How we work with you
The initial consultation with Lawrence and Gómez is always free of charge. You don't commit to anything until you feel comfortable to work with us. We stay involved throughout the whole process, from concept through construction, ensuring that the design is carried to completion. With more than a hundred projects and over a decade in business, we can help you navigate all the requirements in the building and planning departments.
Once we get started, the process is broken down into approximately consecutive parts:
Concepts, program and function:
What are your visions and inspirations for the building? How will you use the space?
To understand how you plan to use the new spaces, we make an inventory of your needs, wishes, and budget for the project. This critical stage produces a matrix for the details of the design work.
What should it look like?
Our projects present a wide range of styles that reflect the unique nature of each client. To create a working design, we will sit down with you for idea sessions to explore different possibilities and narrow the design focus. These ideas also take into account any constraints, budget, and general layout.
Zoning and regulatory agencies:
What are the restrictions?
We help owners comply with requirements regarding land use, maximum building area, landmarks, zoning, energy use, fire mitigation, and sustainable building practices. In the early design stages as needed, we include an independent energy consultant who will make recommendations, test, and rate the projects to meet HERS and IECC standards for new construction, remodels, or additions. Our experience with many regulatory agencies streamlines the approval process. We meet with the building authorities early and frequently to maintain a workable design.
Structural, soils, and other issues to consider
As the project requires, we might involve a variety of consultants and engineers, such as structural, soils, civil, electrical, audio, security, and mechanical. With them we work out the particulars that could affect design elements and materials selection.
Will this design fit my budget?
From the start we prepare spreadsheets with our estimate of the cost of construction itemized in detail so that budget decisions can be made in time.
How detailed are the construction documents?
Once the final design work is complete, we at Lawrence and Gómez create detailed construction documents, both for the city and the contractor. These include any specifications of materials, fixtures, and equipment built into the design.
Who should build it?
Involving a contractor early in the process streamlines the bidding phase. If you have not already selected a builder, we help you select the right builder or contractor for your job. Our experience gives you an advantage when interviewing and selecting a builder.
Is the building progressing as planned?
During the construction phase, we observe the process to keep it on track with your specifications. We help mediate a good relationship between you and your builder, analyzing the costs and schedule.
REBUILDING AFTER THE FIRE, published in Boulder County Home and Garden, Fall 2010
by Juana Gómez
…The unique opportunity to create a better house can be an exciting and rewarding time. Start with some research. An initial visit to the Land Use Department web site (www.bouldercounty.org/lu/) provides an introduction to the requirements for building in the County. Though some of the material might overwhelm the casual reader, an experienced architect can sort through the documents to determine which issues are relevant to your project. For example, did you know that….?
- You will need a new foundation designed by a structural engineer.
- A surveyor may have to verify the building location.
- Construction waste must be recycled and documented.
- The new house could be required to have a residential fire sprinkler system with cistern.
- Outdoor lighting fixtures must comply with Dark Skies guidelines.
Create a list to give to your designer outlining all you like about your land and previous house. Landscape architect Carol Adams, owner of Studio Terra, advises that, “now is the best time to evaluate your overall property in terms of site planning. It’s possible the house was not located in the optimal spot to begin with. You’ll want to do fire-wise landscaping, which involves creating a series of increasingly defensible zones around the building.”
When vetting professionals for your project, call their references. Look for a design team who will listen to your hopes and dreams, and be able to translate those into a stronger, beautiful house within your budget.