A Letter from Bruce and Susan Headland…
To all who work with One Week Bath,
We began our search months ago for contractors to remodel our master bath without having much success. Bruce, who has had multiple sclerosis for almost 29 years, needed to have an accessible bathroom to accommodate his wheelchair. We needed to have a sink under which Bruce could roll his wheelchair, plus he needed a shower that he could transfer onto a bench without having to lift his feet over a curb. Although Bruce can walk very short distances, he is not able to lift his feet over even a few inches. With the house being built on a slab, most contractors were not even interested in helping us with our remodeling project.
After seeing an advertisement for One Week Bath in the Los Angeles Times and then perusing One Week Bath’s extensive website, we decided to email them. Within 24 hours, Matt contacted us and expressed interest in helping to design the bathroom himself. In less than a week, we met with Matt and Brian, and together we designed a fabulous master bath, plus we also decided to update the guest bathroom. Matt and Brian listened carefully to what we wished to be done with both bathrooms, offered suggestions, and at the end of our planning session, we had everything planned, from the tiles, to the cabinets, granite countertops, new toilets, new bathtub/shower in the guest bath, new sink and shower fixtures, matching towel bars, and even the paint colors for the walls. We were thrilled with the entire planning process, and when we finished, we felt very confident that our “dream” master bathroom and guest bath would finally be fulfilled.
We had the guest bathroom remodeled first, and by the end of the week, our teenage daughter was enjoying a beautiful, updated bathroom. It was completed just in time for us to show it off for our niece’s wedding shower. We were quite excited to begin our master bath, which we knew from the extensive remodeling needed, would take two weeks.
Our master bath proved to be more challenging, as we had anticipated. Fortunately, One Week Bath continued to help us resolve any problems that we had with making our shower function properly. In the end, we have a gorgeous, “spa-like” shower and master bath that anybody would delight in using. Not only is the bathroom beautiful, more importantly it meets the needs that Bruce required. He is now able to roll completely under the granite counter/sink area and has plenty of accessible storage areas for him. But the best part of all, the walk-in/transfer shower is fabulous! Bruce is able to safely take a shower without the fear of falling or tripping. No shower door is needed because of the design, and there is no shower curb on which he can trip. Plus, Susan loves the large, new shower with having two shower heads to use and a large comfortable bench. Such luxury for both Bruce and Susan, with still meeting very specific needs!
Everyone with whom we worked through One Week Bath was not only very professional, but also extremely caring. The work crews always showed up on time and worked long days. Jonathan even gave our daughter a high school graduation card! Even though we hit many obstacles during the master bath remodel, every single person with whom we worked wanted to make sure that we were happy, not only with the final product, but also with the process. We very much appreciated everything that everyone at One Week Bath contributed to making our master bathroom just what Bruce and Susan desired, one that we both will enjoy, and one that others will also enjoy in the future.
Thank you to One Week Bath, to all of the employees with whom we had the pleasure of working, and especially for making our dream bathroom become a reality.
With much appreciation,
Bruce and Susan Headland
A Message from One Week Bath
We hope you’re as inspired as we are by this month’s One Week Bath Featured Bathroom Remodel. We’re fortunate to have been part of the Headland family’s journey, and honored to have built a bathroom for them that addressed both their aesthetic and safety concerns.
“Keep smiling and enjoy every day!” says Bruce Headland. Uplifting words can come from anyone, but for One Week Bath client Bruce Headland, this advice is particularly inspiring. At 54 years of age, the former marathon runner now navigates his world with the help of his devoted wife, Susan, and a Hover Round electric wheelchair. Bruce has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and while his upper body is incredibly powerful, he has almost no use of his once strong legs.
It was October 1980 when a perfectly healthy Bruce woke up with no feeling in his body from the chest down. Thinking he’d simply pinched a nerve, he headed for his job at GE Aviation, where he worked on fighter plane engines. Bruce had worked on all kinds of engines for most of his life; even an F-18 Hornet for the US Navy.
His condition persisted so he put a call into his doctor as a precaution. Amazingly, within just a few weeks, Bruce was a quadriplegic! Since MRI’s didn’t exist in 1980, Bruce’s condition was very difficult to diagnose. He ended up being treated by Dr. Kenneth Jordan, who was an instructor at Loma Linda University Medical Center. With the right treatment, Dr. Jordan miraculously got Bruce up and walking again within a week. Bruce credits Dr. Jordan with keeping him out of wheelchair for the 20 years that followed; in fact Bruce did a telethon with Dr. Jordan to share his story and raise awareness and money for MS.
Fast forward to 2009: Bruce and Susan (a full-time teacher for the past 30 years) were looking for bathroom remodeling solutions in their home that would accommodate Bruce’s needs without looking institutional. They had a master and a guest bathroom that needed remodeling. Being an educator, Susan did thorough research to find the best possible contractor. She was continually disappointed. It seemed that no one understood the complexities of their needs nor was willing to commit to the full picture. Questions like, how long their remodel would really take, how much it would really cost and what were the available products to fulfill both the aesthetic and functional needs, all remained unanswered.
The Headlands were overwhelmed at the idea of bottomless costs and endless disruption to their home; however, something needed to be done soon, especially in the master bath. In trying to get from his wheelchair onto the shower bench, Bruce had fallen twice, fracturing his ribs. It was clear that a safe and functional ADA bathroom had become critical to his well-being, but the Headlands needed confidence and trust that their bathroom would not only be functional, it would be built correctly and look beautiful.
They saw an ad for One Week Bath in the Los Angeles Times and went directly to the OWB website. They loved what they saw in the photo gallery, and were immediately impressed by the One Week Bath commitment to helping others fulfill their need for high quality, custom design, and guaranteed pricing. Susan found particular value in the wealth of remodeling information offered on the site. All this in addition to a guaranteed start and finish date was all the Headlands needed to pick up the phone and call.
Susan told us, “I felt a little nervous when I learned that our bathroom would be personally handled by CEO and Founder Matt Plaskoff, but was immediately put at ease by Matt’s down-to-earth, “real-life” way of being.” Susan shared that she could tell that Matt really listened to and cared about their needs, even repeating back their words to be sure everything was right. Both Bruce and Susan relaxed as Matt led them through the entire design process, and found very little limitation in the products available. They were thrilled that they could make all the selections for both bathrooms right from the comfort of their home, while benefitting from Matt’s professional guidance with their personal preferences.
“I have to tell you that when I spoke with Bruce and Susan on the phone, I could feel Bruce smiling,” Matt said of his conversation with the Headlands. “I was really excited about the opportunity to make this happen for them both. Given the complexities and special needs of the family, I chose to personally work with the Headlands through the design process. I also brought Brian Kargari, our VP of Operations to be certain that our designs would be executable – his expertise was invaluable.
“Our main focus in the master was to create a beautiful oasis for both Bruce and Susan while insuring that every element of the room was very functional and safe for Bruce. It turned out that most of the really great functional features of the room became some of the best aesthetic features. The triumph in my mind is that we didn’t’ have to sacrifice a single detail to make this work for Bruce. Bruce and Susan can rest assured that, in the event they want to sell the home in the future, this bathroom will be a selling point and not a hindrance to a sale.”
Susan and Bruce couldn’t be happier, or more relieved. Bruce’s safety concerns are a thing of the past, and everyone is impressed with both gorgeous, custom bathrooms.
To quote Susan on the master bath: “not only is the bathroom beautiful, more importantly it meets the needs that Bruce required. He is now able to roll completely under the granite counter/sink area and has plenty of accessible storage areas for him. But the best part of all, the walk-in/transfer shower is fabulous! Bruce is able to independently and safely take a shower without the fear of falling or tripping. Everyone with whom we worked through One Week Bath was not only very professional, but also extremely caring.”
Thank you, Susan and Bruce; it’s been our privilege building your bathrooms!
The Team at One Week Bath