McDowell Fine Homes utilizes an innovative and collaborative approach to homebuilding that is slowly revolutionizing the industry. Traditionally, the “Design-Bid-Build” model has relied on separate vendors for each stage of the planning and construction process, which leaves the buyer exposed to several risks—misinterpretation of the intended design, “lowest bidder” thinking, cheap construction, delays caused by miscommunication, etc. In contrast, McDowell Fine Homes follows the innovative “Design-Bid” approach, which centralizes the entire process with a single firm, thus streamlining the buying experience and eliminating the risk of miscommunication and delays. As the homebuyer, you have a single point of contact and valuable peace of mind.

The Homebuilding Process

Refined Over 40 Years


You know that your design will translate seamlessly into construction without risk of misinterpretation, because our architects and builders function as a closely-knit team. We know your design inside and out, because we are there with you from the initial visioning stage, and we build faithfully to that design as if it were our own home. Further, by coordinating closely with our experienced architects on every decision—from room count to countertops—you maintain a firm handle on cost and budget from the very beginning, so there are no unwanted surprises. We work closely with you every step of the way to maintain confidence, facilitate continued and open dialogue, address any concerns in real-time, and ultimately deliver your home within budget and in accordance with the final design.

Step 1:

Surveying the Site


The custom home design process begins with a close look at your site and local regulations. We visit the site with you and carefully study the landscape and environmental characteristics, such as lighting, weather patterns, summer and winter conditions, natural views, proximity to neighbors, and more. We research local ordinances, deed restrictions, and other vital building information to obtain a clear understanding of site constraints.

Step 2:

Collecting Your Input & Preparing The Design


Initial sketches: Our in-house custom home designer Doug McDowell meets with you to learn about your lifestyle and vision for your new home, including the desired “look and feel” as well as functionality. He then translates your vision into a complete sketch of your custom home, and invites your feedback on this initial sketch, to ensure alignment with your vision. Detailed rendering: Next, Doug consults with Jack Robinson, our in-house professional draftsman, to refine the sketch into a complete, detailed rendering that reflects the sum of your input. Your feedback is valued at every step in this iterative process, and our professionals maintain open lines of communication with you in order to ultimately arrive at the ideal design for you and your family. 3D model: Jack uses advanced 3D computer modeling software to bring your home to life in full color, and then meets with you to collect your feedback and make any necessary adjustments to the design.

In this phase, you work with our experienced designers to begin making decisions regarding the format of your home, as well as surfaces, textures, and construction materials. Concurrently, we also collect feedback from the construction team and make any necessary modifications to ensure sound architectural design; this forward-thinking approach saves weeks in the field by solving any potential problems well before construction begins. Planning production and construction: In this phase, we determine the roof plan and elevation, two critical elements in a successful home design. We then coordinate with you to make final design decisions about the interior and exterior of your home, including entries and openings, window treatments, floor coverings, surfaces and countertops, cabinets, ceiling treatments, and other details that make a house a home. Once you approve the complete design, we begin the process of engineering and permitting.

Step 3:

Obtaining a Permit & Preparing for Construction


We assemble all of the necessary construction documents, site plans, HVAC layouts, and other documentation needed for permitting—so that once the engineer returns the plans, we can immediately submit them to the local jurisdiction for approval. Once the permit is issued, we begin constructing the home of your dreams.