Design Process of a Home From Start to Finish

McArthur Homes

Right now, Utah is the place to build! Recently, building companies have been constructing neighborhoods of new homes in Utah. And many companies are putting more emphasis on the design and aesthetic elements of architecture to create new homes in Utah that are as gorgeous on the outside as the inside.

With all these new homes, you may wonder where the design inspiration comes from to create a unique home that can stand apart from the rest of the neighborhood. But the look and feel of a house really do come down to the design process. Taking the time to carefully consider the elements of architecture and design a house plan allows building companies to build many beautiful and functional homes.

living room of home

Many people think that architects just sit down with a pen and paper and draw the first beautiful building that pops into their mind. The truth is, the design process in architecture is a much more strenuous process. All the components that make up a home are carefully thought out and planned prior to construction.

To help you understand how a home design is created, we’re going to walk you through the design process in architecture from start to finish.

architect with floor plan on computer

1. Identify Goals and Needs

The first step to create new homes in Utah is to identify the client’s needs and wants. To create a beautiful home design, the architect and the client meet together to discuss the end goal. They establish the home’s requirements and identify essential components. A budget for the project is also estimated and planned out. The qualifications and specifications form a vision and goal for the finished design.

2. Research

After establishing the vision of the home, architects take time to do their own research. They think about potential challenges, budget constraints, and how to make all of the elements of the homework together harmoniously. The architect then collects information to resolve the potential problems. During this phase, the architect also looks at pictures, articles, photographs, and other sources for design inspiration.

3. Brainstorm Ideas

Once architects finish their research, they start brainstorming and analyzing their ideas, which involves many different methods, including sketching, comprising lists, and writing down ideas. These ideas are often governed by the elements of architecture.

Elements of Architecture

Architects consider how to implement the elements of architecture in their new home design. As they brainstorm, they think about the following design elements:

black and white image of the external covered walkway of the salisbury cathedral cloisters. an exterior walkway around the outside of the cathedral.

Pattern and Repetition

When shapes and lines repeat, they form a pattern. Patterns can be commonly found in brick patterns, window shapes, floors, and trim. A home will lack unity and harmony if it doesn’t have some form of repetition and pattern.

asymmetrical house

Symmetry and Asymmetry

A home is symmetrical when the left side of the exterior mirrors the right side. On the other hand, an asymmetrical house is one that has different left and right sides that do not mirror each other. Both symmetry and asymmetry reflect distinct personalities and styles in-home designs.

Colorful spiral stairs of Singapore's Bugis Village


The contrast in architecture is when materials with different textures, colors, and shapes are used together to attract attention. Highlights and shadows can also create contrast. Architects like to implement contrast because it creates variation in home design.

The man stand near panoramic window on the sunset background

Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale are critical elements in architecture that need to carefully be thought out. Proportion in architecture is how certain spaces compare to human size. A large room with high vaulted ceilings creates an open space that is ideal for large gatherings. On the other hand, a smaller room (like a bedroom) creates a more private and personal feel.

home with columns


Home designs can take on different themes and styles. Architectural features can be based on historical influences. For example, homes can include classical columns and roof shapes. Architects may also choose to use a theme from a movement. Implementing square and rectangular shapes in the structure can make a home look more modern. The theme of your home makes a large impact on the overall feel.  

4. Schematic Design

Once the architect has a general idea of the house’s design, it’s time to start putting it to paper. The home design is sketched out to communicate the general scope of the project to the client. The conceptual drawings must be approved by the owner before moving on in the design process.

 team recording house dimensions

5. Design Development

After approval, the design plans are translated into physical form. The architect then includes precise measurements for floors plans and elevations. The home is drawn out in greater refined detail.

The architect and client continue to meet to finalize decisions. At this point, changes can still be made to the design, but architects will finalize the design of the house during this phase to avoid expensive costs during construction.

6. Compose Construction Drawings

Finally, the architect produces large-scale drawings that are submitted and approved for the home’s construction. Material parameters and details are included for those that will be involved in the construction. The construction drawings help the engineers, interior designers, landscapers, and other construction consultants clearly envision the design of the home.

home under construction

7. Construction Begins

After the construction drawings are finished, construction on the new home begins.The design process officially ends, and the builders take it from here. The design process in architecture take time, but is well worth when a beautifully designed home becomes a living structure.

Want to learn more?

You now know about the design process for architects. Do you currently understand the home buying process for homeowners? Read more from McArthur Homes to learn more about buying new homes in Utah.

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