A Fine Line Drafting & Design

Santa Cruz Construction Guild  10 Year Member

A Fine Line Drafting & Design

Laurie Swett & Dan Swett


849 Almar Ave Suite C #269
Santa Cruz, California 95060

A Fine Line Drafting & Design

Updated on January 03, 2024

Laurie Swett

I offer a comprehensive service which includes structural investigation, preparation of building plans, project coordination, land use consultation and so much more. I am capable of entering into a project at any phase, and can even take my clients all the way from raw land to a building permit in hand.

The hallmark of my business is that I always have my client’s best interests in mind.…

Laurie Swett

I offer a comprehensive service which includes structural investigation, preparation of building plans, project coordination, land use consultation and so much more. I am capable of entering into a project at any phase, and can even take my clients all the way from raw land to a building permit in hand.

The hallmark of my business is that I always have my client’s best interests in mind. Saving my clients money, helping them make informed decisions, and delivering a design my clients both want and can afford are my primary goals throughout all of my projects.

I provide my clients with clear design solutions / resolutions and interact with government staff as necessary to clarify and resolve any issues.

Receiving design input from my clients and ensuring they are satisfied with the final product has been essential in maintaining a completely referral based business for the past 30 years. I am expanding beyond my referral based model because of how necessary it has become for most homeowners to seek help navigating the very complex process of building in Santa Cruz County.

Dan Swett

My work in residential construction and design is uniquely enhanced by my studies in Human Factors & UX/UI. My very complicated job involves tremendous amounts of communication between individuals with wildly different backgrounds, skill sets, knowledge bases, and bureaucratic entanglements.

I synthesize the intersection of all this communication into a project scope and plan set that my clients desire, my consultants can endorse, the bureaucracy can approve, and the contractors can understand.

I joined the family business over 10 years ago, and can confidently say that every job being unique, difficult, and complex only makes me love the work more. With my unique skill set and real world training from someone with 30+ years of experience doing this work specifically in Santa Cruz County, I am very well equipped to help you with your project.

A Fine Line Drafting & Design

Consultation with an experienced professional and a realistic assessment of your project is invaluable whether you are considering a property purchase, new building construction, a remodel / addition to an existing building, or correcting a code violation (red tag).

Sometimes homeowners and business owners find me after their situation has escalated. Homeowners can unknowingly self report violations in an attempt to navigate the permit process themselves, costing them thousands of dollars.

Some of my clients find me after they have paid for plans for structures that cannot be constructed for legal or financial reasons. Others have purchased property without realizing the status of illegal structures / additions, sometimes the violations can not be resolved without removing substantial portions of the structures. My goal is to help my clients avoid this kind of grief.

Contact me if are interested in:

  • Making an informed decision about buying a new home or developing raw land, knowing the legal status of structures on site, as well as potential use of the property;
  • Developing design and construction plans for residential projects including:
  • interior remodels and additions, new homes, conversion of garages to housing units, vacation rentals, reconstruction of fire damaged homes and more;
  • Accessory structure development such as garages, barns, carports, and decks;
  • Resolving a red tag or permitting illegal structures;
  • Parcel reconfigurations, Riparian exceptions and other Discretionary applications;
  • Forensic evaluation of existing structures to determine what it would take to convert, add onto or change their use;
  • Affordable 3D rendering services for the purposes of visualization of new construction and/or discretionary applications such as Variances.

Referred by: Tim Wann Civil Engineer


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A Fine Line Drafting & Design Reviews

What They Say
Keith Gordon

May 22, 2018

I recently contacted A Fine Line to do a parcel assessment for a vacant property adjacent to my parent’s house in Boulder Creek. My parents have been curious about the property for years, and now that they are retired, they started to get more serious about the prospect of buying it and building a detached unit. We really had no idea what it would take, but within a few days of contacting A Fine Line, they had prepared a detailed land use report that outlined both the challenges that the property faced and, even more importantly, potential opportunities for moving forward.

Their research was impressive, and the overall land use assessment was thorough and honest. The information they provided was exactly what we were looking for, and it will certainly help us make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed. Each step of the discovery process was explained thoroughly, as well as potential “deal breakers” to watch out for along the way. We now have a clear path forward, and we know the questions to ask when we approach both the county and our local water provider to see if we can build on this property. I have no doubt that this report saved us weeks of stumbling around in the dark, and potentially thousands of dollars as well! I cannot recommend A Fine Line highly enough!

John Gerhardt

May 20, 2018

I hired Laurie to assess the costs and feasibility of building an accessory dwelling unit in the backyard of our house in Santa Cruz City. I had already talked with the city planing department, which found no obstacles, and several local contractors and architects, all of whom encouraged me to proceed. It was Laurie who uncovered a problem not recognized by me or anyone else: the city’s requirement that we add another off-street parking place could only be met on our lot by widening the driveway. But Laurie noticed that widening would cause the driveway to overlap a storm drain, which she further discovered would cause the DPW to insist we relocate the drain at a cost in excess of $20,000. Luckily we got this information before beginning design, and incurred only Laurie’s very reasonable fee before realizing that our project could not be done within our budget. I heartily recommend Laurie to anyone considering a building project.

Pamela MCauley

July 15, 2015

A property we own in Aptos was given a red tag in July 2014. For us this was a nightmare because we live out of Santa Cruz County, two hours away. How to handle all the business involved in getting a building permit to correct the red tag seemed insurmountable. We were given Laurie Swett’s name from a reliable resource. From that moment on she handled everything: site plans, meeting with the different building departments, and ending by getting approval for building to begin. She is easy to work with and we appreciated her calm, quiet, and thoughtful approach to everything. Sincerely, Pam and Tom McCauley

Rick Rogers

March 10, 2015

The District was having a difficult time dealing with compliance orders with the Planning and Environmental Departments at the County. Laurie Swett was recommended by a local contractor as someone that could help the District move forward with removing the compliance orders. We met with Laurie and she review our project and immediately laid out a course of action, with time frames and a proposed budget. She met with planners at both the County and on site. Her understanding and knowledge of the County process save the District time and money with a very successful outcome. She is extremely competent and addresses your project like her own. Thumbs up to Laurie.

Terry Whettam

July 08, 2014

When a fire partially destroyed our house in June 2013 I had a recommendation for Laurie Swett. At the time I did not realize how fortunate I was as how difficult the process was going to be with both Santa Cruz County and the insurance company involved. Laurie was invaluable navigating the problems that arose between the two. Added to the bureaucratic problems was the difficulty of re-building a 1927 house with all the associated code upgrades. Laurie’s handling of the problems was superb and I would highly recommend her.

Michael McMenemy

January 24, 2014

I knew I hired the right person when I walked into the Santa Cruz County Building Department with Laurie, and absolutely every official there greeted Laurie with enthusiasm, and friendship. In my 40 years in construction I’ve never seen this, and instantly realized not only how invaluable that was to be personally to get my project through the system but I also know what it takes to achieve those types of long term relationships and it’s only through competency and diligence that anyone is acknowledged and respected like that.

There’s nobody else I would use when dealing with the Building Department under any circumstances.

Laurie Swett is the sweet spot between a full blown architect and designer. For all of my project an architect was unnecessary, but a designer and a process expert was essential. Laurie knows what she’s doing, and does it efficiently and well. Very cost effective, and pain free. She gets an A++ in my book.

Sabine Duvall

July 08, 2013

Laurie Swett has been essential in helping me getting a Building Permit to remodel my house in Santa Cruz County. Her expertise and vast knowledge made the entire process look easy. She managed every aspect of my project. Laurie created the drawings, worked with the civil engineer and the Planning Department. Throughout the project Laurie kept me informed of the various stages and planned procedures. Laurie handled the entire process superbly and successfully. I can highly recommend Laurie, she is a true professional in her field.

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