About Us

Shaping the Future

The Design & Building Works has done a countless variety of home design projects — from small to large — all across Northern California for almost 30 years. My husband (a general contractor) and I (an architectural designer) formally opened our business together in 1992.

Our mission is to be good listeners, stress reducers and creative problem solvers for clients like you. We don’t keep you in the dark, we educate you and keep you up to date.

Who We Are

We sweat the details so you can sleep soundly at night
In addition to the design of your home project, there are a lot of steps, rules and legal requirements that need to be addressed in the right order. Having decades of experience in home design and construction, we know what needs to happen when and what kind of assets and experts we need to bring in to make your project a 100% success.

Serving our community

Like so many in Sonoma County, we were tested by the 2017 Tubbs Fire. We became very busy helping grieving clients who’d lost everything rebuild after the fire, This taught us how crucial it is to be a calm, steady and reliable resource for clients. We’d been doing this before, but now we began to do it on an even-deeper level. We are always here for you.

About Ellen

I was born and raised in France and received my diploma from Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. Clients often ask how I became interested in architecture. My answer? It’s in my DNA. I have a grandfather, 2 uncles and 3 cousins who were/are architects plus a 10-year-old niece who dreams of being an architect one-day. Needless to say, all of us are passionate about what we do.

Our roster of experts and highly-experienced partners

We do architectural drafting in Northern California, but we no longer do the construction of home projects. Some of our clients come to us with their own contractor. For those who don’t have a contractor in mind, we can provide referrals to the best contractors we’ve worked with and know. Depending on your project, you may want or need experts such as soil engineers, structural engineers, energy analysts, interior designers and others. We can refer the absolute best firms we’ve worked with to you.

Projects we are accepting right now:

  • New residences less than 3 stories
  • Additions
  • Remodeling
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
  • Decks

Projects we are not accepting:

  • Commercial Building
  • Buildings over 3 stories

Read Our Reviews

How to get started

Call Architectural Designer Ellen Picard to schedule a free one-hour consultation.

We ask you to come to our call with specifics about your proposed project. That helps us focus on what you want to achieve and leads to a better result vs. just “picking my brain.”

(707) 526-9566