Knoxville Architect Opens New Office

Southern Draw, Knoxville’s oldest architect lead design+build firm, is pleased to announce the opening of its newest office at 700 Sevier Avenue, Suite 200 in South Knoxville. After designing and building homes all over the Southeast, the company returned its headquarters to the Knoxville market where it began over 25 years ago. The firm provides customers with pencil-to-paint, one stop shopping for custom home design and new home construction. Southern Draw is a licensed architectural design firm and general contractor.

The new office will be led by Mack Fraser, who heads the design and construction management division. Fraser has 30 years experience in custom residential home design. “Being in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains has always presented such wonderful opportunities to design and build homes surrounded by amazing scenic vistas,” said Fraser. “Something I’ve missed. It’s good to be back home.”

The full service company also offers interior design services and custom reclaimed wood finishes for walls, floors and ceilings. The Knoxville office joins the firm’s other location at 8353 Highlands Road,  in Highlands, North Carolina.


How to Choose the Best Architect for Your Project

Every architect has an individual approach to designing custom homes and managing the planning and construction process. Some firms offer preconstruction planning, budgeting and construction management services that give homeowners a leg up when it comes to timelines, building costs and getting more accurate estimates from building contractors. Others offer design services only. Southern Draw offers design, planning, budgeting and construction for clients who seek a full range of services within a single firm.

First things first. When you set out to retain a professional architect to design a new home or renovate an existing one, follow the helpful tips below from the AIA to assist in finding the best person or firm to manage your project. The right architect for you will ultimately be one who comes recommended, has the right references and credentials and someone whose style and skill set are compatible with the scale and type of project you are undertaking.

Tips for Hiring the Best Architect

1. Match the Architect to the Project. Ask for referrals from neighbors and friends who have used architects for similar projects to generate a list of individuals or firms within a designated radius of your ZIP code (up to 50 miles). Think about the scope of services you want and what services the architects you consider are able to offer.

2. Check credentials. Go to work searching the web and checking with accredited agencies like AIA, Angie’s List,, Better Business Bureau and others to ensure the person you choose is reliable and does high quality work. Although architects in the United States are not required to be members of the AIA, membership in the AIA means that the architect subscribes to the AIA Code of Ethics, complies with the AIA’s rigorous continuing education requirements, and is committed to high standards of practice and service.

3. Conduct a phone interview. During the phone interview, describe your project and ask if the firm is available to accomplish it within your desired time frame. Request literature outlining the firm’s qualifications and experience, planning process and project management methodology to ensure you are kept in the loop through every phase of the design and construction planning phase. The interview allows you to meet the people who will manage your project and to learn if the chemistry is right; you may be working with them for a long time. Some architects charge a small fee for initial interviews or meetings. Southern Draw offers a free design consultation as part of upfront project review

4. Ask questions. How busy is the firm? Does it have the capacity to take on your project? Who in the firm will be primarily responsible for your project? What other staff or team members will help facilitate your project? What is the fee structure? What is the firm’s track record for completing jobs on time and on budget?

5. Inspect completed work. If possible, ask each firm to show you at least one complete or substantially complete project or samples of completed work that resembles the scope of your residential or commercial design project.

6. Check references. Ask for references from both past clients and vendors or contractors with whom the architect has worked, and check them thoroughly. Ask clients the same questions you asked the architect: Was the project completed on time and within budget? Was the client satisfied with the completed project? Check the architect’s or firm credentials such as licenses, certifications, professional affiliations and accreditations.

7. Choose an Architect. The right architect will be the one who has demonstrates technical expertise, design talent, and the type of planning and communication skills that suit you needs. Ask for a written agreement outlining the terms of the relationship, timing and payment.

To speak with a licensed, accredited design professional at Southern Draw Design+Build or to arrange for a free design consultation, please call us at 866-930-9660. We have offices in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Knoxville, Tennessee and Highlands, North Carolina. We are here to help bring your dreams to life!

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Mid-Century Modern Architecture Meets Post and Beam

Courtesy of

Many modern post and beam style homes found today strongly resemble the mid-century modern designs first seen in California in the 60s and 70s.

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was the father of mid-century modern architecture.  The design style he made famous links indoor and outdoor spaces by extending the living space into the backyard.  Rooms had multiple outdoor views, or multiple access points, encouraging an appreciation of healthy living.

Today’s contemporary timber frame, post and beam homes incorporate many mid-century modern design elements.  Large windows, open spaces and wood beam supports offer an updated version of Wright’s clean, beautiful style.

Both classic and contemporary post and beam home designs use elements found in mid-century modern design including open vaulted ceilings, accent walls, open living spaces, floor to ceiling windows and large sliding doors. Beautiful wood beams create a rustic, yet modern feel. The style offers an elegant simplicity, with a warm inviting interior space that makes for easy living.

Southern Draw Design+Build specializes in contemporary post and beam home design and construction. Call us today for a free home design consultation 866-930-9660. Serving Hilton Head Island, Knoxville, Tennessee and Western North Carolina.

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What is the Architect Led Design Build Principle?

Architect-led design build is a streamlined, less stressful and more efficient method of designing and building a home when compared to the traditional approach used today known as “design-bid-build”.

Design-bid-build separates the process and requires the property owner to have contact and contracts, with multiple vendors over a longer period of time. This complex web of relationships is ultimately the root of the problems that arise. Let’s examine the process used by clients who want to build a custom home. First they hire an architect to design the home. Then they receive and accept multiple bids from builders or contractors to bring their home design to life. Next they choose and hire a builder who will hopefully build the home as drawn, as bid, and on schedule – which too often does not happen. There are simply too many opportunities in the process for problems to arise, which most often results in build projects going over budget and taking longer than scheduled.

Architect led building takes a more comprehensive approach that integrates all three processes into one, with a single point of contact – a design-build contractor, or simply put; an architect who builds homes. The design build contractor will draw your dream home, estimate the cost as your home is designed and then build it for you. This process reduces risk for the client and often eliminates the headaches, time and some of the cost involved with hiring multiple vendors. It also reduces the delivery schedule by overlapping the design and budget phases, putting you in your new home faster. A design build contractor is responsible for all of the work on the project, regardless of the nature of the fault.

Design–build is often referred to as the “master builder” approach, because it’s one of the oldest forms of the home construction process. The design–build method where the same person designs and builds a home is reportedly over four thousand years old. Whereas the “traditional approach” of home building; having a separate architect and builder, is actually a very recent concept, primarily being used only in the last century.


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new retail shop for reclaimed flooring at southern draw design build architect studio

We at Southern Draw Design Build Architects, are very excited to announce the grand opening of our new offices and “boutique building finishes” studio and gallery on Hilton Head Island! This new space allows us to truly provide all of our customers with a one stop design+build experience in the Lowcountry. The retail space on the main floor closes the loop for all of our customers so that we may now not only provide them with first rate design and construction services but also provide them with a wide variety of “boutique building finishes” in house (no pun intended!). Come check out our reclaimed wood flooring, brick and other vintage flooring. We owe a huge thank you to our vendors, friends and family that has endured this year long process with us! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Here are a few images of the new showroom!

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And here’s a short list of our beautiful product offerings and some basic pricing:

Vintage Reclaimed Lumber

Old Mill Maple: from $7.00 per sq.ft.

Heart Pine: from $7.50 per sq.ft.

Red and White Oak: from $9.00 per sq.ft.

Wormy Chestnut: from $12.00 per sq.ft

Reclaimed Pecan: from $12.00 per sq.ft.

Reclaimed Hickory: from $12.00 per sq.ft.

Black Walnut: from $10.50 per sq,ft.

Antique Walnut: from $13.00 per sq.ft

Barn Wood: from $8.00 per sq.ft.

All wood products are available in a variety of widths and finishes

Custom Wood Finishes

White Wash: from $7.00 per sq.ft.

Brick Bond Back Splash: from $7.50 per sq.ft.

Custom Red and White Oak: from $9.00 per sq.ft.

Custom Stone Finishes

Stone Veneers: from $10.00 per sq.ft.

Antique Brick Finishes

Vintage Brick: from $8.00 per sq.ft.

Hand Forged Iron




Range Hoods

Custom Cabinetry



Built In

Custom Wall Finishes