Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I want to build houses

I am a sophomore at Western Washington University. When I enrolled at WWU, I was undecided on what major I would like to pursue. During my Freshman year I took mostly math and physics classes because I those are my strongest subjects and I was fairly confident that I would end up deciding to pursue a major relating to one of those two fields. Recently I have been considering pursuing a career in home construction and architecture. I have a vision of owning a small construction company specializing in custom home design and construction.

I am emailing you to ask what would it take to make this happen. What kind of degree would be most valuable if I was looking to start a small business designing and building houses? I was thinking that I could get a bachelor's degree in business while at Western, and then go on to get a M.Arch degree after graduating from Western. Let me know what you think.

Given your vision of owning a small construction company, I would say that you obtaining a MArch degree after your business degree may not be the best route.

Remember, architects design buildings; they do not build them. Granted, you indicate that you company will specialize in both home design and construction, but when do you learn about the construction side of the business. I would suggest you consider a degree in construction or gaining direct experience in construction in conjunction with your degree in architecture. You may wish to consider the starting a design-build company that provides both design and construction services (

Websites to consider to research construction and architecture programs. Research architecture programs at to search for architecture programs that also have construction programs. A handful of institutions provide degrees in both architecture and construction.

Finally, recognize that a small percentage of architects design custom homes. I highly suggest you begin the process of contacting individuals or companies that do what you want to do to learn from them, do an internship, etc.

Dr. Architecture


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The real Amalia Amy Mendoza Manaois said...

I'm thinking about becoming a real estate agent and someday to become a developer without an architectural degree or construction degree. However, for the person asking about construction should try your local community college because they might offer construction degrees. Because I know in Portland, Oregon, USA, Portland Community Colleges offer vocational training in all fields of work like Administrative Assisting, Medical Assisting, and Building or Construction certificates or Associate Degrees. I hope this is helpful.

Khadijah said...

I plan on building homes and designing them but i don't know where to go and I'm a senior. I'm a little late with starting career planning but this is where I'm at.

Dr. Architecture said...

Thanks for your question; I no longer maintain this blog -- I created a new one --

Please email your question to --