March of 2023
- Projecting about 140 plans this year.
- I think I was wrong about my projection of the plans drawn last update in 2022. So much for time to relax. I have been so busy working on house plans and it only slowed a bit around Christmas and then took off again. I am still about two to three months behind. Thank you for your patience!
- Speaking of Christmas, I spent the week before and after totally focused on learning a new software called Twinmotion. I continued to work on this every weekend for the next two months setting things up and fine-tuning my process. The beautiful renderings you see on the website are my work of homes I have designed.
- I’m in my new office now which my son and I built off the rear of the garage and in our backyard. See the contact page if you stop by as our driveway is off the alleyway. Daisy will greet you warmly as lovable dogs do so please do not come with your best pants or skirt.
- Thank you once again for placing your trust in me and my home design services.
May of 2022
- Projecting about 100 plans this year.
- The new modeling software continues to be a big hit with my clients! It seems many people are willing to be placed on the schedule months down the road just to see their home come to life, and for that, I am extremely grateful! Thank you for placing your trust in me.
- Just in case you think it is the software that makes my designs sing; quite the opposite. It is 40+ years of building, managing, and designing homes that help make my software sing! There are limitations and workarounds within the software, but honestly, what is produced is very impressive and helps me produce really beautiful and functional construction documents, the real part of the plan that is used to build your house.
- I have reduced the number of clients I take on, outside of the builders I work for so that I can remain responsive to the builders who have entrusted me to help in the design of their client’s homes. So far I think it is working because I am a bit more relaxed these past few months as things are moving along at a more manageable pace.
- I turned 60 years old this year. It’s kind of crazy how that works and even a bit funny when you read down this page of my history. I could not be more grateful for all I have accomplished through the years. Lately, I have been busy remodeling our home, updating the kitchen and installing all new cabinets and countertops, installing new flooring and retrimming the whole main floor, painting, etc. Even added a tile no-step shower to our 1/2 bath and much more. I can certainly feel the years, and so I have also decided to take Mondays off to give me a long weekend and a shorter work week. So far it is proving a good choice.
February of 2021
- Projecting about 120 plans this year.
- I purchased new 3D Modeling Software this year and it has not only made designing a lot more fun, but it has also become an incredible tool for clients to fully visualize their home with amazing detail!
- At the beginning of the year, things were a little slow so I took the next four months learning and setting up this new software while drawing houses with Architectural Desktop. Then the work started pouring in like I haven’t seen for years which began to affect that personal touch I like to offer and know every client expects.
- Over the next 4 months, I had drawn over 40 houses with the new software. By the end of the year, I had drawn over 60 homes. Whew! Fastest learning curve I ever experienced, but it was worth it. Everyone loves the new visual software!
May of 2019
- Projecting about 100 plans this year and am grateful for it!
- Designed this new website (updated – Old already)
- Custom homes have surely come back some, but I have seen the remodeling part of this industry increase in a big way. People have found their home and now just want to make it more comfortable.
- Still working by myself and loving a more relaxed life with a growing family. Also been doing some traveling!
- When you get into business as a younger person, you only have the outside world of business to guide you. Meaning, from the beginning of Custom Drafting, to Steve Nyhof Enterprises, Inc., to Steve Nyhof Designs, LLC. I believed business was to keep growing. Well, it must continue to mature for sure but adding employees and building homes, etc, (read below) all I did was create a monster that at one point controlled me. Mind you I learned a great deal and accomplished many things I am proud of. But at what point is enough too much?
- Now I am working alone and really enjoying offering that personal touch to each customer from meeting, designing, and producing the final plans. This is how I started out and time has a way of molding us through our journey – and hopefully come to a place where we can be grateful for every bump in the road so that we can appreciate a more relaxed path ahead.
May of 2016
- Another New Beginning
- Doing business as Steve Nyhof Designs, LLC.
- Things are happening again. Working by myself and loving it. Since I began drawing at 19 years old, working for my brother where I drew hundreds of plans, and then under my businesses we have drawn more than 5000 house plans in 40 years. Wow, how time flies.
- Growing up building homes, and then later contracting a number of homes myself has helped me understand so much more about home design, standards that save thousands, and how things fit together to make something beautiful.
2010 – 2015 Long Story…
- If you’re interested, I wrote a book called Love Beyond Truth, Awakening to the Truth of Love, written in great detail from a very broken place in my life to more fully understand how relationships work, and much more. Life can get crazy but in the end, there is often a silver lining.
May of 2009
- Still running along in low gear
- Employees all gone
- The need for house plans continues to come in, with more remodeling than I have seen in years, and as I continue to reach out to builders across America through our home builder websites, I continue to pick up new builder clients and draw their house plans.
- However, with the slowdown in the economy and not looking any better for a long time, it was time to look for something in a field I have been dabbling in for a long time, Internet Marketing. Marketing has always intrigued me, and the Internet has been my friend for almost ten years since its inception.
- So, I am excited about the future. Working harder than I have worked in a long time trying to operate all the things I do. We will see what lies ahead.
All of 2008
Design business working hard
- Projecting, well let’s just say we are still drawing plans and building a few houses
- The economy has been doing its toll on everyone in the building industry and beyond.
- Not much more to say. It’s been hard on everyone in the construction industry.
March through summer of 2007
- Design business doing well
- Projecting about 200 plans this year
- Well, I think we are in it for the long hall. The Michigan economy is very slow. So far this year we have drawn only a few speculation homes.
- Large custom homes and remodeling jobs are what is still moving today.
- The large remodel job we did on Lake Michigan is done and beautiful. Completed on time and has kept me very busy.
- I have become an Internet and book junky and have decided it was time to get back into programming as the new systems I wanted to build will require the latest coding… PHP and MySQL databases and languages.
- Took this time to really work hard on the builder’s websites and add a few more services. To begin with, we set the task manager aside to concentrate on two new great web interfaces. The Home Listing page and the House Plans page. These are database-driven systems that are easily set up and maintained.
- Worked on the Plan Center plot interface. Our system now uploads plot files to a builder’s local print house server. That means that builders will now be able to order their house plans online and pick them up the same day just down the road. No more shipping costs.
- On the drawing board so to speak is a new interface that will allow builders to take and include plans from our database and add them seamlessly to their database of house plans. If you are a builder and do not have many plans yourself, but would like to use a searchable plan system and offer plans, you will be able to select the plans you want or have the system choose for you by criteria.
July of 2006
- Running along in low gear
- Projecting about 250 plans this year
- Took the summer off to paint cars. Made a new company called Involved Painting where I get the owner involved with the work so I don’t have to do so much. So far, I have done most of the work. I can’t even get my sons to help. I painted a 1935 Ford Sedan with 4 different pearl paints in the flame job. It’s amazing. I set up my third stall with lighting and an air system for spraying. Through the years I had painted about 20 cars. Worked on my 1959 Chevy Pickup and got that running. Did some fishing. Went to car shows and won a few trophies. Painted flames with an airbrush on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
- Finished the homes I was building at the end of July. I was still working on a big remodel on Lake Michigan which we did get and broke ground on August 28. I made a website for the owner to help promote her rental property.
- Started an Internet Search Engine Marketing company called Leading Site Ranking after learning how to promote my own company websites.
- Finally learned how to make Flash presentation videos that finally work after trying for over a year with various software. Found some cool text-to-speech programs.
- Starting to develop the Task Manager for our builders’ websites. This will allow builders to better communicate the items that need to be done and by specific dates. Coming soon.
Early in 2005
- Starting the Construction Division
- Projecting over 400 plans this year
- Stop developing the home sales software for consumer use to continue its development for our own use. Added the scheduling module to the database and implemented a visual web page that displays the schedule to our customers and all our sub-contractors.
- Added a Community Forum to our personal builder’s website so our customers and sub-contractors can log the process of the building project. This was later hacked by an unknown source who then deleted months of archive data. We then added a simple Project News system to help keep our customers informed of the day’s events.
- Added a small user-friendly website for our long-distance customers with a picture gallery, so they can watch the process of their home being built from any web browser – even while on vacation.
- Added our specifications to the website so prospects can see what exactly is included and what our options are in new home construction. This is linked to our subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers.
- I am having just way too much fun creating one of the most interactive and informative builders’ websites in the industry. Come back now and then to learn more about the services we will be providing to help prospects and our customers stay in touch with the building process from start to finish.
Sometime in 2002 to 2004
- Interactive Websites
- Drawing about 350 plans per year
- After learning web program development, we plunged right in and designed our own interactive database-driven website templates specifically designed for builders.
- Taking what we were learning about databases and websites, we quickly applied what we were learning to our own online services. The first thing we worked toward was an online plan library with search capabilities. Today we have over 300 plans online for builders and customers to search from.
- We then took what we learned from the plan search database and connected it to the builder’s websites so their customers could search for house plans from the builder’s site and not ours, keeping the customer from roaming. We continued to develop database filters so that our websites know what website a person is browsing.
- I began to see how databases and programming could effectively automate many of our day-to-day tasks. The next project was to upload the working plans to the website so our builders and customers could access their plans from home. This system grew into what is called the Plan Center, where most of our customers spend their time reviewing and printing their plans. Customers can now order their plans online and pick up full sets the next day. Builders can E-Mail small copies of the plans to their sub-contractors and save on printing costs.
- Developed home sales software for big builders marketing housing developments. The software is designed to organize all aspects from developments, phases, lots, drawing detail, pricing, and options. An upload utility connects to the builder’s website and displays very user-friendly web pages and printable brochures.
Sometime in 1999 to 2001
- E-Mail and Websites
- Drawing about 250 plans per year
- I was very intrigued with the whole Internet thing from the very beginning. In 1999 I got a hold of my first modem with a speed of 300 bits. (For those who don’t know, today we have connection speeds over 100 MB or 100,000,000 bits.) I watched the whole thing develop from black DOS screens with blinking cursors to what we have today.
- It was time to get connected and use E-Mail as a form of communication. While I did have my own E-Mail account, there wasn’t much to do with it because very few people I knew had E-Mail.
- I was also hit up for a website that I really wanted but didn’t know how to make effective. Back then, web designers were just getting into website templates, but the web designers still needed to add content. I have always been the type that can do things myself so I purchased a web development program and set up our first company website. (Which has been altered numerous times to what it is today.)
- A Bold Beginning
- Doing business as Steve Nyhof Enterprises, Inc.
- Projecting about 100 plans this year
- Because of my background of drawing plans on the side for over twenty-four years, starting a business was not so difficult. (Paying for my own insurance was a new thing!) I made a few phone calls and quickly got to work.
- Through the years I never stopped developing programs to automate the designing and drawing process.
- The beginning of our company database to store information about contacts, house plans, and plan data.
- Worked for six months developing the color artwork for front elevations. Finally complete, we developed the process to generate watercolor-looking front elevations in the computer in only a few hours.
Summer of 1994
- I left Draw Form after 11 years as a Tool Maker and worked for my brother Mike (East Lake Homes) drawing plans and helping out with sales. I drew over 400 house plans in the four years I worked there.
- While I grew up helping build houses with my 3 older brothers and our father, it was at East Lake that I got a much better understanding of the details related to home construction as we were building around 40 houses a year.
In the Beginning!
- My parents said that I never scribbled as a child, and the first thing I drew was a fish. Ok, maybe that’s too far back…
- I was maybe Twelve when I drew my first house plan. I remember it had firepoles in the bedroom closets in case someone broke into the house. I was so proud of it and showed my father. He told me it was very nice, but the walls need to be shown as having a width – where mine was only a single line. Ok, maybe that is still too far back…
- I was nineteen years old when my oldest brother Jim wanted me to start drawing plans for him. I started a business called “Custom Drafting” and had my own paper and title block!
- I had a beautiful oak drafting table where I drew several hundred house plans over the next number of years on the side, as my full-time job was as a tool maker at Draw Form in Zeeland, MI
- I’m guessing that around 1990, I got more interested in computers, and within a few years used 2D CAD to draw my plans.
- I changed my business name to Steve Nyhof Architectural Design along the way but was still working part-time drawing plans.