My name is Allan C. Lamper, and I’m the founder, owner, and principal designer at Draw First . . . Cut Once! My earliest recollection of wanting to be involved in residential design is when I was six years old. My plan was to work in as many of the trades as possible in order to develop a good working knowledge of construction. Consequently, I took all the shop and drafting classes I could through high school, and then went out into the world to gain experience. I worked in construction, cabinet making, building maintenance and machine shops for four years before pursuing a college education. I attended the University of Arizona’s five year professional architectural program and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture in 1987.
After graduation I moved back to New Hampshire and worked for a couple of southern NH architects, gaining valuable office experience. The housing market crash of the early 1990s sent me to work for the State of NH for 4½ years as the Energy Conservation Coordinator. In this position I administered the NH State Energy Code and trained building inspectors, contractors and architects in the application and implementation of that code. In 1997 I was given an opportunity to share office space with an architect I had been working part time for, and Draw First . . . Cut Once! was born. My own list of clients grew quickly, and within six months I was working full time for myself out of my home office. This was my daily life for over 10 years, and it served my clients and me very well. The recession of the late 2000s, however, caused another career “adjustment”. In late 2010, in an effort to keep the family finances intact, we moved to North Carolina to manage another business in a related field (and also be near our oldest daughter and the grandkids to come). I maintained clients and kept my hand in the design business as a side job until late 2017, when I returned to my home office and began to once again concentrate on what I was meant to do – residential design.
The majority of my designs have been for the southern and central NH area, but I’ve also completed projects in Maine, Massachusetts, Canada, Rhode Island, and now North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. I really enjoy sitting across the table from someone and helping them piece together the puzzles of their dreams. When long lists of wants and wishes come against the realities of site and budget, the result can be frustrating and confusing. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with creative yet practical solutions to these issues. The excitement that bubbles up out of a client when they realize “Yes, we can do this!” is something that I never get tired of. I hope that, if you’re in need of these services, you’ll allow me to provide you with “quality designs for comfortable living.”
— Allan C. Lamper