Home Design/Build

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This course has been offered since 1980 and is the heart of our curriculum. It is appropriate for a range of individuals, from the person who wants to "do it all" to the person who simply wants to be informed enough to have meaningful and productive conversations with his or her architect and builder. Students will learn through hands-on construction projects, studio sessions, lectures, slide shows, house tours, and discussion. In the studio component, students are taught the design process starting with site analysis, programming, and design sketches, as well as through orthographic drawings and models. As students participate in an actual building project, they learn the safe use of common hand and power tools. Evenings are devoted to guest lectures, slide shows, and additional studio work. Topics covered include site assessment, estimating, basic engineering, design theories, and an overview of construction techniques. Environmentally responsible design and building practices are integrated into every aspect of the course. The Home Design/Build Course will provide individuals with the fundamental skills and resources necessary for creating their dream home - be it new construction or renovation. This course is also a good introduction for those interested in pursuing an architecture or building career. At the end of this intensive course, students typically leave with schematic floor plans, a scale model, and section and elevation drawings. They have gained a new awareness of design, materials, and the process of realizing a home that reflects their values and lifestyle. 


"This course blew me out of the water! Learned so much, my head is still spinning. I thought it was a little expensive, but now, all I can say is, "What a bargain- three architect/builders, actual drafting and actual building and tons of one-on-one instruction AND a few great field trips also!"

"My experience through the week was outstanding.  Not only did I learn about architecture, but I also learned a lot about myself.  The instructors had really great vision and artistic creativity and I really appreciate their feedback and the guidance during class."

"An excellent course - It has changed the way I think of the design process.  A very positive learning experience.  The instructors and all the staff at Yestermorrow were most encouraging and committed to seeing us succeed."

"Definitely above expectations.  All the instructors were great and contributed greatly to the quality of our project.  Would do it again in a minute."

"This was a dynamite class and the instructors were very easy-going, dedicated, and knowledgeable. Thoroughly enjoyed the field trips to various very classy and creative homes of local architects. Can't believe I was able to stay up between 12-3 am and enjoyed it.  Creativity is energizing.  Fun group dynamics!  A winning week!  Thanks."


AIA Credit Courses, Building Systems Design and Building Science, Whole Structure Design/Build


Beginner, Intermediate


  • Sterling College: 5 Continuing Education Units ($650 additional)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 84 HSW Learning Units

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