House Plans Woodwork Upgrade

The House Plans industry has taken off over the last decade as more and more Americans build custom homes. Increasingly, I've seen add-on services offered to accompany these plans. For example, get your house plans modified by a professional kitchen designer, home theater expert, etc.

Well, I think the time has come for a built-in cabinetry add-in service.

Yes, I know that built-ins are a part of many of the existing plans. But they're not being very creative. Usually you get the built-ins around the fireplace and a little alcove off of the main hall.

But that's just scratching the surface.

What about having a “hidden storage room” option? Or how about a quickly-concealable work area near the kitchen? Women would love that.

I installed a kitchen recently in the house shown below. In order to allow for the interesting forms and architecture, the walls were up to 3 feet thick in places. Yes, that's three feet of wasted space inside some of these house plans

Now just think of the kind of interesting concealed or semi-concealed structures that could have been included in this house if the structure had been optimized for built-ins from the start. Recessed shelving would be just the beginning.

But with the framing in place, it would be more costly for me to come in and add the casework now. In some cases it would simply not be feasible.

In nearly all cases, modification of your plans to accomodate clever built-ins would not require any structural changes to the blueprint. The one exception I can think of would be the addition of minor-but-load-bearing headers in some places. But the norm would be simply adding wood, adding structure such as false walls, soffits, arches, etc…

I haven't worked out a business model for this service yet, but if you are planning on building or remodeling and would like to get my thoughts on where you could add clever woodwork into your plans, send an email to “info” at