Architectural Design

We live for creating highly functional, dynamic and distinctive buildings. We believe form and function to be two sides of the same coin, and view our years of practical construction experience as an essential counterpoint to our creative ambition.

As a design and build company, we offer architectural services within the sphere of an integrated construction process. We believe that there are many advantages to design and build that ultimately help to reduce cost while creating superior buildings.

Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the job, we also offer stand alone design, drafting and consulting services. We focus on working one-on-one with our clients and are capable of offering all-in-one and a-la-carte design solutions.

Located in Western NY & PA, we offer the following design services:

Lead Designer: Adam Eckert

  • Architectural Earth-Shelter Greenhouse Design Concept
  • Architectural Blueprints
  • Architectural Tree House Design Sketch

Adam has been engaged in design work since 2008 and has extensive experience with computer drafting and 3d modeling. Having a background in construction work, Adam is largely a self taught designer.

- Our Design Services -

Custom Home Design

Looking to create a highly personal home or living space that uniquely reflects the way you live? We have extensive experience in designing residential spaces. Whether it’s a one bedroom tree house or a full-sized home, we offer a detail oriented design approach focused on creating dynamic and engaging living spaces.^top of page^

  • Jay Eckert Construction - Custom Home Builders
  • Small House 3d Model
  • Custom Home Design & Build

Renovation & Addition Design

Over the years, we have worked with many homeowners who have sought to adapt and reenvision their existing home or living space. And while there are often many things that they would like to change, there are typically just as many positive elements: the history and character of the building itself, a great location, close proximity to family, friends or work.

Balancing the old and the new can be tricky. How far can you take a renovation before it becomes impractical? Can the changes be integrated in a way that feels seamless and deliberate? Will the existing constraints force too many compromises?

While there are always constraints to a remodel, there is often a silver lining. It has been our experience that there is almost always a way to make an existing building work, and it is often the specific constraints of a project which are the most effective catalysts for good design and are instrumental in the creation of personality and vitality.

If you have a chance, we’d invite you to take a closer look at some of our completed renovations on our project page. Additionally, many of our past remodeling projects have been centered on a kitchen remodel.^top of page^

Value Engineering

It is not unusual for clients to approach us with a well-developed sense of what they want. Often they have acquired an initial plan-set and/or have been thinking about the project for a long time and have already resolved the major design elements. These clients typically look to us for our hands on construction experience and for practical advice on accomplishing their designs. Often we will work to value engineer these projects and acquire the necessary permitting and plan approval.^top of page^

3d Modeling & Visualization

Creating a three dimensional model of a project is an excellent way to explore different design solutions. Models offer a visceral and holistic understanding and help to greatly facilitate communication. While 2 dimensional floor plans are an essential tool and work as the logical map of a project, they generally convey little direct information about how a space actually feels and what it would be like to live in, and so in the most important sense, they fall flat. We offer 3d computer modeling as part of our standard design process. Our clients are provided with their own version of the 3d software and can freely explore and interact with the models throughout all stages of design. We also offer photo-realistic images which can quickly and easily be shared via email or social media.^top of page^

  • Small House 3d Model
  • Architectural Spiral Stairway Design
  • Architectural Design Earth Shelter Greenhouse Concept

Architectural Drafting

A famous architect once said "God is in the details". This is especially true of construction drawings. Incomplete drawings and unresolved technical details generally translate into delays, additional expense and less than ideal make-do solutions in the field. Having a complete set of drawings helps to streamline the construction and permitting process and ultimately saves money while allowing for better buildings. We offer standard drafting services and can create both printed and digital plan-sets.^top of page^

  • Architectural Blueprints
  • Architectural Floor Plan
  • Architectural Bathroom Design

Construction Consulting

With over 37 years experience as a general contractor, we offer consulting services in the form of initial feasibility studies, detailed project estimation, and overarching construction management and advice.^top of page^

- Our Design Process -

We believe that one of our greatest assets as a design and build company is our flexibility in adapting to the varied needs and circumstances of our clients; in adapting to You. We look to provide custom solutions that specifically address your individual site and lifestyle. There are construction companies that offer “custom design” as essentially a few variations to a handful of standardized plans and construction techniques. That is not our approach. Instead, we look for every opportunity to capitalize on the unique strengths of your specific project and are fully capable of developing custom design solutions from the ground up.

As a rule, we first look to understand your goals and then work to develop a clear strategy for achieving them. This can result in an initial list of patterns and performance specifications around which the design and construction will precede, and/or an exploratory process that attempts to develop your vision by brainstorming ideas with you. Often clients will come to us with an intuitive sense of what they want, but are unsure of what it would look like or how to accomplish it. Its not usual to hear “I’m not exactly sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it”. Often we will start these projects by researching images and ideas and attempt to identify the main relationships and the essential themes before designing the building itself. This can take the form of a rough scrapbook with several pictures and sketches and a list of the main features and patterns essential to the overall look and feel of the space. Naturally, cost plays a very important role in these initial design discussions and it is something we take seriously and attempt to discuss honestly and openly. Generally we provide our recommendations and an upfront feasibly study before any fees are incurred. After our initial consultation, the design process roughly follows four stages.

The Four Phases Of Design

1. The first phase is the initial concept. We begin each design by constructing a detailed model of the existing site and building conditions. After this, we develop an overall concept model with the aim of addressing the cosmic questions of context, positive/negative space and layout. The initial concept provides a strong sense of the overall logic and the main spatial relationships of the project. A floor plan is generated and the interaction and flow of the different component pieces are made clear, while the roof planes and their proportions are articulated. Our clients are provided with their own version of these computer models and are able to explore and freely walk through these virtual spaces.

2. The second phase of design takes an initial concept and refines it. Emphasis is placed on specifics of lighting, texture and finish. The shape and proportion of windows and doors are selected and refined. Floor, ceiling, and wall materials and colors are established and experimented with. Cabinets, countertops and fixtures are placed and arranged. Lighting and ventilation are considered in depth. And a strong attempt is made to integrate all the component pieces into an overall aesthetic. Once again, detailed virtual models of these spaces are provided for our client's review and feedback. Often we will construct photo-realistic images of these spaces as well.

3. The third phase of design involves the completion of the engineering and technical drawings necessary for construction and permitting. A detailed list of the major building elements is established and a final plan-set is developed and submitted to the building inspector for approval.

4. In a Design + Build process, the fourth stage of design takes place as the construction work itself unfolds. A continuing effort is made to adapt to the uncertainties of construction and fine tune the design in pursuit of the best possible result. Sometimes it’s best to defer certain material and color choices until it's possible to stand directly in the space, to take in the natural lighting and have no choice but to experience the entire space. Good design is a constant process of adaptation and that is true even throughout the construction itself.^top of page^