Todd Hallett, AIA, President of TK Design & Associates, Inc. ( has been designing award winning homes for over 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of their homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was President of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with Builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. His Lean Design blog appears weekly at Todd welcomes your feedback at [email protected] or 248.446.1960.

Time to step up your game

A trend I am seeing throughout the country is that builders are stepping up their game relating to elevations. Why? In past years the consumer has been influenced primarily by what they see in their neighborhoods, while traveling, or on television. Now with Pintrest, Houzz, and many other websites your potential customers are exposed to countless photos of various architectural styles, details, and trends. As housing in general is picking up, and builder competition is on the rise, the general public can be just a bit choosier when selecting the company that will build their home. Of course many factors play into this decision, but first impressions of aesthetic appeal remain as one of the strongest.

Many of today’s leading builders are choosing Lean Design methods to develop exteriors that will be the next to appear on these social media sites. In other words they are finding ways to drive down cost yet increase curb appeal. Taking a single plan, making sure it builds Lean, and developing several different exteriors is a winning approach. Cost less yet looks better? Yeah that makes sense. So as far as potential customers are concerned: either step up or step off.

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