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I do custom bathroom renovations in Austin, Texas. I also do general custom tile installations and kitchen renovations. If you’d like a straightforward tile tub surround or kitchen backsplash or a whole new custom bathroom or custom kitchen from the studs up, then that’s what I do.

Handling any needed carpentry, drywall, drain-side plumbing, finishing trim, painting, etc work personally is the value added that I provide.

Other home renovation contractors in Austin sub out work. With me, you deal with the person who actually does literally all of the day-to-day work on your project.

I’m also sometimes available for general handyperson repairs/improvements needing diverse skills and experience. And, I spend free time between for-hire jobs entertaining myself by working on my own rental rehab house and puttering around making plain plywood furniture, hosting backyard movie screenings, etc.

Here’s the bottom line. I prefer the 1980s Austin style, back when it was just a different kinda sorta socialist college town. So thats how I choose to work. So, if you’d like to work with that kind of throwback neighborhood do it all reno contractor, then get in touch. If you’d like more context, then just keep scrolling down this page!

Quick Bio

My major whole house reno work with custom tile bathroom renovations, kitchen renovation, etc began on my own home while teaching full time at Texas Tech University (guns up!) in Lubbock, TX. After then helping my friends (and then friends of friends, and then friends of acquaintances, yada yada) with their Lubbock home renovation projects for beer and pizza, I finally decided to make bathroom and other renovation work a full time vocation here in Austin.

Formal degrees in chemical engineering, biochemistry, and technical writing apparently prepared me for figuring out plumbing, defeating mold, and researching how to rebuild a house literally from the ground up. The result is lots of practical experience in all aspects of home reno and repair.

All of my for hire jobs come with a fixed labor cost, zero up-front charges, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re looking for someone who can offer advice with humor and options with clarity, then just email me at “art.fricke@gmail.com” for a consult and pricing writeup.

You can also call me at 512-806-4455 but keep in mind that you’ll need to leave a voicemail first. I’m pretty popular on the interwebs, so all unknown numbers go straight to my answering machine.

A Different Approach

You normally have three choices for bathroom renovations in Austin. You can hire a general contractor to oversee everything. Or you can hire a bunch of individual contractors (demo, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, drywall, tile, trim carpentry, paint, etc etc etc) and manage them all yourself. Or, you can DIY it.

Hiring a general contractor is the retail approach. It adds ~40% to the cost of your project for the convenience of someone else managing all of the details for you. The upside is, obviously, not having to deal with everything yourself. The downside? That’s a big chunk of extra cash added to a bathroom or kitchen reno cost.

Hiring your own individual contractors (basically, being your own general) is the wholesale approach. This can potentially save up to 40% which is a nice upside. But finding (and scheduling) even just one good subcontractor can be hard to do if you don’t have contracting experience yourself. Multiply that by five (or more for a complex reno project) and you really run the risk of a bad sub screwing up the entire project. That’s the practical downside to being your own GC.

Doing all the work yourself is, of course, the (maybe) lowest cost option for a reno project but simply isn’t realistic for most folks. Installing tile, for example, isn’t rocket science but does take skill and practice. It can also get real messy real fast.

The Benefits: Peace of Mind

I offer the best of all three of these traditional options for bathroom renovations in Austin. When you hire me, you get a single worker who actually does all of the work themselves. And, you get the benefit of working with someone who started out as a DIY homeowner. The result is peace of mind knowing that each task will be done correctly (since no homeowner should live with cut corners) and the convenience of coordinating with just one person with lots of previous experience.

Basically, I’m a communal marxist. The only labor I exploit is my own, and I believe that homeowners should be very involved in their home work. I am not a traditional contractor. I am a collaborator, ideally an extension of your own hands and vision.

More Benefits: Shared Priorities

Most every traditional bathroom renovation contractor here in Austin juggles multiple projects at once. That’s why coordination can be a real nightmare for them, which is a problem that often gets passed on to their clients. Traditional reno contractors are sometimes distracted or perhaps even downright unresponsive during (or especially near the end of) a particular reno job because they’re continually juggling priorities and subcontractors at multiple jobsites.

I only work on one major reno project at a time. This keeps life simple for me, and it makes communication simple for you. It also ensures that my priorities are also your priorities. For example, want to completely finish your reno project quickly so you can enjoy the results as soon as possible? So do I, so that I can move on to my next project asap!

Most every subcontractor also juggles more than one job at a time, or is at least working for multiple general contractors at once. That’s why subs sometimes seem to flake out for a few days or weeks or even disappear completely. This can be even worse if a sub is working for a general contractor who’s squeezing margins to maximize their overhead profit.

I only use subcontractors when necessary to meet code (licensed electricians or plumbers for hairy situations, for example) or to save money for my clients (pro drywall finishers who work more efficiently than I do, for example). Also, since I’m the one responsible for all the subsequent project steps once the rare sub is done, I’m just as personally invested in the results as my clients are. You want reputable, capable, and effective subs working on your project? So do I, since it’ll be me who will be personally dealing with fixing any problems before the next renovation step can happen.

My QC inspector. Her job is easy!

Finally, I started out myself as a DIY renovator frustrated with conventional general contractors and flaky subcontractors. Again, my first major project was rehabbing my own 1940s craftsman bungalow in Lubbock and then helping out an expanding list of friends and acquaintances with their own rehab jobs. I was driven to learn how to do proper quality reno work after being super annoyed by the low quality or high cost of conventional alternatives. And we had to literally live with the results, so cutting corners wasn’t an option. Neither was it for the friends who helped me down this vocational path in the first place.

Everyone deserves good home work. Everyone.

So, that’s a brief description of how I started doing my own reno projects to begin with and how I work with folks needing bathroom renovations in Austin now. It all boils down to one simple slogan.

Keep it Simple. Do it Well. Make it Last.