Arlington, MA Home Renovation Update: January 2014

This is the third installment in our monthly chronicle of a major historic home renovation and addition project in Arlington, MA. Our goal is to go beyond "Before & After" photos to outline the many steps that go into a major renovation behind-the-scenes. The first installment laid out the scope of the project. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Arlington, MA historic renovationIt’s been a busy month on site, though major changes are less visible to the untrained eye. The interior framing is complete. We passed the engineer’s and Arlington building department inspections with flying colors.

Arlington, MA framing for home renovationton

Arlington, MA framing new stairway to third floor

Arlington, MA master bedroom framing


Rough plumbing is in and inspected, along with the electrical rough installation and inspection. Venting for the exhaust fans and dryer ducting is installed. Both HVAC systems are installed and running, keeping the workers warm during this frigid winter period.

Arlington, MA renovation HVAC system

Final design decisions were made and the tile is on order along with the bath vanities and medicine cabinets. The homeowners have picked the counter slabs and cabinet handles. Lighting placements were tweaked to accommodate framing and the wiring for them is all installed.

Arlington, MA first floor renovation

Arlington, MA bathroom renovation

On Monday, 1/27 we began blowing closed cell foam insulation in all the exterior walls, rafters and in the basement rim joists. We will also insulate bathroom walls and pipes for sound. During these three days, we pull all workers off site to avoid potential dangers during the quick curing period.

Immediately after insulation (and insulation inspection) we will begin hanging blue board and applying a smooth skimcoat plaster finish. We are on schedule to complete the project as planned in April. Stay tuned for the next installment when we discuss interior trim selections and flooring options.

If you have any questions about the renovation process or are planning to update your home, please contact us!

Tags: remodeling project photos, historic renovation, Boston home renovation, Arlington MA home renovation

2014 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

Houzz just issued the results of its Winter Bathroom Remodeling Survey of more than 7,500 Houzz users who are in the midst of, or are planning, a bathroom remodel.

The survey results are consistent with what we are seeing: many homeowners are replacing tubs with larger showers, go for glass shower enclosures, like lots of light, and are upgrading with energy-efficient, luxury fixtures. Rather than expanding the footprint of the existing bath, 75% of homeowners plan to make better use of existing space and keep the footprint the same.Morse Back Bay Bathroom Remodeling Project

Here are some of the survey results that we found most interesting:

•    Tubs continue to lose favor: 43% of bathroom remodeling projects will not include a tub, although tubs have retained some popularity among younger homeowners who have children.

•    Throne privacy is secondary: 52% of homeowners do not plan to separate the toilet from the rest of the bath.

•    New light sources are key: Nearly half of respondents are adding a window (48 percent), four in ten are adding a lighted vanity (41 percent) and one in ten are adding a skylight (12 percent). Seven percent are even spicing up the shower with LED lights in their showerhead.

•    High-efficiency toilets dominate: Overwhelmingly, new toilets will be high efficiency (91 percent). Two-piece toilets remain most popular (47 percent), but more than one quarter of younger homeowners stray from this traditional look, choosing tankless and wall mounted options (29 percent).

•    Double sinks on the rise: More than half of homeowners will have double sinks in their master bathroom post-remodel (55 percent) up from just 35 percent pre-remodel. Homeowners 45 years and older are more likely to install two sinks versus younger homeowners.

Boston bath remodeling rain shower head
•    Showers stay glassy: Glass shower enclosures are the clear choice, appearing in eight in ten bathrooms, with frameless glass topping the list for master baths (54 percent). Shower curtains are banned from most masters, only appearing in 10 percent of new master baths, but remain popular for other full baths (33 percent).

•    Rain showers skew younger: When it comes to showerheads, homeowners under 45 are more likely to choose rain (45 percent) and multiple showerheads (24 percent) in the master bath while those 55 and older prefer hand showers (50 percent) and sliding bars (20 percent).Boston Back Bay Powder Room Remodeling

•    It’s all about the upgrades: Upgrading fixtures and features is key to bathroom remodels with nearly half of respondents citing this as a motivator for their remodel. Other reasons include making the space more functional (37 percent), increasing home value (31 percent), addressing changing lifestyle or family needs (22 percent) and improving organization and storage (19 percent).

•    Unique features adorn powder rooms: While wallpaper is out in most bathrooms, homeowners are eight times more likely to use it in their powder room. Hardwood is four times more likely in the powder room, often extending from an entry or great room. Other features more common in this bathroom are pedestal sinks and furniture-like cabinets.

You can download the full report at: If you are planning a major bathroom renovation, we’d love to help. Please contact us if we may be of assistance.

Tags: bathroom remodeling