined salary of a courier and an administrative assistant. Estimates from contractors hovered around $40,000 for 10 weeks of a torn-up bathroom.

“If I were living in Spanish Hills, I could probably afford that with changes left over,” Keith said.

One day the Hurts saw a newspaper ad for a Tarzana-based company called One Week Bath. For somewhere between $12,000 and $20,000, the company could remodel their bathroom within a week.

One Week Bath provided its own selection of fixtures, vanities, tubs, paint and color schemes. That appealed to the busy Hurts.

“We didn’t have to be spending our weekends out shopping,” Mary said.

The Hurts chose a cinnamon-colored floor tile for the floor and frameless glass shower. A geometric design with butternut diamonds ribboned across the shower wall. They chose a white antique-style toilet, tub and sink and brushed stainless steel fixtures.

“I love it. It’s unbelievable,” Mary said, after the new bathroom was complete.

There were some problems that caused the Hurts’ project to take seven, rather than five days to complete. A subcontractor didn’t deliver a sink on time, a towel rack had to be split in half, and shelves and a toilet paper roll had to be adjusted, but the Hurts were happy.

“We were quite impressed with it, regardless of the problems,” Mary said.

One Week Bath founder and chief executive officer Matt Plaskoff said he runs into trouble only when he subcontracts, or when customers purchase fixtures and accessories on their own. If, for some reason, the project takes longer than five working days, Plaskoff refunds a portion of the buyer’s money.

“A promise doesn’t mean anything unless there’s meat behind it,” he said.

Growing

Since he started his company 1 ½ years ago, Plaskoff has seen business double each quarter. By year’s end, his company will have remodeled about 200 bathrooms. “Next year we plan on doing 500-plus,” he said.

Each week, Plaskoff says he gets between 60 and 100 calls from customers throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Here’s how it works: A salesperrson visits a client’s home with a catalog of samples. After the customer picks out tile, fixtures, tub, paint, lighting and all the accessories, the One Week Bath truck assembles everything necessary for the job, then pulls up in front of the house. Construction workers then spend eight hours a day tearing out the bathroom down to the studs, then rebuilding it.

“It’s truly a ballet in the field,” Plaskoff said. “Because you’re talking about two or three guys working around each other in a confined space all day long.”

Streamlining

Plaskoff, who already was running a construction business, got the idea to specialize in speedy bathroom remodeling one night when he was out with his friendl-turned-chief financial officer, Troy Grande. The two were discussing how to streamline construction projects when Plaskoff suggested they try to specialize in one thing.

“I looked at the In ‘N’ Out burger model and said, ‘What if we just made burgers and fries and no salads?’” he said.

“Bathrooms make the most sense because everybody needs one.”

Plaskoff had a change to test-drive his dream in the fall of 2003, when he was asked to participate on ABC-TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

The Simi Valley home he helped remodel on the show took 50 workers five 24-hour days and nine hours to complete.

“Clearly, we could remodel a home in a week, so we can certainly remodel a bathroom in a week,” Plaskoff said.

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