Design Build Process

To ensure a seamless design-build project, a refined process is necessary throughout each phase of a project. At Atchison Heller, we have implemented a guideline for new construction that helps keep clients informed and happy every step of the way. Before construction planning can begin, we walk through our preliminary planning process to ensure we are set up for success throughout the entirety of the build.


The first step is our preliminary planning phase. This is complementary to our clients and serves as the starting point for discussing the build. During this phase, we cover the basics; style, size, performance requirements, layouts, and function. The goal of this step is to develop a better understanding of the client’s expectations, lifestyle, budget, and preferences. The preliminary planning phase puts everyone on the same page from day one and guides the project into the sweet spot between budget size and project size.


After discussing the schematics of the project, we will produce an estimated budget range based on our experience, historical data, and the customer’s preferences. Addressing realistic budgets from the very beginning gives the client an accurate idea of what the project is going to cost. This helps everyone determine if the project described matches the budget discussed. If the budget and project do not align, we will present options to the client on how to find that happy medium.


As a design-build firm, we believe in establishing the best team of professionals to help meet each client’s goals and expectations in every room of their house. We will provide our knowledge of advanced construction methods and use our strong, reliable partnerships with trade partners to achieve your goals. It is our duty to help create a team that best fits your needs and the specific design of your project. The core team for a new construction project consists of an architect, designer, builder and client as well as any necessary engineers, surveyors, and landscape architects. From our findings in the earlier planning stages, we guarantee the team will be best suited for the project and client.

There are numerous benefits to the design- build process and we believe it allows a team to deliver the highest quality project to you in a healthy and productive setting. Follow along on Instagram to see the behind the scenes of what goes into being a design- build firm.


The final step is to review the scope of the project in detail with each team member, walking each partner through the proposed schematics of the build. AH will then compose the Pre-Construction Contract that line items the time and cost required to plan and price the entire project. The Pre-Construction Agreement is crucial to the success of the project through compensating professionals for their contribution of knowledge, creativity, design and experience. This is the reason design- build is the most precise and accurate approach to new construction. Once the client agrees upon the forecasted timeline and cost of the Pre-Construction Contract, the planning begins.

Each phase of our preliminary planning process ensures that the client and all team members are on the same page before moving into the construction planning process. Ready to begin the first steps of planning your dream home? We certainly are.m.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the highest quality and value in construction services available. We strive to be a model organization for our customers, our trade partners and others in our industry, in all that we do.

Meet your Builders

John Atchison started Atchison Construction in 1978, building custom homes and serving the Lexington community. John has had a lifelong passion for home building and construction ever since.

Steve Heller joined longtime friend John Atchison in 2000 to form Atchison Heller Construction Company. Together they expanded their custom home construction business to include two attached home communities in Lexington; The Village at Rabbit Run and The Tradition at Parks Edge. In addition, they have built projects for The Hope Center of Lexington plus a Memory Care Center for Wesley Village in Wilmore, Kentucky. As well, they continue with their thriving custom home building and remodeling division of Atchison-Heller Construction Company.

John and Steve are involved with many community activities. Atchison-Heller supports Young Life, Rescue Mission, Kentucky Educational Television, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The March of Dimes, and the United Way among others.

Atchison Heller office