Custom Home Design Services


When the dream is a new home designed and built just for you, I can help you realize that dream and simplify the process.  My approach takes you through the 5 Key Design Stages I've refined over time to create a plan for your home that is tailored to you.  We'll work through the stages and decisions together at the pace that you'd like - whether you want to just do some initial planning to determine what's possible, or whether you're ready to go to be ready for construction.  

As a former general contractor and builder I can provide practical insight and guidance throughout the design process, bringing you the peace of mind and confidence that you're starting the project on the right track. 

Farmhouse, Prairie, Craftsman & Mid-Century Modern Styles

My plans tend to follow these design styles as they provide a great foundation for detail, clean lines, and an efficient use of space.  The plans are also influenced by many of the Not So Big© design concepts that emphasize quality materials and details over size, as well as building science and a healthy dose of reality for what's cost-effective.  Most of the homes fall into the 1000 - 3000 square foot range and are well thought-out and right-sized for your daily use, providing an inherent comfort when you live in them.   Of course the design style and final size is up to you and driven by your wants and dreams!

More Than Just Drawings

While many design sources give the impression that you just need someone to put together a drawing for your house, that's only one part of a much larger picture.  At Artisan, I work with you through each of the design stages to make sure that your project truly meets your goals and is ready to be built

I can't tell you the number of times that I've spoken with people who have worked with a designer or architect, came up with "the perfect plan", then found out they can't afford to build it because the bids are 20-40% higher than the original budget.  The options at that point are to "give up" needs and wants, come up with the extra money, or just not build at all (which is often the case).  That's why the design stages are so critical in setting the parameters for what you want and can afford, and the design has to be aligned up front with your budget.

So while a drawing might be beautiful, it isn't of value if you can't afford to build the home - or worse, if you build it only to find it doesn't really fit your needs.  

Custom Design Process

The custom design process typically averages 4-6 months, can be as fast as 2-3 months, or can take much longer based on your availability and decision process.  Logistically, we work through the design stages starting with your goals and budget, then initial floor plan drafts, then exterior elevations, and then the final details and plans.  If you're looking for a faster timeline, another route may be to use one of my Stock Plans with some modifications to make it a Semi-Custom design for you.

The process begins with an initial free consultation, which is my opportunity to talk with you to understand your project goals and timeline ... and your opportunity to make sure that I'm a real person that you feel you can work with.  Assuming we both decide I'm a good fit for your project, I'll provide a proposal for the project broken out by Design Stage.  Once approved we'll follow the 5 Key Design Stages through a series of meetings, design reviews, and other conversations to stay in sync.  

     5 Key Design Stages

1. Initial Consultation
2. Dreams, Needs & Budget
3. Concept Designs
4. Detailed Plans
5. Construction & Permit Drawings

Find more detail in this ARTICLE

Communication is Key.  As with any successful project, the key is to have open and timely communication throughout the process.  As we work through the design I want to make sure that all of your questions get answered and that you're completely comfortable with the end result.  After all, this design is for your house and will be one of the largest investments you'll make - so we want it to get it right on paper before you start building!

How Much Does A Custom Home Design Cost?

Projects can vary greatly based on a number of factors, all of which can impact the amount of time and cost required to complete the design plans.  Here are some typical examples:

  • Home Size ... one vs. two story, total square feet, etc.
  • Design Style and Detail ... custom features, foundation types, etc.
  • Site Requirements ... local codes, contractor requests, etc.
  • Change Requests (some are expected)

So while different factors affect the pricing, most Custom Home Design Projects tend to be in the $3500 to $6000 range with everything included.  

Finished plans include PDF copies of the elevations, floor plans, foundations, cross sections, and other details.  Ideally I will be able to work with your contractor to make sure they have what they need for actual construction, but that tends to vary by builder.  The plans will include a license to make printed copies of the plans for building one instance of the home.

Note that while my custom plans generally follow the national building codes at the time of creation, each state and local code application and enforcement varies and changes every few years.  Ideally I will be able to work with your contractor to finalize the specific details they need for obtaining permits in your area, but either way I will make a best effort to reflect your local code requirements in the custom plans.  Examples include foundation and footing details, insulation requirements, and other code-specific details that might affect the drawings as provided.  

Also note that structural specifications will need to be provided by your builder or suppliers (which is typical) and may require engineering approvals based on your local codes as these vary by state and location.  For example, I've yet to meet a truss company that wanted to use someone else's specifications for the floors or roofs, as they're on the hook for making them right.   Also for the few areas that require plans stamped by an architect or structural engineer (e.g. New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon), those can typically be provided by a local resource who can review the plans and certify the details for you.  Please reach out if you have questions or need more information.

If you're ready to discuss your dreams and plans, reach out to setup a free initial conversation and we'll get started!

Custom Home Gallery

Here you'll find a variety of sample custom homes that I've designed for specific clients and site locations.  I've been blessed to have worked with great clients over the years, and am happy to have been able to help them create a home that works for their family!