Certificate in Residential Design and Construction

View Syllabus

Please note: We are still planning details for the 2018 Certificate in Residential Design and Construction. The 2017 syllabus and description is available for reference but there will be some changes. 


Yestermorrow’s new Certificate in Residential Design & Construction brings together the core aspects of the school’s design/build curriculum into one cohesive and comprehensive five-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.

Week two builds on the skills of week one, but in the context of the renovation of an existing structure. Working on a real project for a real client, you’ll learn the tools, terms and techniques specific to the unique challenges of altering or adding onto a previously built house, including demolition skills as interior spaces are reconfigured, removing, reframing, and replacing windows, applying sheetrock and other interior finishes, and matching materials and styles to create a seamless transition between old and new.

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 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 four 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.

Applications will be accepted until February 28th, 2018. After this date, applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 



AIA Credit Courses




  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 182 Learning Units

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