Franklin Report Report Card for RAC Design Build in Los Angeles
★ Franklin Report Card
RAC Design Build
3048 North Coolidge Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 663-9898
Main Contact: Tracy Cortez
Contractors - General

Services & Specialties
Ambitious design/build

Work Quality
Cost Evaluation
Value Analysis
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FR Review:
Rac Design/Build has long been a favorite of LA's premier architects, but clients can now turn directly to the firm for ambitious design/build projects. Customers rave about the team of "extremely professional and creative artisans" spearheaded by principals Rick and Tracy Cortez. While the company shines in new construction, it shows particular bravura in remodels. We hear the firm's design/build agility allows it to better roll with the punches often associated with tearing apart and putting together an existing home—and to fast-track the result.

Upon graduating SCI-Arc in 1990, Rick couldn't pass up the hands-on satisfaction of building, so he started a small firm. Tracy, also schooled in architecture at SCI-Arc, joined him in 1995. We hear they compliment each other greatly. While Rick works in the field and Tracy in the office, they often volley design ideas back and forth, their tastes often occupying the same aesthetic ground. The Cortezes bring a nice sense of proportion and a fresh understated look that aligns itself with the integrity of the site and vision of the client. We hear Rick always keeps an eye open for ways to improve and transform a project as it progresses. RAC is known to fawn over even the smallest details. A shop crew assists in fabricating cabinets, making furniture and installing just about anything.

Design and construction are contracted on a cost-plus basis. Budgets ballpark at $500,000 to $750,000, with a quarter of a million minimum. The firm takes a limited number of projects at a time, the better to oversee them. Rates are expensive, and sources warn that clients unwilling to pay for perfect execution "should look elsewhere."

Representative Client Comments:
"Every client should be as lucky as I was to have had an architect/designer like Rac Design." "I always trusted Rick's design choices and knew I was in good hands in every respect." "Rick and Tracy were always there. They are very ethical and productive." "I love to work with them. They are inspiring to be around." "I recommend them highly, but the client has to want quality and attention to detail." "Very creative—artists in their own right."

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