Renovations & Additions

Whether you're remodeling a kitchen, taking down some walls, or even adding another floor, we can help you from start to finish. 

Politz Residence

Politz Residence


Typical Process for Additions & Remodels


Step 1 - Feasibility - Can we do this or not?

The first thing we need to do is determine what it is that you'd like to do. This often involves meeting at your house to walk through the project scope of work. Typical questions we'll have for you are:

  1. What are you hoping to achieve with this renovation?
  2. What is your timeframe for this project?
  3. What is your construction budget?

One of the big things we usually identify at this point is if there will be structural work involved. This would require the help of a structural engineer that we would have to include so he or she can give us an estimate of the work that will be involved.

Step 2 - Design, Construction Documents, & Permits

Besides the actual construction itself, this part will involve the most work for everyone. Initially, we will design a few solutions for you and work with you to modify it so that it achieves your goals and fits within your budget. Often we will involve a General Contractor at this point in order to get more accurate estimates.

Step 3 - Construction 

During this phase we will provide Construction Administration services. We do not manage the construction (that is the GC's area of expertise), but we stay involved throughout the construction period in order to ensure that you are getting what we designed to the level of quality you expect.

Have a project you'd like us to help you with?


New Home

Building your dream home is more than just figuring out where the dining room goes. It's about figuring out how you and your family want to live. 


Typical Process for designing and building a New Home


Step 1 - Pre-Design - 3 bedrooms or 4?

This is one of the most important steps in the entire process and it's where we will build the foundation so to speak for how the project will flow over the coming months. Major items to discuss and review are?

  1. Vision - Where do you see yourself living and how?
  2. Budget
  3. Timeline
  4. Basic Program (what you want your house to have)
  5. Site conditions
  6. Local Codes and Regulations

Step 2 - Schematic Design

Given all of the "wants" that we established in the previous step, we will work to reconcile them with your "needs" and other constraints like budget and site conditions. During this phase we will develop the initial layout and look of your new home.

Step 3 -  Design Development

Now that we know what your dream home is starting to look like, we'll add information like finishes, materials, specifications for products, and most importantly building code information that will allow us to proceed toward permitting.

Step 4 - Construction Documents

During this phase, we, along with the other consultants working on the project (structural engineer, for example), will produce the final set of documents, plans, reports, and specifications that we will need to submit to the city's building department for approval. 

Step 5 - Bidding / Selecting a contractor

While the drawings are being reviewed and revised, we will help you with choosing the general contractor who will ultimately build your new home. We can prepare bid documents and assist you in evaluating the bids you receive.

Step 6 - Construction / Construction Administration

The final and longest phase, this is when your house actually comes to life. We will act as your eyes and ears in order to help ensure that what we drew up, is what gets built.

Wanna' get started on your new home?


Commercial

Focusing specifically on Tenant Improvements or Renovations, we can offer you the same level of quality service we offer to our residential Clients. 

Photo by KenTannenbaum/iStock / Getty Images

Typical Process for a Tenant Improvement or Renovation Project


Step 1 - Feasibility Study

Given that commercial spaces are used by the general public, any improvements or renovations made to the existing commercial building will be reviewed in depth by the local building department. We always recommend a Feasibilty Study be conducted in order to quickly highlight major issues or obstacles that may arise with the T.I. or Renovation.

Step 2 - Schematic Design

Given all of the "wants" that we established in the previous step, we will work to reconcile them with your "needs" and other constraints like budget and site conditions. During this phase we will develop the initial layout and look of your new space in accordance with your business type and size.

Step 3 -  Design Development

Once the look and feel of your new commercial space has been determined, we'll add information like finishes, materials, specifications for products, and most importantly building code information that will allow us to proceed toward permitting.

Step 4 - Construction Documents

During this phase, we, along with the other consultants working on the project (structural engineer, for example), will produce the final set of documents, plans, reports, and specifications that we will need to submit to the city's building department for approval. 

Step 5 - Bidding / Selecting a contractor

While the drawings are being reviewed and revised, we will help you with choosing the general contractor who will ultimately build out your new space. We can prepare bid documents and assist you in evaluating the bids you receive.

Step 6 - Construction / Construction Administration

The final and longest phase, this is when your new commercial space actually comes to life. We will act as your eyes and ears in order to help ensure that what we drew up, is what gets built.

Are you in need of our Tenant Improvement services?


Small Lot Subdivisions

We've been doing Small Lot projects ourselves since 2008. One of our Small Lot projects, Preuss Four, has been cited by the City of Los Angeles as a Case Study for Best Practices.

(Excerpt from "Small Lot Design Guidelines," pg 47, published by City of Los Angeles, Planning Dept.

(Excerpt from "Small Lot Design Guidelines," pg 47, published by City of Los Angeles, Planning Dept.


Typical Process for Small Lot Subdivisions (City of L.A. Only)


The process for subdividing an existing lot in order to carry out a Small Lot project in the City of Los Angeles, is intensive, and at times complex. We have been doing it since 2008 and are very familiar with the entire process from start to finish. Listed below are the overall steps we will have to take in order to get a Small Lot project entitlements approved. If you'd like more information about the City of L.A. Small Lot Ordinance, please check here.

Step 1 - Entitlements / Map Filing

In order to build a Small Lot project, you must get permission, or "entitlement" from the City not only to subdivide the land, but also to access the provisions allowed for in the Small Lot Ordinance such as reduced building separations, setback requirements, etc. To do this, we must file a long list of items with your application including, but not limited to:

Every Small Lot Project we have done has received a Letter of Support from the local Neighborhood Council. This is not typical for most Small Lots.
— Danny Cerezo, Principal, c|s design
  1. A Tentative (or Preliminary) Parcel or Tract Maps. Tract maps are required for 5 or more new lots.
  2. Site Plan (also called Plot Plan) showing unit footprints and various site features.
  3. Master Land Use Application
  4. Numerous other reports, documents, drawings, etc.

Once filed, the case will be assigned a public hearing date where the project will be discussed, evaluated, and approved. Public comments are heard at this time as well. 

It's very important that before you file the case, outreach be conducted to the pertinent Neighborhood Council in order to garner their support for your project.

Step 2 - Permitting

The plan check phase, leading up to issuance of building permits, is more robust than your typical "by right" development. In addition to the usual architectural, structural, and other discipline checks, there are numerous other agencies that must review and weigh in on the project design and layout. For example, there may be Highway Dedications or B-Permits to consider, all of which require unique submittals and processing. 

Step 3 -  Map Recordation / Construction

In addition to clearing the various conditions required for construction, a Subdivision has a long list of conditions imposed on it at the conclusion the Entitlement phase and the public hearing. These conditions require that various departments and agencies throughout the city be notified and approval requested.

We have been through this process, and continue to do so with ongoing projects, and are well prepared to help you get through it successfully. 

Have a big lot that you want to turn into Small Lots?


Multi-Family

Apartments bring much needed new housing to market, and we'd love to be part of your next vision! 


Typical Process for Multi-Family Projects


Although larger in size and scale, designing a multi-family project involves a similar set of steps.

Step 1 - Pre-Design - How much parking can I fit on this lot?

This is one of the most important steps in the entire process and it's where we will build the foundation so to speak for how the project will flow over the coming months. Major items to discuss and review are?

  1. Vision - Where do you see yourself living and how?
  2. Budget
  3. Timeline
  4. Basic Program (what you want your house to have)
  5. Site conditions
  6. Local Codes and Regulations

Step 2 - Schematic Design

Given all of the "wants" that we established in the previous step, we will work to reconcile them with your "needs" and other constraints like budget and site conditions. During this phase we will develop the initial layout and look of your new project.

Step 3 -  Design Development

Now that we know what your project is starting to look like, we'll add information like finishes, materials, specifications for products, and most importantly building code information that will allow us to proceed toward permitting.

Step 4 - Construction Documents

During this phase, we, along with the other consultants working on the project (structural engineer, for example), will produce the final set of documents, plans, reports, and specifications that we will need to submit to the city's building department for approval. 

Step 5 - Bidding / Selecting a contractor

While the drawings are being reviewed and revised, we will help you with choosing the general contractor who will ultimately build your new project. We can prepare bid documents and assist you in evaluating the bids you receive.

Step 6 - Construction / Construction Administration

The final and longest phase, this is when your project actually comes to life. We will act as your eyes and ears in order to help ensure that what we drew up, is what gets built.

Have a multi-family zoned lot in mind?