Don’t Replace It, Restore It 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 in the grocery store business for many years.
When he and his wife decided to move back to her native state of Pennsylvania, Steve began fixing up his house in preparation to sell it. In so doing, he noticed there was a crack in his bathtub. Upon investigating his options to replace or restore it, he discovered a franchise opportunity in restoring bathtubs. After he and his wife relocated, he decided to purchase 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 can repair and refinish any type of fiberglass or porcelain bathtub or shower, fixing cracks, chips, and holes; he also repairs things like vinyl fencing and windows that are cracked or broken. And 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. “Today, there’s a trend—replace items rather than repair them, but that’s because no one knows how to fix things. But why would you replace this item when you can refinish or repair it for a third of the cost?”
Steve has been working in this industry for the past twenty-three years. In addition to numerous accolades garnered from customers over the years, Steve is proud of his uniformly 5-star customer reviews found on his Google results page.
“I’ve been very lucky with my choice of career and life,” he says. “Being self-employed gives me a sense of freedom which I truly love.
“What I do is very fulfilling to me; I can save people a lot of money. I take something damaged or old and make it look new again. It’s not like building something, it’s an art. I have a different approach and process with the way I match colors than most, and it’s incredibly accurate. There aren’t a lot of people who do what I do.”
Steve’s process is much more simple and less time-consuming then the construction involved in a replacement:
“I’m not going to be in your house for days or a week with a messy replacement process,” he says. “I’m in and out. It’s convenient— no mess, no dirt, no hassle.”
In the event that you’re tired of your shower doors, Steve can remove them, repair the holes, and match 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.
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. Steve has installed hundreds of these over the years, in residential homes as well as retirement communities, because of their utility.
“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 countless 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 adds. “When I schedule, I follow through, and I’m very good at communicating with my customers.”
Steve is happy to now call Myrtle Beach, which reminds him of his native Southern California, home; and to continue to bring his skill in repairing and refinishing to the area where he’s had so much success.
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