Residential Design Services

(House Design)


Frank Dachille Architects desire is to be of service.  We are frequently contacted by families wishing to build a new house, renovate an existing house, or build an addition to an existing house.  We are able to accommodate a few of those seeking residential design services.  We complete 3 or 4 residential designs per year; with perhaps one with documents developed above the preliminary stage.

Homes with values above $400,000 will be afforded "major project" status in our office and will have the same priority as our other projects.

Most all architects appreciate the beauty of home design; unlike no other building type the home touches the spirit and evokes a certain emotion.  And, most architects strive to create, when privileged to do so, beautiful homes that satisfy the families needs with sensitive designs that embody all the characteristics of great architecture.


As very little of our income is derived from residential design it is necessary for us to limit such projects so that we have food on our tables and money to send kids to college. However, we do have slack periods between major projects when we appreciate opportunities to do residential design. We would be pleased to discuss our availability.


Especially for potential clients that desire a conventionally designed home with limited budgets we encourage them to use commercially prepared home designs. It takes a great deal of time to "think through", draw, and specify a home properly resulting in real expense. High quality commercially prepared home designs are available. However, some are questionable.

Occasionally, we are asked to modify or "make a few changes" to an existing plan. Copyrighting often prohibits our revising commercially prepared drawings. The homeowner prior to contacting anyone to change such drawings should investigate this issue.


Great residential design can be glass boxes, concrete plates with stainless steel and glass walls, plastic tents, Victorian gingerbread, or "American Builder" style homes. . . . . Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (the homeowner).

We, at FDA, consider designing within a "style" as a painter uses a pallet of paint colors. We have designed homes from Victorian to French Country to Craftsman style, to American Builder to stark Modern.

However, our choice is to have the freedom to learn of our clients desires, values, and perspectives, investigate the needs and the environment of the proposed home and work creatively to satisfy the homeowner with the best design possible. We seek to meet the homeowners needs, the opportunities presented by the site, and fulfilling both the homeowners and our artistic expectations.


It is our intent to offer the highest quality design to each of our clients. We strive to produce architecture as art; however, most residential clients desire to build homes of conventional design.

Architectural design where the architecture is to be art is a process of discovery, conversation, investigation, documentation, inspiration, trial and error, decision making, refinement, presentation and improvement.

Service architecture is the process that produces documents depicting common elements of architecture in conventional ways. Serviceable buildings result, but without the poetic, visual, functional, and enthusing qualities of artful architecture.


For schematic and preliminary designs we work on a time basis. The hourly fees vary from $70.00/ hour to $90.00/ hour.

Typically to document an existing residence for preliminary design purposes 12 to 20 hours are required. This work is needed to proceed with designs for additions or renovations.

A site plan, preferably with contours and other information is useful for new construction. However a deed description can be used with limitations.

To develop a preliminary design the following process often is followed:


Generally homeowners utilize preliminary designs to request proposals from homebuilders. This is because homebuilders are practiced in providing such proposals. The advantage of this approach is that the contractor is free to proceed using the materials and methods of his choice, free of oversight by an architect, and may charge a homeowner less.

If the homeowner chooses to have contract documents prepared by the architect then an additional cost of 8% to 15% of the construction cost should be expected; depending on the sophistication, artistic demands, and uniqueness of the preliminary design. The advantage of this approach is that proven materials and methods will be specified. Competitive bids can be received and administrative oversight of the construction process will be provided.

Architects believe that the homeowner will receive a better value using the full scope of services offered.


FDA requests bids based on completed construction contract documents from qualified contractors. These contractors may be from our list of contractors that have performed well on previous FDA projects or contractors of the Owners choosing, if qualified.

Following the selection of a contractor, meetings are held to negotiate construction and contractual details. FDA encourages participation by contractors so that the homeowner achieves the best result possible.

Construction administration is provided by FDA to monitor the contractors progress. Typically, meetings are held on a biweekly basis to review work in place and work planned.


FDA enjoys being of service. FDA would enjoy being a part of creating a wonderful home. Please contact us if our services are appropriate for your situation. Hopefully our schedule will allow us to work on your dream home.