Specialist Just Adds Labor, Water

For bath remodel, set aside one week.

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Daily News – Business Section (July 22, 2006)

WEST HILLS – Cori Ives now belongs to the Do-It-For-Me generation. It happened earlier this summer when she hired One Week Bath to make over the bathrooms in her West Hills home.

The Tarzana-based business’s plan is as straightforward as its name: It remodels a bathroom in a week.

The company started Ives’ master bathroom on July 10 and it was ready for use five days later.

It started the second bathroom Monday. It had running water before 4 p.m. Friday.

“I have to say they did a great job,” Ives said.

This is not an inexpensive undertaking, but Ives said it’s worth the convenience.

“You’re paying for all the materials to be purchased for you, all the permits to be pulled. You don’t have to worry about anything. You don’t have to chase contractors around,” Ives said.

“And I did call other contractors trying to get bids and they (didn’t) call back.”

The company was founded by contractor Matt Plaskoff and has been featured on the ABC television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” That experience convinced him it possible to completely remodel a bathroom in a week.

“I think that remodelers in general take too long to do projects. I think things could be done more efficiently,” he said.

Plaskoff came up with the concept about six years ago and the business really picked up steam two years ago. So far, One Week Bath has done 250 makeovers.

The average cost is between $18,900 and $20,900. Most one-week jobs are about 70 square feet or smaller. Bigger rooms take about two weeks.

“When you specialize in something and this is all you do, the bottom line is, you’re going to be more efficient and do a better-quality product. You have to be disciplined. We don’t do additions or kitchens.”

The process starts with an in-home visit from a bath design specialist, who helps the homeowners pick the materials and fixtures. The specialist orders the goods and the installation week is selected.

Then a three-person team arrives on “Demolition Day.”

Each team consists of a “generalist,” a tile specialist and a laborer. The company recruits craftsmen, and then sends them to its “Bathroom University” in Gardena. Job candidates take a certification course and their final exam is building a bathroom in a week.

Typically, a class starts with 15 candidates and ends with four graduates, Plaskoff said.

The company has also been selected as an in-store vendor by Home Depot.

Company spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher said Home Depot is always looking for local businesses with which it can partner.

“People find they are just too busy (for do-it-yourself, but want to) be a part of the process in terms of picking out the design and products,” she said.

Nigel Ives also said the company delivered as promised.

“They are extremely professional, they clean up and they are polite.”

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