How is our design approach
different from other home design firms?

Texas Star AwardsWe are an award-winning home builder, so we are not just a design firm.  We have a unique understanding of design and construction that few firms can match. 

We just don’t design homes: we evaluate the construction of the home to reduce cost and limit design conflicts that leads to delays and construction overruns.  And our award-winning space design staff evaluate the home’s functionality to ensure it meets your design vision and functionality.

Design is more than open rooms, vaults, windows, door, arches, floors and cabinets.  It’s also about how you will live in the home.  In other words, does the plan meet both your design vision and functionality requirements.  To meet those requirements, we use a technology driven architectural approach to design. 

What is our process to design a home?

We can approach our first meeting together in one of two ways:

At an Introduction Zoom Meeting, this is a “get to know” each other meeting where we answer your questions about working with Mike Blake Custom Homes, and hopefully you have a better feel for our chemistry working together.  We will also discuss the basic information needed to accurately identify the job requirements and project a timeline for completion. 

This usually takes an hour or less and is free of charge.

Phase 1: The Pre-Design Phase.

Gets your project moving forward right away.

This is either a in person or zoom meeting.  The first step for us in designing your home is listening to your needs and desires then defining your vision of a custom home. We’ll dive right into brainstorming about your project, working together to figure out what you want to prioritize on your wish list, what is practical and what is non-negotiable.  There are several resources available online to assist you in this vision phase:,, online plans, and magazine clippings, as well as our in-house detailed Pre-Design Questionnaire are all geared toward the goal of communicating the vision of your home. 

Once we have a clear vision. Now is the time to establish expectations.  This includes deciding on the services we are to provide and creating a timeline for delivery of those services whether it’s:

  • home design,
  • home design and estimation or
  • home design, estimation and construction. 

Our goal is to educate our clients on the process they choose.  Understanding what to expect is an integral part of creating a positive experience.


Phase 2: Floorplan and Design Phase.

Once the Design Contract and plan retainer are received, the reins are given to our expert design team to create a home sketch based on the notes provided in phase 1.  Once completed a “aerial view” of floor plan drawing is reviewed by our award-winning team of Mike and Kim Blake then revealed to you so you can give our team feedback regarding the home concept.  The goal of our talented design team is to work hand-in-hand with you to dive deeply into our questionnaire and design, in AutoCAD, a floor plan that accomplishes your vision and a plan we can construct.

Phase 3:  Plan elevations:

Once the aerial view is approved, the front, back, side exterior elevations and roof plan will be created. Exterior elevations are one of the most important aspects of home design.  The elevation provides your guest with the first glimpse of your vision.  MBCH prides itself on creating exceptional exterior designs that are both creative and timeless.  Finally, once the interior elevations (cabinet placement in kitchen and bathrooms, doors vs drawers, any specialty built-ins, etc.) and electrical plans are completed the design team presents the completed construction set to you.

Phase 4:  The Construction Model:

Next the design team creates a detailed construction model.  Our advanced 3D modeling identifies construction clashes and enables our construction team to help revolve design conflicts.  As an end result, the conflict resolution provides more accurate set of construction plans which, provides more precise estimates, reduction in change orders and avoid costly delays.

Your final set of plans will provide you with a technologically advanced set of construction drawings.  We provide construction drawing that includes; the floor plans, cross section of essential spaces, all elevations, roof plan, framing plan, electrical plan, door table, window table, masonry estimate, foundation plan and site plan.   Our goal is to have a detailed set of plans that answers all the little questions.  A set of plans that can be easily estimated and plans that communicate the design intent and the construction details needed to accomplish those goals.

As an added bonus, MBCH offers an estimating service.  We can professional estimate the cost of your home.  How is this different than other estimating services?  We will provide you with real time information about the cost of your home.  That includes a bid or real time estimates so when you are deciding on a builder to construct your home you have something to compare their bids to.

In addition, we can provide you with unmatched industry leading detailed specifications.  The specifications are the most important document as it relates to the construction of your home.  Even more important than your plans!!

The specifications provide a list of all the little details related to the construction of your home.  Most negative building experience revolve around the specifications.  Specifications that lack detail are susceptible to cost over runs and leave customer feeling either they didn’t get what they paid for or had to pay extra for something they thought was part of the contract.  You can all but eliminate those experiences by having detailed specifications.  There are so many options today not having detailed specifications is like cooking a gourmet meal without a recipe.

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