Renovation Innovation
A sleek and chic bathroom renovation earns Gehman Design Remodeling national acclaim.
by Leigh Stuart

Renovating a bathroom can be a daunting undertaking. In the hands of a skilled team of professionals, however, the results can be remarkable—even award-winning. This was the case for one local family, whose bathroom redesign by Gehman Design Remodeling not only suited the family’s needs, but also earned the firm a national Contractor of the Year award from NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, in the “Residential Bath $50,001 to $75,000” category.

Gehman Design Remodeling transformed a cramped, poorly flowing space into a bright and airy oasis to provide a respite from the day for the homeowners. A shower framed in garish gold was removed to make space for a glass-walled, zero-entry shower featuring a floor with a linear drain, while a new freestanding tub replaced its outdated predecessor. Above, a thoughtful skylight filled the room with the warm glow of natural light.
“The bathroom was definitely very dated,” says Dennis D. Gehman, a Master Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler and president of the Harleysville-based firm. “The homeowner wanted pretty much the same amenities but wanted the room to look more open. The freestanding tub, versus the big platform tub, makes things feel open. The vanity, as well as the toilet and seat in the shower, are wall hung, so that floating appearance offers more space between those things and the floor.”
In addition, a sleek and smartly hidden recessed linen closet offers much-needed storage without taking up valuable floor space.
It wasn’t just updated fixtures contributing to the new air of openness in the room. The bathroom was just one room among many in a whole-home renovation, so Gehman’s team had the freedom to move a non-loadbearing wall one and a half feet into the adjacent bedroom. As a result, the bathroom gained additional square footage.
“We were able to move the wall that the sinks were on to give a little more room in the bathroom,” Gehman shares. “The clear glass shower, with the visual that you can look right through it, helps things look more open, too.”
So far, the bathroom renovation has earned Gehman Design Remodeling not just one but three awards, as the firm was able to expertly highlight not just facets of the improved space but also how they overcame the challenges they faced along the way. One major hurdle: getting a 420-pound freestanding soaking tub up to the home’s second level. It took four men carrying the weight up exterior steps, and the removal of a narrow door, but Gehman’s team prevailed. The addition of the zero-entry shower floor presented its own challenges, which the team solved by cutting tapers into the top of the floor joists.
The shower’s unique entry and sloping floor optimize water drainage. In addition, one-piece walls provide a departure from classic tile-and-grout options.
“The shower walls are something unique,” Gehman shares. “They fit the trend we’re seeing, with homeowners wanting to move away from tile walls in showers. These walls are one piece, top to bottom, so there is less grout and caulking [required].”
While Gehman’s firm has won awards yearly since 1996, he says this year’s honor is particularly special because it centers on a residential renovation rather than a commercial one. When asked to what he credits the long history of his company’s success, Gehman does not hesitate to answer: “It’s a good team.”
“We’ve got a good group of people,” Gehman says. “We’ve been blessed with longevity and loyalty. We have a lot of people who’ve stuck with us. We have someone who has been with us 28 years, another 26, and a handful between 20 and 26. That’s certainly part of it.”
Homeowners, too, play a vital role. Gehman says his firm has been fortunate to “work with homeowners who have good taste and really want something nice.”
“The reality is, we can have ideas, but if the client doesn’t like them, it doesn’t matter,” he adds. “Our role is to ask a lot of questions of the clients and listen closely.”
Perhaps most importantly, the company-wide passion for craftsmanship has set the firm apart for all these years. As Gehman says, “I think it comes easier to us because we enjoy what we’re doing.”
Gehman Design Remodeling
355 Main Street
Harleysville, PA 19438
(215) 513-0300
Photo by Gehman Design Remodeling
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, March 2023.