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Steve's Handcrafted Philosophy

Steve believes that just as it is possible to handcraft a fine table, it is possible to handcraft a fine home. Handcrafted home design involves drawing on paper, to preserve the direct connection between the brain and the hand. 

Handcrafting often involves the building of a physical model, to discover the subtle relationships between structure and context that make a home visually stand out. This allows for experimentation with new materials such as AAC block and different philosophies such as Feng Shui.

Just as in a fine table that receives multiple hand sandings, home design involves multiple re-evaluations to hone each space and each view into the best it can be. Quiet, expert contemplation of your home is the most valuable service the Architect renders.

Each home Steve creates is a unique opportunity for magic to occur; for the exterior to be an evocative picture, matching the Owner’s dreams; for the interior to be infused with light and for the spaces to wonderingly flow one into another. It is an opportunity for functional needs to be raised into joys, and for the discovery of that special nook, that Juliet balcony which lives on in our memory of home.

Finally: Handcrafted does not mean more costly. A well-designed home has more clarity of concept and more economy of materials. The same construction effort is used but there is more intrinsic value created, and thus a higher resale return. Steve believes value for the money is an integral part of a well-crafted home.

Steven Clipp, AIA

Scope of Projects

I translate your dreams for your home into reality. Some Dream Homes are $2M, some are $200,000. At any price range the special skills of an experienced Architect are needed to make a home the best it can be. Some of my most creative and effective designs are on small, low budget projects.

I have a proven ability to make modest budget projects look bigger and more expensive than they are. I won an award for the Best Home Design in North Carolina for an under $500,000 home, and I am the only Architect to win Governors Club’s award for Best Home Design with a less than luxurious budget, $175 per square foot. I have also won that award for an ultra-luxury home.

Whether you are planning a new deck, a screen porch, a kitchen or bath remodel, the most value for the least money is in getting expert design advice upfront.

Description of Fees

I try to keep my fees reasonable to encourage the use of Architectural Services. An initial consult to discuss your goals for your home and come up with the range of possible solutions is $95. On renovation / addition projects I charge hourly. My fees typically end up between four and six percent of the cost of the work.

I often advise people on the purchase of a new home. Before you make an offer, I suggest identifying a few houses, then touring them with me to assess their potential – and potential pitfalls. The fee for this service is $95 per house. I also advise sellers on the best things to do before putting their house on the market.

Custom Homes are a special treat for me. It is your dream but I pour my heart and soul into it and I expect the results to be spectacular. Full service, including keeping an eye on the construction and watching the budget runs between five and seven percent of the cost of the work depending on the scale of the home.



"Steve is an expert in all phases of home building and frequently monitored the general contractor and provided better solutions for cost-effective, high-end construction. In five years, we have had >200 people view the house, and all have been super-impressed by his design work."


"I worked with Steve on the renovation of a 110 year-old brick rowhouse...  he was there with me every step of the way, from selecting a contractor to choosing finishes that fit with the historic nature of the house. Steve's experience proved invaluable."


"Every morning we wake up to the beauty of our surroundings-- both the architecture of our home and the outdoors. One of our goals was to bring the outside in and Steve took advantage of every view. He designed our home to fit the land."


"I was walking home today and marveled at how wonderful our home is because of [Steve's] expertise and creativity.  We have been living here for over eleven years and I love our home more now then when we first moved in. It is spacious and welcoming and it has accommodated all of our needs throughout the years."

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