Builder Spotlight: GJ Gardner Construction



Lawrence Balerio

Owner / GJ Gardner Construction  970-245-7542

GJ Gardner Construction

GJ Gardner KitchenGJ Gardner Bath

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised here in Grand Junction.

How did you get started in the building industry?

In high school I started out as a framer’s helper during the summer months. After finishing school I went to work as an equipment operator and eventually worked my way up to foreman. At the age of 20, I went to work for Unocal as an underground miner in the oil shale industry. After Unocal closed its door I started my own excavation company, then added concrete, home building and land development to the mix.

How has the industry changed since you got started?

There have been great advancements in green building techniques and as well as a lot of new products that make building more affordable then it was in the past. This means that today’s buyers get a more efficient home that’s less expensive to operate than a home built just three to five years ago.

What should consumers look for in a new home?

A home that suits the way you live! You shouldn’t settle for almost right, after all buying a home is the largest purchase you’ll make, so spend the time to get a home that matches your needs, lifestyle and budget — not only for today but for years to come. Stop by our Design Center and we’ll help you get the perfect home in the perfect location.

What kind of questions should consumers ask a builder before they sign a contract?

It’s always best to know exactly what you’re getting before you hand over your hard earned money! – is a great resource, I’d recommend buyers download the “New Home Building Checklist.” Interviewing your builder before you sign a contract or pay a deposit could potentially save you thousands on a home purchase and avoid surprises at a later stage. The checklist covers all aspects of the process including deposits, pricing, land, plans, design, builder specific procedures, guarantees, construction practices and warranties.

Is there a particular style of home 
that you consider your specialty or prefer to build?

Whether it’s our design, a client’s dream plan or something we’ve created from scratch, I take pride in building a home that suits the client’s individual needs, lifestyle, and budget. We have plans ranging form a traditional, to euro-country, to craftsman, to contemporary. In fact, we have just added more than 20 plans designed for today’s active lifestyles which incorporate open living concepts, kitchen islands, home offices, study centers, owner’s entries with drop zones and charging centers for electronics, and outdoor living spaces — and all offer flexibility and customization.

What is the most unusual feature you’ve put in a home?

The list is as diverse as our customer base, as most of what we build is customized specifically for our clients. On the mild side pet washes, heated garages, or custom kitchens. Then some get more carried away by incorporating home theater rooms, man caves, custom bars, oversized garages or workshops, outdoor kitchens, and even the occasional pool.

What do you enjoy when you’re not working?

I enjoy Sunday afternoons when the family gets together for dinner and a movie. It’s also great when my wife and I can squeeze in a ride on our Harleys.


My lovely wife Charlotte, two sons Lawrence and Zane, both currently working for me, one as a sales consultant and the other as an estimator. I also have two beautiful daughters, Lauren and Mya.

What do you enjoy about living in western Colorado?

I enjoy the small town feel of our community and all that it has to offer. We have everything we need right here including great restaurants, hunting, fishing and skiing. There is a little of something out there for everyone. It has been a great place to be raised and it’s a great place to raise a family.

Why did you partner with G.J. Gardner Homes?

My relationship with G.J. Gardner Homes allows me to take advantage of national buying power, and proven systems, as well as gives me access to hundreds of new designs, so I can build more with less. The end result is my customers get a great home built by local subcontractors and suppliers but with the efficiencies of an international organization which helps build homes faster and more cost effectively. As an example, in the past it would take a few weeks to design and price a custom home. Now I can do it in a few days. Gardner helps organize and speed up the process so our clients save all the way through the process.

Looking for a builder? Call the HBA of Northwestern Colorado at 
970-245-0253 or visit