Bath Simple Welcomes Canyon Construction as a Bath Simple Certified Installer – Innovative Bathroom Design and Remodeling
Tapping a growing market with an innovative bathroom design and remodeling partnership
“Successful remodeling is all about sequencing,” says Chris Avant, president of Canyon Construction. “For every project, you create a critical path schedule, and there are any number of variables that can throw it off.” In layman’s terms: One midstream design change or undelivered shower valve, and there goes your budget and timeline.
“The Bath Simple system front-loads design decisions, removes uncertainty from the procurement process and ensures accurate package delivery,” he says. “It helps clients make better choices and allows me, as the general contractor, to bid the work tightly, eliminate contingencies and be more competitive in the marketplace.”
Small projects, big opportunities
When the economy dipped a few years ago, Avant felt a renewed urgency to stay competitive. Canyon Construction, based in Moraga, California, had been successfully building offices and homes in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 40 years. Avant, a former carpenter, foreman and project manager for the firm, took the helm in 2000.
“Business slowed in 2008 and had really contracted by early 2009, though it stabilized about six months later” he says. Gone were most of the large bank-financed projects and mid-size owner-financed projects. By late 2009, he saw an increasing demand for smaller jobs, such as kitchens, baths, additions, decks and repair work with budgets from $10,000 to $100,000. Avant’s desire to efficiently tap this market created fertile soil for a friend’s new-business idea and ultimately a partnership.
About the same time, Bath Simple co-founder John Crowley mentioned his ideas for streamlining the bathroom design and bathroom remodeling process. The pair had met a few years before through a mutual friend, and they had worked together on a pilot program for a modular building project. “I knew John’s background as an inventor, designer and innovator,” says Avant. “His front-end approach to controlling the remodeling process made a lot of sense. He kept in touch as he developed a business plan with co-founder Bill Hunscher and launched Bath Simple in 2010.” Now Canyon Construction is the Bath Simple certified installer for California’s Alameda and Contra Costa counties and recently completed its first Bath Simple project.
Bath in a Box
The companies also share a commitment to sustainability. Bath Simple offers water- and energy-efficient bath products and low-VOC paints, and it has developed a waste collection system that makes it possible for clients to recycle old bath fixtures and construction debris whenever possible.
Canyon Construction has been incorporating sustainable materials and technologies into its projects since the 1960s. In 2010, Avant oversaw the green renovation of the oldest building in downtown Moraga, California, a circa-1914 former hotel and bar that became Canyon Construction’s headquarters. The project received Platinum LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the highest possible rating for sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Furthermore, the companies have attracted a variety of accomplished architects, designers, builders and entrepreneurs. “This combination of skilled professionals is a shared strength between Bath Simple and Canyon Construction,” says Remy Mansfield, Bath Simple’s marketing director. “Having both broad global and intimate knowledge of the industry drives these two teams in their pursuits and sustainable design,” says Mansfield.
Along with a pent-up demand for small jobs, Avant is seeing some larger residential projects return. “The difference is that they are owner- rather than bank-financed,” he notes. Building performance is another growth area, fueled in part, he says, by consumer awareness and acceptance of green products and systems and by government rebates for energy-saving improvements. “From a community standpoint, the more water- and energy-efficiency we can build into projects, the better,” says Avant.