I want to design and build homes...What should I do?



 I am currently an undergrad studying Engineering-Civil Engineering. Although I am in love with Architecture, I want to be able to design and build. One of my Engineering goals is to start my own business designing and building homes. I have taken some business courses but I would like to gain more knowledge in Architecture and Engineering.  I would like to ask a few questions to help me get on my way.

Can Civil Engineers design homes?

Are there any Civil Engineers that designs homes?

Should I minor in Architecture? or Dual-Major?

What else should I know about Architecture?



Mar 19, 17 12:32 am
Non Sequitur
Anyone can design anything. It's that pesky permit and construction phases that ruin the layman' day. Read up on your local's building rules. Maybe no arch is required.
Mar 19, 17 12:43 am

anyone can design anything, but then again anyone can eat anything also, doesnt mean its a good idea, there are a lot of people in prison & mental institutions with "good ideas" and have "designed" good escape plans, need I say more or do u see my point yet?


It really depends on where you are (geographically).

Mar 19, 17 2:52 am
Consider teaming with an architect & having a small integrated practice. And do study some architectural design if you can.
Mar 19, 17 6:54 am

Thompson Custom Homes in Houston was started by a Civil Engineer. He may have architects working for him by now. His firm has won a lot of awards.

Mar 19, 17 7:45 am

Depends on the state.  In most states you will actually be able to do more than an architect since an architect is not required for residential but an engineer sometimes is...

Mar 19, 17 1:41 pm

Legal requirments are a very very small part of it though.  Most important thing is your ability to design nice homes and make a profit as a design/developer.  

Mar 19, 17 1:42 pm

In states where I work, you would be fine as a civil engineer.  The only stamped drawing needed for a house is the foundation plan sealed by a civil engineer.  Anybody can draw the other sheets.

I would suggest a few years work experience with a residential deisgn/build company would be the best training for you.  A lot of the skills you are going to need are not taught in most architecture schools.

Mar 19, 17 2:04 pm

Thanks for this comment! very helpful.

buy low, sell high

Mar 19, 17 5:39 pm

I have thought about that but I just don't have the money for it .


Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it!

Mar 21, 17 6:34 pm

"Although I am in love with Architecture, I want to be able to design and build."

so architects do not know how to design or build?  what do we know? 

Mar 21, 17 7:09 pm

Nothing was said about what architects do and do not know. You must be an architect yourself, I apologize if you feel offended by what was said.


although loves architecture - wants to be able to design and build. your grammar suggests that architects are good at something, but not how to design and build.  hence your desire to stay with civil engineering.  is this incorrect?  





Wood Guy

I read it as, "Although I am in love with Architecture, I want to be able to build as well as design."


Nice post I have dreams of doing something like this too one day. I study a lot of residential design and am in the process of sketching southwest style homes and few more New American homes. I would love to see how you grow maybe you will be a great home builder one day.

Mar 21, 17 8:17 pm

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