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5 Tips on Your Bathroom Remodel Options: An Interview with Laura Hokanson of Bark River Remodeling

By Laura Hokanson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Bark River Remodeling has been serving the South Shore area for 10 years. Joe Hokanson, carpenter and business owner, has 25 years of experience in both residential and commercial construction. He provides interior and exterior remodeling for his customers including kitchen/bath remodels, roofing, siding, window/door replacements, deck construction, and a variety of home maintenance carpentry. In addition to remodeling he also does new construction of homes/cabins, home additions, garages and outbuildings. A large percentage of our customers are repeat customers and our most frequent comment from customers is, "I should have hired you first." Joe is known for quality work, dependability, and honesty.

Is there something people can do to help make the design process go smoothly and make sure they end up with a bathroom they'll love?

See it. Feel it. Communicate it. Visit expos, bath design showrooms, take photos, look at magazines. Get paint, tile, flooring, countertop samples to look at in your home. Distill your ideas into a final plan with your contractor, and get the final design plans in writing before construction begins. Complex designs may warrant an architectural drawing.

What are some of the basic considerations a homeowner will need to make when they're remodeling their bathroom?

Decide who the primary users of the bathroom will be and what the needs are. For example, is this a master bedroom suite where some extra creature comforts are wanted or a 3/4 bath off the garage with a deep sink for potting plants? Will the users be children, seniors, or a mix of ages? Are you looking for practicality or indulgence? Do you need accommodations for disabilities? The answers to these questions will drive your design.

What are the some of the most popular bathroom features or styles people in the South Shore are choosing?

Tile flooring, heated floors, earth tone color schemes, custom wall tile work, traditional plumbing fixtures, brighter lighting.

How can people choose colors and materials that also complement the rest of their home?

Get samples of everything: tile, paint, vanity top, wallpaper, etc. Bring it home and have a look. What looks right in the showroom may clash at home. Some of our customers benefit from hiring an interior designer.

Do you have any advice for how to make a bathroom stand out while maintaining your remodeling budget?

If possible, don't change the location of the plumbing fixtures. Moving walls and rough plumbing increases costs fast. Simply replace sinks/baths/toilets with updated units. Replace the flooring and use rich paint colors. Don't skimp on faucets, towel bars, and accessories. Cheap fixtures cheapen a bath, even if you've chosen expensive tile and quality base elements, while quality accessories with tasteful color schemes can make economical base elements look rich.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Email me at barkriverremodeling@wildblue.net or leave a message at 715-774-3808

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About The Author

Laura's work experience includes Occupational Therapy and Philanthropic Development...

Phone: 715-774-3808

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