Why Design a Custom Home?

Quality architecture is custom tailored to the homeowner, not a spec house simply bought off the block. It begins with the desires and goals of the homeowner, and carries them through the design-build process.  To do this, the architect must have your best interest in mind. This is your design. We are your partner in the process, an extension of your imagination and technical tool of creation and realization.

custom home design mountain architect

A Custom Home Design

The last several years have seen a big shift in the housing market and in how we value our homes. At the height of the housing boom, the idea of home had shifted from the traditional role as a long term family asset to being a trading chip in the investor’s portfolio. Thanks to a painful (but necessary) correction in the trajectory that the housing market was on, most people have come to the realization that their home is still a valuable asset, but a large part of its value comes from the utility and functionality it offers. The concept of housing has returned to a vision of long term occupancy with an emphasis on sustainability, quality, and enhanced functionality.

The design of a home is as unique as the homeowners themselves. All aspects of the design culminate in a final product that is uniquely expressive. Materiality, light, space, all come together to affect the owners. Inseparably, a home represents those living within. We strive to make our living spaces, our offices, even our bathrooms, uniquely our own. We spend time designing a space to our taste, simply because we like it, without fully recognizing that the space ultimately represents us. Choice of paint and décor, fixtures and furniture, all contribute to the feel and expression of a room.

Unique design custom home architecture

A Unique Custom Home for Individual Tastes

Modifying an existing home to meet your needs can be a viable option, but the expense of remodeling should always be weighed against the value added since most major remodels don’t pay for themselves in improved resale value. Sometimes it’s possible to find a great piece of property with a not so great house on it, and depending on the circumstances it might make sense to tear down an existing house to replace it with a custom home that better meets your needs. Before embarking on a major remodel or buying an existing property that needs remodeling, it is a good idea to consult with an Architect to get a professional opinion on the viability of your plan.

Why begin this customization with a completed building, seeking to make the house into a home, when the customization process begins before the architect’s pen even touches paper? From start to finish, custom architecture and building becomes an extension of your own unique imagination.  Schematic design exists not as a means to an end, but as a defining factor in the final product.  It is here that the building itself gains identity, where its expression begins. Custom design is large-scale and small-scale, the big moves as well as the small details. Architects are your partner in the design and construction process, helping your dreams become reality.

Custom home entry hall

Entry Hall

A family that lives in a home designed for them is likely to live there for a long period of time. When the homeowner is able to participate in the design process and create a living environment that will complement and enhance their everyday life, they develop a lasting bond with their home that makes long term occupancy very appealing.   Many people come to us looking for home designs that meet their current needs, but they also want their home to accommodate them as they age and become less mobile. While it’s easy to design a home to meet an individual’s specific needs, most prebuilt homes are made to have mass appeal and rarely are a perfect fit for what a family really needs.

The value of a well-designed custom home can’t be overstated. Rather than settling for what a builder thought you might want or what the previous homeowners liked, when you choose to build a custom-designed home you get a unique creation that matches your lifestyle, functional requirements, and aesthetic preferences. Every individual or family has their own spatial requirements and personal preferences, and a custom home tailored to them will meet their needs without being cramped, awkward, or burdened by wasteful unusable space.

If a homeowner does decide to sell, a well designed custom home will attract more discriminating buyers, and will almost certainly sell for a significantly higher price than a production or spec home with the same statistics. Even though home prices have dropped, there are still plenty of buyers who appreciate quality and are willing to pay for it.

Architect design of a custom kitchen facing view

Custom Kitchen Designed To Face the Views

Hendricks Architecture specializes in custom mountain and lakefront homes that are designed to match the unique lifestyles of their occupants. If a new home is in your future, we would love to talk to you about turning your vision into reality. Contact us here.

Jesse Hart – Hendricks Architecture

Previous post: Large Window Installation

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Large Window Installation

How many people does it take to manually install a large window?

mountain architecture large window installation

The answer in this case was ten men to manually lift it up (there’s another behind the window).

Architecture big window installation

This Pella window is eight feet wide, almost ten feet tall and extremely heavy.

Timber frame window installation with suction cups

It had to be lifted to its base at fourteen feet above the floor, before being secured.

lodge home window installation

Suction cups are extremely helpful in lifting these heavy windows.  They provide a vacuum seal, which creates the force necessary for the cups to stay in place while the windows are raised.

architecture window timber frame

The window is aluminum clad on the exterior, with a wood interior, and triple glazing.

big window placement

It looks like tough work, but in this case at least the guys didn’t have to go to the gym that evening.

Timber frame window installation from the interior

In most cases, with smaller windows, it only takes one to two people to do the job.  

Photos provided by Sandau Builders.  For finished photos of this project, see Priest Lake house.

John Hendricks, AIA Architect

Hendricks Architecture designs custom residences throughout North America, from small beach houses to luxury waterfront mountain homes.  We like to design in large windows to take advantage of some of the great views our clients have.

Previous Post: Hendricks Architecture’s New Website

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Hendricks Architecture’s New Website

Welcome to Hendricks Architecture’s new website.  This new website is much more mobile friendly and a little easier on the eyes.  We hope to have some fun, exciting and informative blog posts as well, dealing mainly with architecture of course.

I’ve held off on writing any posts for several months to catch up on things, but should have some more soon.  If you would like to subscribe to these posts, please enter your email in the “subscribe to blog” box to the right.  You’ll see our previous blog posts have been transferred over to the new blog.  We’ve also included some search boxes to help you better in finding your way around.

Other features of the new website include some newer, bigger, and easier to see photos on the Projects and On the Boards pages.  Also included are some publications and client testimonials, and a place to buy a couple of previously built plans.

If you want to know more about the typical process of working with us, you can review our process page.  Of course every project is different, but this should give you a good summary.  Lastly, if you’d like to work with us and/or have any questions, please feel free to visit our contact page, where there are a multitude of ways to contact us.

We’re still finishing up on a few small tweaks as we finalize things, but are extremely happy with the work Aric Spence of Spence Design has done for us.  He has all of the creative and technical skills we were looking for, as well as plenty of patience.


John Hendricks, AIA

Storybook House Video

We recently completed a video for a storybook house/cabin.  This is a fun little “old world” home we had previously drawn with the mountain architecture style we typically design, blended with a little storybook cottage, Swiss chalet, and hobbit house style.  This quaint, whimsical home could fit in just as easily in the cities of  Seattle or Portland as it would in the New Zealand countryside or the Cascade Mountains.

The video was done with a simple SketchUp program.

Let us know what you think!

John Hendricks, Architect AIA NCARB

Hendricks Architecture specializes in residential design.  We design homes all over the USA and sometimes beyond.  Feel free to contact us if you’re thinking about designing a home.

Previous Post: Sketches to Reality: Designing a Waterfront Home on Priest Lake

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