“Should I hire a builder or architect first?”

“Should I hire a builder or architect first?”

This is a question that we hear often as people contemplate a new home or renovations/additions to their existing home.  It is understandable that confusion exists as nearly every builder and architect will give you a different opinion. 

Our intention with this post is not to argue that our opinion on these facts is the only right answer, but simply to describe what we have found to work best.  So, before you need to read any further, here is our answer to the question:

TEAMWORK is best

The best results, in architectural design, specification design, and costs, happen by being able to engage with all the key players early on.  These key players are of course the architect and the builder – but should also include an interior designer and cabinet designer, along with potentially a landscape architect, audio/video/automation integrator, and others (depending on the size and complexity of the project). 

By using a team mentality from the very beginning several favorable results are realized:

  • By including the relevant team members, the intentions are communicated from the beginning, helping the team understand the “why” of the design.  This can reduce confusion or omissions later in the project.
  • A complete team will be able to bring their expertise to the table, providing useful/additional ideas to the project.
  • The team can help provide some cost benefit analysis during the design process, helping the homeowner understand the financial ramifications of ideas before extensive design rework may be required.

An overall project balance can be achieved.  With a team in place, the design, specifications, and budget are all able to stay in alignment – with the homeowner being able to understand the relevant possibilities for the home.


For you, the homeowner, your desire is to get the best design that aligns with your dreams, with the best possible specifications and quality level that meet your expectations, all at what you determine is a fair price.  Here at Troxel Custom Homes we call this the “Troxel Triangle!”  The idea is that the 3 points of the triangle are the Design (what the size and structural complexity of the home are), the Specifications (what you put into the home), and the Budget (what it costs to build the home).  For the Troxel Triangle to be in balance, one of the 3 points needs to stay a variable.  So, in practice, if the design of the home is fixed, and the specifications are fixed – then you will need to understand that the cost for the home will be what it is.  If that cost is too high for expectation, then either the size/design will need to change or the level of the expectations for the specifications will need to change to get the triangle back in balance.  If a team has been involved from the beginning, then the balance of the “Troxel Triangle” can be maintained from the beginning!

We are here to help be your guide through this process.  If you are contemplating building a new home or renovating your existing home, get in touch with us to learn more about how we can facilitate the best possible process for you!

Welcoming 2021

Welcoming 2021

As we wrap up 2020, we want to take a moment to reflect on all that life has to offer amidst these crazy and challenging times. 

The global pandemic, along with many other obstacles, has challenged us to tackle and look at life differently. Despite all of the negatives that happened this year, there were also many positives along the way. We are happy to welcome new families into ours with the homes that we have completed, and the projects we have started this year.

We are grateful for our employees and our clients. We have appreciated all of the patience as we had to find a few new ways to work to ensure everyone’s safety so we could get back to work. We are also thankful for our vendors and trade contractors that have all stepped up this year. The loyalty and persistence shown all year round, through the ups and downs, has been such a relief and helping hand in getting through this year.

We are looking forward to an exciting 2021, and being able to see and interact with everyone in our community once again.

Planning for your future home improvements while in quarantine.

Planning for your future home improvements while in quarantine.

Here in Michigan we have had a “stay at home order” since mid March, giving us lots of time to make a laundry list of things in our homes that need to be done, and things we want changed. Now that we have a list of wants and needs, what next?

Some things, like clearing out pantries, and tidying up the kids’ playroom are things we can tackle on our own. Turn on Marie Kondo, spark some joy, and declutter. Other things, like wanting to add another wing onto your existing home for family expansion, well… you may need some help with that. 

Start with an outline. Browse through pictures, magazines, and websites like Houzz. Save pictures of homes, products, or details you really like so you can refer back to them later. Think about your lifestyle and different aspects of your home that will reflect that. In your renovation, are you looking for more room to entertain (when you can finally have friends over), or maybe a whole room dedicated to music for your talented children to practice and record in? These are all important pieces that can make your home uniquely yours. Now that you have an idea, (or a few) of what you want your home to look like and incorporate, we would love to hear from you.

At Troxel Custom Homes, we pride ourselves in our unique processes that include the homeowner every step of the way to make sure your home is just that: uniquely YOURS. On our website, you can download our New Home Starter Guide. It includes what we talked about above, and more to help you get started, and is a great place to keep all of your notes. We hope you are staying safe, and healthy, and we look forward to hearing from you!

TCH welcomes Project Manager Patrick

TCH welcomes Project Manager Patrick

Troxel Custom Homes welcomes Patrick Tubergen as their Project Manager.

A few words from Patrick: Lead by example. I’ve witnessed this first hand by many influential people in my life; my Dad, finely tuned craftsmen from the building industry, sitting in a hunting blind w/friends & now having a young child at home – I want to reflect & instill this in my son.

My wife, Courtney will attest that patience is one of my strongest attributes along with the desire to continue to learn. I started working in construction during high school cleaning up job sites/delivering miscellaneous tools/materials. I fell in love with it, from the everyday comradery to the sense of accomplishment at days’ end. I’ve had actual hands on framing, drywall hanging & painting experience to name a few. The time learning the different aspects of construction set my high standard.


Troxel Custom Homes Awarded Best of Houzz 2017

Troxel Custom Homes Awarded Best of Houzz 2017

Fun words to read “You won Best of Houzz 2017”, being singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts is music to our ears.

Congrats to our Troxel Custom Homes team members on the 2017 Best of Houzz Design & Service awards.



Honoring Our Nation’s Heroes, National Veterans Day

Honoring Our Nation’s Heroes, National Veterans Day


Our local community school Waukazoo Elementary holds a Veteran’s Day Tribute each year, this was Brian’s 11th & final year attending at the invitation of his grand-daughters. All branches of service are proudly represented by these children and their families. To say it is a touching event …is putting it mildly.

We pause and pay tribute to America’s veterans, grateful for their service and sacrifice to protect and preserve the values of this great nation.

Troxel Custom Homes has been building custom designed and crafted homes in West Michigan for over 20 years.



167 120th Ave
Holland, MI 49424