Repairing With Artistry and Skill
by Melissa LaScaleia
Steve Dunham is the owner and man-power behind Grand Strand Bathtub Repair, Refinishing and More.
He hails from Southern California, where he worked for many years in the grocery store business. Twenty-five years ago, he and his wife decided to move back to her native state of Pennsylvania.
Steve began fixing his house in preparation to sell it, when he noticed there was a crack in his bathtub. He called a company to discover his options for repair; and the repairman Steve encountered began to speak to him about the art of restoring bathtubs. One thing led to the next, and soon the repairman was sharing all about the franchise company he owned, and the positive aspects of it.
Steve thought about the opportunity for himself, and when he moved back to Pennsylvania, he decided to buy the franchise for his local area.
“Within two weeks I was in training in Utah,” he says. “I also had a friend, Larry Brown, who had a franchise in bathtubs. He took me under his wing for about a year and trained me as his apprentice. I learned from doing it— hands on.”
Steve has now been in the bathtub repair industry for the past twenty-two years.
“I’ve been very blessed,” he says of his career and life. “Being self-employed gives me a sense of freedom which I truly love.”
Steve can repair and refinish any type of fiberglass or porcelain bathtub or shower, fixing things like cracks, chips, and holes; he also repairs things like vinyl fencing and windows that are cracked or broken. If you have a weak shower or tub bottom, he can install a fiberglass inlay to give you a brand new bottom.
“Once the floor cracks in a tub or shower, people think they need to get a new one, but I can fix it and match it perfectly, and it will be stronger than it was when it was new,” Steve says. “Why would you replace this item when you can refinish or repair it for a third of the cost?
“What I do is very fulfilling for me; I can save people a lot of money. And I’m not going to be in your house for days or a week with a messy replacement process. I’m in and out. It’s convenient— no mess, no dirt, no hassle.”
Steve installs shower doors, or removes them— repairing the holes and matching the color exactly so you can’t tell they were ever there. He can also refinish tubs and showers to change their color; and people are hard pressed to notice any real difference between a refinished versus a new tub.
“I take something damaged or old and make it look new again,” he says of his work. “It’s not like building something. It’s more like an art. I have to paint it and make it match and shine and blend. There aren’t a lot of people who do what I do.”
Grand Strand Bathtub Repair also offers a walk-through conversion which will turn your existing bathtub into a walk-in bathtub or a walk-in shower.
The installation lowers the front skirt of the tub. If someone has knee, ankle or hip problems or is elderly, the ledge is hard to navigate. With the tub cut-out, you can step on the walk-through and get yourself into the tub with ease.
“And there’s also an installation I can do if people want to use their tub to take a bath in after I’ve done the cut-out,” Steve says. “The cut-out facilitates greater safety and ease getting in and out of the tub and therefore gives you more confidence. Many elderly/handicapped people have a hard time getting over the railing. At some point it becomes scary. I’ve installed thousands of these in retirement homes, and it’s a great idea for handicapped people as well.”
The walk-through conversions are fantastic for the same reasons: they are easily accessible, safe, and economical.
“I can do this job in less than one day,” Steve says. “It’s not a big mess. Since Myrtle Beach has so many retirees, when you hit a certain age, it’s important to seriously consider this benefit. I also install grab bars, which add an added level of stability and security as well as confidence for handicapped and older individuals.”
Steve works residentially as well as commercially— for hotels, vacation lodges, retirement communities, and more. He takes pride in the work that he does— in the level of experience that he brings to the table, as well as his attentiveness to his customers and professionalism.
“The knowledge and capabilities that a person has when they’re offering me a service means more to me than a lot of things,” he says. “I really pride myself on the detail I put into my work, and the time I devote to it.”
“I try to return calls the same day, but always with promptness,” he says. “When I schedule, I follow through, and I’m very good at communicating with my customers.”
Steve moved to Myrtle Beach earlier this year, starting his business locally in January. He’s happy to now call Myrtle Beach home, and to bring his skill in repairing and refinishing to the area.
“My daughter played Division 1 softball against Coastal Carolina University and colleges in Charleston and the surrounding area, so we used to come down here together a lot,” he says. “I knew I loved the area, and I was looking for a change. I didn’t want to return to California, but I liked the beach and the warm weather and decided to make Myrtle Beach my home.
“Here, I get to relive what I lived in Southern California. I can sit outside, enjoy the beach, make new friends. It’s a whole new culture and climate. It brings me back home I guess you could say.”
Grand Strand Bathtub Repair, Refinishing and More
Visit his Google page to see all of his 5-star customer reviews.