Certificate in Residential Design and Construction

View Syllabus

The 2021 Certificate in Residential Design & Construction is currently full. If you'd like to join the waitlist, please complete the application form.


Yestermorrow’s Certificate in Residential Design & Construction brings together the core aspects of the school’s design/build curriculum into one cohesive and comprehensive four-week package. For people interested in embarking on a career in the design or building trades, or those seeking deep involvement in the creation of their own dream home, the Certificate in Residential Design & Construction provides the appropriate skills and knowledge through a mix of design challenges, site visits, studio sessions, and hands-on, experiential project work.

The program begins with a week of rough carpentry and framing in the context of new construction. Students will learn the basics of a structure’s anatomy, blueprint reading, floor, wall, and roof layout and framing methodology, and much more as they help build a small structure. Along the way, they’ll gain comfort with a variety of hand and power tools, visit hardware stores and lumber yards, and learn the terminology of the trade.

The program then moves into the realm of electrical and plumbing design and installation. Students will explore how to construct, repair, and alter a plumbing system and understand how that system relates to and affects the other elements of a residential structure. We’ll then gain comfort with the concepts and components of a residential electrical system and familiarity wiring lights, receptacles, and switches.

Week three dives into finish carpentry, including baseboard, window and door trim, crown molding, as well as basic site-built cabinetry and built-ins.

The Certificate culminates in the design studio. We’ll build on each student’s newfound understanding of residential construction by delving into topics such as site planning, climatic design, energy efficiency, solar strategies, materials, structural principles, and more. Additionally, we’ll gain drafting and modeling skills, and learn to explore and communicate designs through the creation of floor plans, sections, elevations and scale models, as each student designs an attractive, functional, and efficient home for him or herself, or for a real or hypothetical client.

The 2021 Certificate in Residential Design and Construction will be an online/in-person hybrid. The schedule is as follows:
Architectural Design (Online): Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm March 31 - April 28. Additional evening design sessions will be incorporated throughout the in-person component. 
The in-person component will begin on May 3 and end May 21. We will cover basic carpentry, plumbing, electrical and cabinetry during this time.



AIA Credit Courses, Certificate Program, Whole Structure Design/Build




  • Sterling College: 8 Continuing Education Units ($1040 additional)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 140 Learning Units

Related Courses