At a Glance
Los Olivos, CA
Site review, green-building integration, planning and estimating, and full-service general contracting
Matt Drammer believes that creating a mutual understanding with a client leads to successful long-term partnerships. “Construction is just one part of the business relationship that I create with the client,” says the president of Drammer Construction, Inc. “It becomes much more than that as we develop ideas and move forward together as a team.” This philosophy has earned the design-build firm commissions for a variety of projects across the state of California.
Drammer Construction is currently completing the renovation of a residence in Santa Ynez, California, a 7,500-square-foot ranch home on a 45-acre property with stables and a vineyard. The firm has served as both builder and general contractor for the extensive remodeling project, collaborating with designer Susan Cohen of Susan Cohen Associates, Inc. on a number of retrofit elements. After the interiors of the main residence and pool house were gutted, the kitchen and bathrooms were reconfigured and updated with designer tiling and state-of-the-art fixtures and appliances. “There was [also] about $75,000 worth of LED lighting we installed to keep the energy down on the house,” Drammer says. “We utilize green building practices as often as possible; it just makes sense.” The main house was completed in May 2011, and Drammer Construction is now moving forward with an extensive redesign of the landscape and exterior—remodeling the pool area and adding an exterior barbecue, rose gardens, and additional hardscape areas.
For the Alisos Canyon project in Los Alamos, California, Drammer Construction is building a private residence, a theater, a pool house, a pool, a detached garage, an office, a barn, and a winery, all within a 100-acre compound. The project started as a remodel but resulted in new construction of approximately 8,000 square feet.
Drammer himself was recommended to the clients after the first architect failed to listen to them, and they were impressed by his holistic dedication to and understanding of their needs. “I always meet with each client at their home,” Drammer says. “I need to see how they live, who they are, and what’s important to them. You’ve got to really understand their interests—personally, aesthetically, everything.”
Drammer realized that the clients needed an entirely new plan developed from scratch, and he says the resulting home is “rustic but modern” and that “the setting is unbelievable.” Styled after a New York loft, the main house combines high ceilings; reclaimed bare-wood beams; and abundant glass, steel, and brick. “We used trestles that came from across the Great Salt Lake,” Drammer says. “I try to keep things simple and let the materials speak for themselves.”
This materials-based approach also paid off during the firm’s work on the Petros Restaurant in Los Olivos, California. Drammer conducted a renovation that included gutting and updating the entire space. Using design elements such as reclaimed walnut and Venetian plaster, Drammer created a style that was simultaneously relaxed and modern. The client liked the interior work so much that he incorporated many of the same elements into his existing restaurant (also called Petros) in Manhattan Beach, California. He has also contracted Drammer to renovate his newest restaurant on State Street in Santa Barbara, California, and he has asked him to assist with other property acquisitions.
The purity and beauty of certain building materials often provide Drammer with inspiration, and he is always on alert for ideas. “Sourcing materials, for all the jobs I do, is one of the greatest challenges that I continue to face,” he says. “The research and travel all over the world to find unique wood, metal, fixtures, fittings, glass, etc. … is something that takes an enormous amount of time and energy. I take pictures everywhere I go—the entrance to a subway station, the doors on a barn, the steel on a bridge. Design ideas are everywhere.” It might seem like an exhausting practice, but for Drammer such attention to detail is just the nature of the business—and a vital aspect of the considerate creativity his clients welcome. ABQ