Lauren Vaage
Mailing Address
17 Arboretum Terrace suite F, Davis CA 95616
(530) 756-4618

Davis Artisan Builders, formerly Vaage Design/Build, is in the business of residential design, building, remodeling in and around Davis, CA.

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I first met Lauren in the late 90's when he did some office re-modeling where I worked. The owner of the business and the "plant manager" commented that his work was excellent (and both of them are pretty demanding). Based on that experience I hired Lauren to build a shade structure at my house. He came up with a nice design that fit the space well. Meticulous selection of materials! Excellent construction! On-time and a very fair price. That was probably 12 years ago; we re-painted the structure last summer and it looks brand new. He just finished repairing a section of the siding on our house (the original contractor blew it and is long gone). Once again, proper selection of materials, excellent construction, good sub-contractors, on-time and a fair price. When you find a good contractor, you stay with him (same with a mechanic or dentist). Lauren's the best.






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2006-05-19 13:59:21   I saw funny, witty, etc. Lauren at our regular E Street Cafe Roma yesterday morning. My enthusiasm for the Davis Wiki got him to agree to be on it. I'm glad to help bring his quality craftsman-workmanship to the attention of new people. —BruceHansen

2006-07-04 18:23:40   I visited the website, the projects look great but the website was hard to use. I will call about a small job I need done. —BarbaraClowers

2006-08-31 00:30:03   Lauren had a look at my fence the other day. I really liked that he thought my old tri-stakes were worth re-using but I was in the middle of a pool remodel and he didn't want anything to do with a drainage problem that involved the pool design. Neither do I but I'm stuck. He wanted to do his own design and use his own people. Ok, so I have a small job in my granny flat. That didn't excite him either because I already had a landscape designer. He did give me a name/number for a possible fence fixer. He said check out my website, make a list like it says and get back to me. So tonight, I thought I'd write that list and send him an email. Nope. Website says communication is essential but no email. Oh well. I'd like to work with him, but I'm not sure I can fire all my helpers first and then convince him I want him to be creative and I'll let him design stuff that "looks good on my website". I also like hourly billing and a fixed mark-up vs a bid with hidden costs and endless change orders. —BarbaraClowers

  • Well it is often better to get a fixed bid because the contractor usually does not go over the bid amount. The hidden costs are usually things like labor, small changes that people want to make but don't want to pay for. I have had hourly labor and it kind of sucks. You think that you are goning to pay a certian amount but then the charge is double. Usually people who want to have everything itemized nit pick at every expense. This can consume a lot of the contractors time. —khanh

2009-12-15 18:14:47   Over the years Lauren has installed folding louver closet doors on 2 large closets (which still slide smoothly after many years) plus a lovely, sturdy fence, as well as solving a problem with my enormous skylight that no one else could figure out. He is agreeable, efficient, professional, and works in a timely manner. I would not hesitate to recommend Lauren. Nice guy, too. —newyorker90

2010-01-13 09:47:54   On time and on budget. Exceptional attention to detail. Listened closely and delivered on our needs and wants. You can’t ask for more than that. We met Lauren after we watched his work on a neighbor’s roof. We’d met with several other designer / contractors around town and while all seemed competent, something just seemed missing; like we were just a job. When we met Lauren, he asked thoughtful, detailed questions about what we needed and wanted. He focused on helping us create a vision and how he could fulfill our vision, not just on how to solve a construction puzzle. He seemed most focused on getting us to visualize what a future home could be. We lived in a little, flat roof Streng house in East Davis. We came away from our meeting with gut-level confidence that this was the contractor and designer we needed.

We added a second floor with a new master bedroom and bath. We gutted much of the first floor, rebuilt the downstairs bathroom, built a new laundry area, rebuilt the kitchen, and modified the living room. We replaced all the windows in the house and installed HVAC. One of our key criteria was that we didn’t want our house to look like a remodel. We wanted cohesion inside and out so that you could walk up to, and in the house and take it as a complete, beautiful package rather than discover the parts that were new and notice the parts that were old. Lauren created a design that is functional and fulfilled all our practical needs while also providing the aesthetics that make it beautiful and seamless. It does not feel like old and new. He also provided details that really shine such as a wonderful wood beam ceiling on the second floor, an exceptional vanity and soffit design in the master bathroom, a wonderful flow of space in the public kitchen / living room area, and the beautiful gabling in the front and rear roof lines.

We were adamant with Lauren that due to financial constraints and school schedules, we absolutely needed the project to be on time and on budget and that we needed a sincere, honest assessment and commitment. Lauren strongly advised that we move of the house out given the size of the project, our budget, and time constraints. We did so and are glad we did. He delivered as promised. We periodically came by to check the status. Lauren was on site everyday throughout the day and even when the project neared the end and was on interior finishes, he still came by several times a day. He cleaned the job site everyday, making sure it was a clean, safe, and efficient work environment for the next day. We never saw the job site left a mess. Even his debris piles were orderly.

Lauren has a crew of guys that he’s worked with a long time. His team of carpenters and subcontractors were excellent. They were fast, detailed, conscientious, funny, and friendly. We could tell that they cared about their craft and the outcome at all times.

Lauren has a dry sense of humor and a no nonsense way about him. We came to appreciate both his humor and straightforwardness. In closing, we absolutely recommend Lauren to anyone. He is outstanding and we have the proof. We encourage anyone to contact us at dceppos@ccp.csus.edu to ask more questions or to drive by our home at 1102 Snyder Drive in Davis to see our home and compare it to some neighboring houses that remain the old footprint.


2010-02-14 23:58:29   Lauren is an honest, trustworthy and common-sense contractor. He has a great eye for design but understands the reality of a budget. I was so happy with the job he did pitching the roof, adding central heat and air, and redoing the floors and a lot of electric work that a year later I had him back to gut and redo the old kitchen. The kitchen is really a testament to what can be done on a tight budget if the contractor listens, communicates, takes pride in his work and has great people working under him. I love my kitchen. —HJ

2010-03-04 11:13:45   Lauren Vaage Construction rebuilt my roof to incorporate two flat areas and to provide more light for the family room. In conjunction with this he designed a skylight that is an attractive architectural feature and provides enough light to obviate the necessity of additional lighting during the day. His recommendations of roofing material and gutters made that part of my house far more attractive than before.

Lauren showed that determining and meeting the needs and expectations of his client was a very important part of the job. He is creative, knowledgeable, hardworking and environmentally aware. He worked well and cooperatively with his men and the subcontractors and paid attention to detail. The job was completed in a timely manner and the site was kept as neat and clean as possible.

Some months after the job was finished I indicated discomfort with one aspect of the family room. He responded quickly and resolved the matter to my satisfaction.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Lauren to friends.


2010-03-25 22:10:07   2010-3/25 We just had Lauren install new Milgard windows throughout our home. We have used his services before and found him to be a master craftsman. He obviously takes pride in his work as it is done with attention to detail and is built to last. He goes beyond what most contractors do to ensure the job is done right and won't need repairs later. You can count on him to be on time, on budget, and easy to work with. He is definitely a man of his word and we would recommend him to anyone. We have never had a better experience with any of the contractors we have worked with in over 20 years in our home. —kdy

2010-04-01 12:16:07   He sure enough do have a witty way with words, as if he were a character a'settin' on a porch way out in the country and whittlin' just to pile up shavings. —dickliddle

2010-05-17 17:03:48   Lauren is a brilliant designer and craftsperson. He needed to have a repair done to our house, which required very substantial modifications to the front of the home. Working with a crew of reliable local artisans, he produced a beautiful, contemporary modification to our home—including a front landscape that is respectful of the history and landscape of the area, using native, low-water plants and wonderful stones, all arranged to look as they have been here for centuries.

We trust Lauren completely, having known him now for a number of years. His artistry, genius, and attention to detail are evident in his work.

We hired Lauren after we saw the stunning work he performed at a friend's house. We have since asked Lauren to do more work for us, as we improve our home.


2010-07-28 11:17:10   Lauren has worked on 2 of my houses in the past 10 years and has done an excellent job on both. The first house was a 1950s ranch style that had some work that needed to be done prior to my placing it on the market. Lauren was able to point out several problems that I hadn't been aware of and found practical and economical ways to correct them. More recently, the kitchen and den of my present home was getting darker by the year due to the growth of trees in the adjacent park. Lauren found an innovative, elegant and inexpensive way of brightening up both rooms. Lauren's work is of the highest quality and he is neat, prompt and pleasant to be around. —kennethhenry

2010-10-17 12:40:17   Five years ago Lauren undertook a major redesign and rebuilding of our early 1940s vintage home on Oak Avenue, between Russell and Eighth. If you've gone down the street, you've noticed it. It is visually stunning and wonderful to live in, and it respects the character of the neighborhood. I highly recommend Lauren for the quality of his work and his commitment to producing an excellent product. Charlene Simmons —charlenesimmons

2010-11-21 14:35:25   Lauren is a treasure and my mother and I have used him for many years now. He is a meticulous, honest craftsman, the kind of person to whom one can entrust one's home. He cares about doing the job right, the first time; once Lauren works on a problem, it stays solved. He looks at each situation with fresh and creative eyes, and he is very affordable. When he needs to bring in more people on a job, we like the people he hires, and, something that is important to us, they like and admire Lauren. Everything about his work and his manner is neat, precise, and orderly. He treats the job and people around him with caring respect. Soon, we are moving to Astoria, OR; I sure hope there is a Lauren-clone up north! —CeliaDavis

2011-03-08 19:55:08   Lauren has done various work on our house over the last 18 years, and now we asked him to contract the work needed to prepare our house to comply with the City of Davis inspection. We are so glad Lauren took charge of the work, as he hired 7 different subcontractors who did outstanding work. It is a given that Lauren follows through, gets the work done on time, and turns out an excellent product, but there is one part of dealing with him that we find so admirable. Lauren makes sure to get a good feel for the style of his clients. For example, a new part of a fence needed to be installed, and the old fence needed to be made more child proof. Lauren accomplished this without changing anything about our overall atmosphere in the backyard. I did not even ask how he would fix the problem, but when I saw his work, I could not have been more pleased. If you want a contractor who checks up on his subs, checks in with his clients, has an eye for beauty, and cleans up after he is finished, then hire Lauren Vaage everytime. Oh, also he knows how to deal with the City inspectors, thank God. —PriscillaHawkins

2011-06-22 21:14:08   I learned about Lauren Vaage through a neighbor, he was doing some kitchen repair work for her and I asked her about him. My neighbor gave me a great report on the quality work. She was very impressed all his work, trustworthiness and the ability to get the job done in a timely manner. So, I called him for a window insertion job I wanted done and asked for an estimate. I was very happy with his 12 window, sliding door replacement his project. When I needed someone to repair some damage to the siding on my house I called him again. He has completed three projects for me and I am impressed with the quality of his work and his flexibility—I am not the easiest guy to work for at times. I have already told my neighbors about him and his accomplishments/work and they plan to use his services in the future. As well, he is a local resident here in Davis and I wanted to keep the work here for Davis contractors, if possible. I would call him again if I needed more work done. —richardlbernal

2011-06-27 10:52:58   Lauren is professional, personable and creative. He successfully applied these attributes to a difficult repair/remodel on our home and did a beautiful job on time and on budget. In particular Lauren went the extra mile on his own initiative to insure the job was done perfect. I give Lauren and his subcontractors my highest recommendation. —BillHiatt

2011-07-26 07:56:57   Have a good vacation. Lauren! —BruceHansen

"2011-09-04 19:53:45"   I hired Lauren for a large remodel in 1990, and have been using his services ever since. He's absolutely reliable, and a true craftsman and artist. You can also expect integrity and wisdom from Lauren when planning a project. Lauren has done multiple projects (big and small) for me over the past 21 years, and I have never been disappointed. Lauren is serious about his work, so don't let that dry sense of humor fool you. He's the ultimate professional in his trade. —Teri Spiritosanto

2011-10-11 14:02:22   Lauren Vaage (530-318-0680) has done several remodels for us at our Radcliffe Dr home in Davis. Lauren is experienced and professional, and has a wonderful eye for designing and improving the space you live in. He gives good estimates and does very fine work. He has remodeled bedrooms, bathrooms and recently our kitchen and family room. It looks terrific. We highly recommend Lauren Vaage for your home remodel. You are welcome to visit us to see his work. Brad and Yibi Smith 530-758-5316 —BPSmith

2012-05-28 12:56:13   All I can say is that I wish I'd had Lauren build my house 33 years ago. I didn't, so needed someone good to darn near rebuild the thing after finding loads of dry rot. Finding Lauren was such a blessing! He was so thoughtful, creative, and a real craftsman to boot. I got more than I paid for and can't recommend him highly enough. Having to have all the work done was a pain, and First Northern Bank was a bigger pain, but once Lauren got on it, it was pain free and actually enjoyable to watch such great work unfold. I highly recommend him! —LynnSchimmel

2012-07-02 21:00:15   Lauren recently remodeled our front yard. We got rid of our lawn and replaced it with a patio, arbor and drought resistant plants. Lauren designed an amazing plan for us, keeping in mind the priorities of our family. For example, we wanted the front yard to be a safe place for our young kids to play in. But we also wanted the area to be welcoming and in harmony with our neighborhood. Lauren's plan did just that.

Lauren is very detailed-oriented and hands-on. The people he works with (e.g. Felipe) are very professional and work well with him. Lauren uses very high-quality material and works hard to keep within budget. Let me just tell you that working with Lauren was worth every penny we spent on this project.

Since we completed our front yard remodel, we have had numerous complements from neighbors, friends and even strangers. We have had people stop by our front yard to take pictures! We feel like celebrities thanks to Lauren. And thanks to Lauren's honesty and professionalism, celebrities within our budget :-) —EastDavisResident

2012-08-17 14:27:33   Lauren designed and installed three open skylights in my dimly lit north-facing kitchen earlier this year. Once I saw Lauren's proposal, no ordinary skylight would satisfy. His design added artistic interest and wonderful light, as well as made the kitchen feel more spacious. Lauren worked diligently and closely supervised a considerate, skilled crew for the roofing and drywall aspects. He took care and time to section off the area so that we were able to live at home and use the area afterhours without being overcome by dust. In the end, the improvement looks completely natural in our modest home, yet adds so much. We have Lauren to thank for transforming our kitchen with natural light and making it a much more pleasant room to hang out in. —SusanTrigilio



2014-07-28 15:32:13   Lauren designed a new entry deck and walkway for us. The front yard has undergone a fantastic transition. Thanks, Lauren —KeithvonBorstel

2014-09-24 11:33:06   Lauren Vaage was recommended to me by a long time neighbor; he did a large remodel on her home, adding a second-story. He has done several jobs for us. Now he is the only contractor we will use. This year he remodeled our bathroom and we are thrilled with the outcome. He recently created outside, covered storage space using clear roofing material to allow in daylight so we don't have to wire for electricity...BRILLIANT! All his work is top-notch. His estimates are clear and complete so you know exactly what he will be doing and what it will cost. His work is of the highest quality; he finishes on time and leaves the site spotless. What more could you ask for?!! —JoyFergoda

2015-03-21 01:40:23   Lauren remodeled a bathroom in my house recently. Everything was clear and done extremely well! I am very satisfied with everything and plan to use Lauren in the future for my construction needs! I highly recommend him! —KramerS


2017-08-31 We just had Lauren Vaage install a built-in microwave-oven combination in our kitchen and were reminded once again how his work is always superb.  Lauren built our home in the early 90's.  Since then, we have had him add lighting, a handsome cedar closet, as well as, replace damage from a water leak in a bathroom.  He also designed a clever unobtrusive clothesline for our side yard.  Our home is extremely well built and has held up beautifully over the last 25 years.  If you have a problem or a vision for remodeling, Lauren is very creative with the skill and experience to do your job right.  Dependable, honest, and hardworking; you can't go wrong.-DougC

2017-10-05 17:42:27   Remodeling a house can be a very challenging prospect, and requires finding an excellent and innovative designer, and a builder/contractor with experience, integrity, and attention to detail, who has well-established relationships with the subcontractors in the various trades. In our recent remodel project in Davis, we found just that in Lauren Vaage, a long-time Davis designer/builder.

Our 50-year-old Central Davis home really needed expansion and updating, and we contacted a number of people, including a highly sought-after designer, a major Davis remodeling firm and another designer/builder. The initial ideas we got from these meetings were relatively standard and straightforward. In Vaage's case, though, we had been aware of some of his other truly unique work in Davis, and contacted him as well. From our initial meeting it became clear we had found someone truly passionate about what he does, who was excited about how he could transform our home into something we truly wanted. He asked us for lists of goals for the project, and our priorities, so that he understood how to design something that really worked for us.

As a designer, Vaage is truly an artist, with a keen eye to how the ultimate form should not just be driven by functionality but by what works aesthetically as well, with the chosen materials and methods available. He also knows how to work within the state of the art in the different trades to get the most out of both the material cost and the cost of the labor to construct his vision.

And Vaage's vision is unique - his passion is such that he spends great amounts of time visualizing, revising, placing himself mentally in the space which will result, imagining what it would be like to live there himself, while keeping the ideas of his clients in mind. We truly admired this aspect of Vaage's talent and devotion: he was able to create a vision of how we could remodel our home to make it not just larger, but make far better use of the space inside and out, while presenting to the outside a striking architectural expression. We needed to add onto the front of our house, adding a bedroom and bathroom, and his amazing solution was not to basically build a standard "box" on the front (creating a long, dark entryway) but to turn the entire front addition by 45 degrees, opening the front to the morning light and to the street like welcoming arms. The design was capped off with a stunning entryway which floods the house with natural light. As the design phase progressed it became clear we had found the right person.

As a builder, Vaage is a true artisan, and has found an amazing group of other artisans with whom to work. He has personally worked in and mastered many of the modern building trades, including framing, roofing, siding, drywall, and so on. He has thus spent years cultivating relationships with many other artisans of the trades, whom he trusts perfectly to do the work professionally. Rest assured that if you were to launch a project with him, you'd get not just Vaage, but an amazing team of people to do the framing, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, tiling...you name it. He works some of the best - and local - people in the business.

Vaage has amazing attention to the details of a remodel project, and realizes that as each stage progresses, the success of the previous stage is necessary to ensure the success of the next. This is something we had not appreciated before entering upon the project, but as the project evolved it became clear why Vaage was so keen on getting the smallest details right. Vaage shows up at the project every morning and guides the subcontractors through the next stages, pointing out the details that will make the project special. He does not just leave and do something else, he stays there alongside the workers and anticipates and solves the inevitable problems that arise. He is totally committed to the ultimate integrity of the workmanship in his projects. What he builds will last a very long time and will be done extremely well.

In the end we have a striking new home, beautiful and functional, with many impressive artistic touches that you won't find elsewhere, all designed and built to Vaage's very high standards. We feel very lucky to have found him, and we made the right decision to have him design and build our home. If you want a truly unique, high quality, artistic, non-cookie-cutter upgrade to your home, whether a large or small project, we highly recommend you work with Lauren Vaage. —jsconway

2018-02-10 14:08:48   In the work Lauren Vaage did on the entrance to my business, he demonstrated attention to detail, precise craftsmanship, and good taste in design features. When an unexpected problem arose, he tested options until the problem was solved. His organized process, from start to finish, led me to believe I could rely on him for a wide variety of construction needs. —pburkart