A dignified small home that says your human presence is valued

Ascension Home Model XL

A 2-bedroom, 1-bath offering with 800 square feet of interior space and 90 square feet of outdoor deck area. It easily accommodates a small family while still feeling open and airy due to the generous windows, the 9 foot ceiling height, and the spacious kitchen. Its 24-foot width by 32-foot length footprint fits within most lots. Available in two colors.

Ascension Home Model L

A 1-bedroom, 1-bath offering with 630 square feet of interior space and 90 square feet of outdoor deck area. It easily accommodates a single person or a couple while the floor plan feels open and airy due to the generous windows, a nine-foot ceiling height, and a spacious living room. Its 24-foot width by 24-foot length footprint fits within most lots. Available in two colors.


Ascension Home is a sustainable Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU) which utilizes innovative, low-impact construction techniques resulting in budget-friendly delivery.

Both models of Ascension Home have been endorsed by the City of Raleigh as specially-selected and pre-reviewed designs for homeowners ready to build.

With an emphasis on sustainability and occupant physical and mental health, Ascension Home is designed using WELL and LEED building principles, meeting the criteria for LEED Gold Certification.

The design of Ascension Home uses contextual material choices which situate it as a natural accessory to the primary building. The thoughtful placement of the main entry allows for complete privacy on three sides, with a covered open deck as the indoor/outdoor focus of the living space. The orientation of the home is determined with a priority given to daylight filling the common areas. The sleeping areas are carefully thought through with special attention given to privacy and noise separation. The result is a natural flow that expands into surprisingly spacious areas and encourages free movement from interior to exterior.

Buildability and affordability are key aspects of the design. The entire build is concrete-free, requires almost no excavation, needs no heavy earth-moving machinery, and involves minimal site grading needed only for drainage purposes. The prefabricated panels make both for an easy assembly and a high-performance, comfortable interior. The foundation and envelope could be assembled in only a couple weeks. The architecture relies on standard and widely available building materials for nearly everything – from the selection of doors, to the kitchen cabinets, to the design of the canopy. All these factors result in a much shorter construction time than standard construction.

Incorporating the Atmos Arc philosophy of valuing the human presence, Ascension Home is a dignified offer as a small home.

Ascension Home is available now in two different color options: Ocean Deep and Shady Gray.

Upon purchasing a license to the Ascension Home house plans, you receive the complete design in your set of drawings which includes interior design. The drawings also contain product selections of: energy-star appliances, interior finishes, plumbing fixtures, lighting, HVAC equipment, and much more. In short, there is no need for additional involvement by an architect and is ready to hand off to the general contractor to start building once you have obtained a building permit.

Unique Design Features



  • Model L (630 SF)
    1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
  • Model XL (800 SF)
    2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom


  • Structural Insulated Wall Panels
  • Prefabricated Steel Micropile & Timber Foundation System
  • Raised Wood Stem Wall Crawlspace


  • High Performance, Super-Insulated Building Envelope
  • Low-Impact Foundation
  • Efficient, Instant Hot Water
  • Energy Star Appliances
  • Water Sense Plumbing Fixtures
  • Durable Materials
  • VOC-Free Materials

Exterior Finishes

  • Roof: Standing Seam Metal Panels
  • Walls: Fiber-Cement Vertical Panels, Thin Brick Veneer
  • Windows & Exterior Doors: Fiberglass
  • Deck: Composite Panels


  • Ocean Deep
  • Shady Gray

What You Get With Your Purchase

When you purchase a license to the Ascension Home Design you will be receiving digital House Plans also known as Construction Documents.

Construction Documents are the written and graphic documents that are prepared and assembled by the Architect in order to describe and communicate the design, structure, and physical characteristics of the elements of a building project. Construction Documents are not only required to apply for building permits with the City but they are also the necessary documentation to administer the construction contract between the owner and the General Contractor.

Not only are you getting what is typically in Construction Documents, but Ascension Home House Plans also provide fully interior design details. In addition to receiving construction details of the ADU structure, you can also expect to receive:

  • Enlarged plans & elevations indicating the design of the kitchen and bathroom
  • Schedules specifying doors, windows, light fixtures, appliances, casework, etc.
  • Lighting design and fixture selection
  • Designed elements such as: Canopy design, guardrail and post design, deck design, door, window sizes and selections, cost effective yet high quality appliance selection, exterior finishes, interior finishes, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, joint details, finish termination details.

Most house plans do not contain interior design, but we have gone above and beyond to provide meticulously detailed ready-to-build documentation that requires no further involvement on our part and minimal involvement from you!

  • a digital file of the 34 x 22 inch Construction Documents set in PDF Format: (CAD files available upon request)
  • 30 minute consultation directly with the Architect
  • 30 minute drawing hand-off discussion between the Architect and your General Contractor
  • Architect Availability (within reason) to answer questions your GC or you may have

The Ascension Home house plans have been designed to the highest level of detail requiring no further involvement from Atmos Arc. Upon purchasing a license to use the Ascension Home design, you will be required to sign an agreement that clarifies several things, amongst them: the Ascension Home House Plans Scope of Work and Deliverable, Architect’s Responsibilities, the Recommended Responsibilities for the Purchaser, Usage Rights of the Documents, Limit of Liability, and a few other miscellaneous provisions. This agreement is called Ascension Home Terms & Conditions.

Recommended Process to Get Your ADU Built

  • In order to determine the best location for your ADU, your lot should be evaluated for the following items: the legal property boundaries, the zoning restrictions it must conform to, its topography, and adjacencies. This information will eventually be compiled into a drawing called a Site Plan, which is a requirement to apply for your building permit.
  • We recommend speaking with several general contractors since pricing can vary quite a bit. Narrow the selection down to about three, and ask them each to provide a cost estimate. You should select the best one in terms of experience, pricing, communication style, and also a team that is not working on too many projects at the same time.
  • Select a contractor as soon as you want to begin the project. Given the volatility of materials and labor, and the busy schedules of most companies, locking in a contractor early in the process is advantageous. In the event you require additional services and we are not available for hire, your contractor should be able to fill in any gaps should they arise. Here are a few key areas in the Ascension Home design that your GC should review and organize as soon as your project is initiated to prevent construction delays:
    • The Project Site: Aside from understanding where on your lot your ADU should be built, the project site also has implications for other factors such as the ADU’s foundation and project planning.
    • HVAC: The design recommends an energy efficient and cost-effective system: a three or four-zone (your choice) ductless mini-split system for heating and cooling. Though locations and product selection have already been suggested, the actual system should be planned by a HVAC contractor.
    • Electrical Power: The drawings specify appliances, equipment, and light fixtures with various power requirements that must be coordinated by a licensed electrician.
    • Plumbing: A selection of plumbing fixtures and their respective locations are specified within the drawing package. The fixtures, the piping, and the rough-ins must be coordinated and planned by a plumbing engineer.
    • Procurement: Order building materials with long lead times in advance. For a variety of reasons, some construction items can take a few months:
      • Structural Insulated Panels: Up to 12 weeks
      • Manufactured Foundation System: 6 – 8 weeks
      • Thin Brick Veneer (only for Ocean Deep Color Theme): Up to 12 weeks
      • Windows and Exterior Doors: Around 12 weeks
      • Anything that may be out of stock when you start your project
  • Your GC will oversee the building process from start to finish.  The Ascension Home House Plans contains all the information the contractor needs to begin the building process. We are around to answer any questions you or your contractor might have about the design or the drawings.
  • The City of Raleigh’s Fast Track pre-review process has reviewed the new ADU structure only for code-compliance.  For any given parcel, the City will also require a review of the ADU project for land use and zoning codes. Since every site is unique, additional documents must be prepared in order to complete the permit application.
  • Obtain a topographical survey of your property which contains the legal boundaries of your property, road frontage, topography, utility locations, flood hazard areas, location and capacities of stormwater management, hard surfaces, and the footprint of the existing structures on the property. You can find a local land surveyor by doing a quick internet search or you might already have this document if you had a recent mortgage closing.  This information is necessary in order to develop a site plan that meets all the requirements of the City.
  • A land survey generally costs a few hundred dollars. Once you have your site survey, you can either have your contractor develop the Site Plan, hire Atmos Arc, or another design firm to create this necessary document for your project. This process should only take a couple weeks to complete.
  • Each project site is unique in terms of the soils it contains and its topography. The Ascension Home Design contains a preliminary foundation design, however, since a home foundation must be site-specific, the layout and the foundation components in the Ascension Home drawings must be confirmed. You should have a soils engineer test a sampling of the soils on your project site. This geotechnical information should be sent to the foundation manufacturer who will evaluate the soil compatibility with Ascension Home’s design and structural load and tailor the foundation according to these data.
  • Expect to pay a project service fee around $1,500 to the foundation manufacturer. The services of geotechnical professionals are widely available in any locale or we can recommend one to you. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for the testing and the report.
  • While installing a manufactured foundation is a quick process that should only take several hours (a traditional concrete foundation can take months), the lead time in getting the foundation components confirmed and delivered can take up to eight weeks. So it’s best for the contractor to order these parts while preparing other parts of the building.
  • Once the site plan has been prepared, you can begin the permit process. Your Contractor can help you with this process. You will need to complete an application on the Wake County City Portal.
  • Along with your application, you need the site plan and the complete Ascension Home drawing set. Your contractor will also need to submit some documents such as a certificate of workers’ compensation insurance.
  • While the review is underway, the City could potentially request some changes to the design on your project site in order to provide a final approval and issue a permit.
  • You can have your Contractor make the changes with the CAD files, or you can hire Atmos Arc for these changes. This process should not take more than a couple weeks.
  • At this stage, hopefully, your GC has already ordered materials that have long lead times and the items are being stored at or near your project site.
  • During Construction: We want to make sure you are getting the quality of construction detailed in the drawings. If your contractor has questions or is having difficulties implementing any part of the design, please contact us to help work through it.
  • Once the construction gets going, your contractor and you will need to schedule key rough-in inspections with the City before moving forward with each phase of construction. Your contractor will coordinate these and guide you through this process.
  • Only when all final inspections have been scheduled, can you file an application for a Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Once the ADU passes all required inspections, the City will give you the Certificate of Occupancy.

Cost to Build Your ADU

The cost to build Ascension Home in Raleigh, North Carolina was estimated to start at $220 per square foot. This is according to RS Means data and does not include general contractor profit and overhead.

Additionally, due to the volatility of material prices, construction labor, variety of site conditions and utility connections, inflation, General Contractor variability, and other factors that control construction costs, we highly recommend bringing on a general contractor as soon as possible to provide up-to-date construction estimates.

Every contractor and subcontractor will price a project differently, and we recommend that you compare pricing from at least three different contractors. It’s important to note that ADUs cost more per square feet than normal-size housing due to economies of scale. Since the square footage is smaller, the same amount of labor needs to be spread out over a smaller area, making a small home more expensive on a per-square-foot basis.

Lately, we have been seeing variability between contractors 25-40% in some cases. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to speak with a number of contractors.

  • Architect fees. A normal architecture fee can range anywhere from 10% to 25% of total construction costs. By purchasing house plans, in addition to saving four to six months of design time, you are saving at least $30,000 in design fees.
  • A manufactured foundation system that requires very minimal excavation (moderate site grading is necessary for site drainage and minimal excavation for utilities only) and saves several weeks of construction time
  • An efficient design with a raised floor and crawlspace, absence of excavation, and easy installation of foundation and exterior walls should result in reduced construction time.
  • Reduced number of construction trades and labor. For example there is no concrete in the project, therefore fewer subcontractors are required.
  • Long-term energy savings (tight building envelope, energy-star appliances).
  • Lower Hot Water Demand. We have selected a high-efficiency German-made Electric Tankless Water Heater which provides instant hot water.
  • No large machinery needed on site. In designing Ascension Home, potential narrow or limited access to your backyard has been considered, therefore, all materials can be placed and installed by hand or using only small machines such as jack hammers.
  • For most of the build, Ascension Home relies on using local, off-the shelf, and widely-available materials rather than custom sizes and items that are difficult to procure. This effort can be seen in the selection of windows, doors, kitchen cabinetry and the design of built-in components such as the door canopies.
  • Durability: Thoughtfully-selected materials that have lifespans of at least thirty years and require very little to no maintenance such as the standing seam roof, fiber composite siding, composite decking, real brick veneer, engineered wood floors.

Though we have made every effort to design an affordable small home, pricing depends on several factors especially with contractor variability and implementation as well as market fluctuations.

Custom Solutions

If you would like customized design solutions, you can opt to sign an additional services agreement based on the rates below. None of this is required and you should feel free to lean on your General Contractor to provide any of these additional services.

  • Preliminary Site Consultation (Remote) – $150 If you want help understanding the best location on the candidate lot within legal setback limits, we can help determine where Ascension Home can be built
  • Site Plan Development – $500 – A site survey is required for this service.
  • Custom Plan Modifications to the Standard Design – $90 per hour – Note that this will likely trigger  a full review process from the City which could take 2 additional weeks of review.
  • Cosmetic Modifications  – If you have specific design ideas such as seeing a unique color option that you would like to be incorporated into the design, we are available to consult. We can provide custom renderings to visualize the changes at a rate of $250 per rendering. If the modifications are agreed upon by you, and require issuing of new drawings to the GC we work at a rate of $75 per hour to deliver the altered set.
  • Permitting Corrections – $75 per hour – While the design has been pre-approved, the City may ask for corrections on site specific elements. We can provide responses for any corrections the City may ask for.

If you have any ideas, concerns, or questions about your custom solutions that are not covered here, don’t hesitate to contact us!