October 13, 2021

My name is James McClister, and I am Custom Builder’s new editor. It’s with humility that I take over from Nigel F. Maynard, whose shoes are not easily filled, though I stand in them all the same.

Shake shacks was built by hybrid architecture in seattle and featured on Custom Builder

The Shake Shacks’ inverted floor plan maximizes light and air, with rooftop decks providing protected outdoor living space (Photo: Alex Herbig).

September 14, 2021
Stacey Freed

Access to fresh air and daylight in an urban environment can be particularly challenging. Building up is a simple answer.

June 11, 2021

The vacation home has always had a special appeal.

February 09, 2021

I have a confession to make: I always tell people I prefer modern architecture, but that’s not the whole story. The truth is, my architectural preferences depend on the situation and the project.

Exterior of California home

“This home in California certainly isn’t Modern, but it’s not historically ‘correct,’ either,” architect Duo Dickinson says. “Do these realities matter? The owners deeply love it. That’s what matters.”

February 03, 2021
By Duo Dickinson

Some years end up being cultural pivot points. 2020 was one such year, with COVID-19 as the first existential threat to our culture since World War II.

December 28, 2020

Even though my wife and I undertook a whole-house renovation of our 1909 Victorian a few years ago, we’re already thinking about our next project. We love our home and our neighborhood, but a house with 10-foot ceilings on every level means a lot of stairs.

July 09, 2020

I once interviewed a young architect who lamented that the bulk of her design commissions were for remodeling work. Hungry and ambitious, she was on the hunt for bigger game, and custom homes were her quarry. This isn’t unusual with inchoate architecture careers.

March 18, 2020

I used to have a real estate dream that went something like this:

January 02, 2020

There’s a street in my neighborhood that offers the perfect tableau of old house versus new. On one lot is a home built around 1865. It boasts restrained proportions, stately exterior trim, and cedar siding installed so flawlessly that the caulk—if there is any—is invisible.


The Verandah House in Hampton Island, Ga. is an example of the classical architecture that architect Andrew Cogar embraces (Photo: Attic Fire Photography).

December 19, 2019
By Annie Chebulski, Associate Editor

September 12, 2019

Three years ago, my wife and I bought a down-at-the-heels 1909 farmhouse in a quaint little Maryland neighborhood that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Long ignored by many homebuyers, the area remained affordable for years.


Workshop APD principals Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen like to use authentic materials. Their design for the About Last Knife restaurant in Chicago kept the circa-1912 brickwork, using it as a canvas for a mural (Photo: Dan Kelleghan).

July 02, 2019
By Stacey Freed, Contributing Editor

In 2006, Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen, founding principals of Workshop APD, won the international design competition sponsored by Global Green USA and Brad Pitt to rethink New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Ed Binkley, AIA
June 27, 2019
By Ed Binkley, AIA

As an architect, my biggest inspiration comes from my ears, eyes, and experiences. I have listened, read, visited, explored, and collaborated with many creatives throughout the years.

June 27, 2019

The average American home has grown over the years, and the kitchen has followed in lockstep. New homes have ballooned from around 1,500 square feet in 1970 to about 2,775 square feet in 2017. Similarly, the kitchen has gone from about 70 square feet in size to just a hair more than 150.

March 20, 2019
By Nigel F. Maynard, Editor-in-Chief

The staircase in this Venice Beach, Calif., custom home may seem simple and straightforward, but in reality it’s a feat of engineering that involved structural ingenuity to execute, says architect


Mark Turner

Founder and Owner


March 19, 2019
By Amanda Hermans, Associate Editor

Mark Turner was drawn to the building industry by a childhood of playing and creating outdoors near his home in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

March 20, 2019
Over the years, I’ve talked with many architects who yearn to design a home in a picturesque location, whether that’s on the beach in the Hamptons, in the Los Angeles hills, up in the mountains of Jackson Hole, or on the water in Galveston, Texas.
January 31, 2019

In the fall of 2018, I had the privilege of taking a day to tour two very special companies while I was visiting Copenhagen, and the level of craft and attention to detail evident in their products blew me away.

Michael Lehrer

Michael Lehrer, FAIA


Lehrer Architects

January 29, 2019
By Amy Albert

Michael Lehrer designed his first home 40 years ago and has been at it ever since.

BALA_Best in American Living Awards_Texas_Hill_Country_Ranch_Retreat

BALA winner Piebald Ranch, in Texas Hill Country, designed by Craig McMahon Architects. (Photo: Craig McMahon, AIA)

January 29, 2019
By Susan Bady, Senior Editor / Nigel F. Maynard, Editor-in-Chief / Amanda Hermans, Associate Editor

To be honored in the Best in American Living Awards (BALA), a custom home must exceed the client’s expectations and make a powerful design statement. In 2018, a panel of eight judges gave awards to 24 custom and spec homes.



This Month in Custom Builder


Sales leader and author Mark Richardson shares his advice for how custom builders, and leaders throughout residential construction, can improve the effectiveness of thier staff meetings

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