Building a new custom home is a major undertaking, not to mention one of the most significant investments you are likely to make in your life.

As you prepare for this project, which will last several months if not more than a year, there is a lot of information to gather. Not only do you want to equip yourself with general knowledge about the home-building process, but there are also aspects unique to the Colorado Front Range to be aware of as you develop a budget, create construction plans and construct your new house.

What to Know Before Building a House in Colorado

As you face the myriad of details, both large and small, that impact the home-building experience, it is natural to feel a bit daunted. However, a little preparation goes a long way. Even simply knowing what you will need to know at some point in the process can help you set manageable expectations and establish confidence for what lies ahead. Here are a few important factors to take into consideration when choosing a place to build in the Colorado Front Range and designing your custom home:

1. Cost to Build a House in Colorado

If you’re looking to design and build a custom home in the Colorado Front Range, chances are you’re already aware of the type of financial investment involved. You can set your budget however you want, but going into the project with realistic expectations is prudent. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150,000 and up for the land itself. In the Colorado Springs area, most custom home lots range from about $225,000 to $400,000 for 2.5 to 5 acres in 2021. Add in the cost of building a truly customized home, and you’re looking at an investment starting at about $850,000 (not including land) and up from there. As you establish a preliminary budget for your new house, also consider how you will finance the project.

2. Factors that Affect Home Building Cost

It’s also helpful to keep in mind that there tends to be some regional variation when it comes to labor costs for building a new house. Additionally, general contractors often differ in price because of the services they provide and the type of process they offer. By and large, the size of your home and the quality of materials, fixtures and finishes you select will have the greatest impact on your project price. You want to work with an honest and transparent builder who doesn’t gouge you but who also doesn’t cut corners. When it comes to craftsmanship and the products themselves, you get what you pay for.

3. The Best Time to Construct a New Home

Like cost, the timeline to build a new custom home in Colorado can also vary based on several factors, including the size of the house, the extent of infrastructure needed (roads, utilities, etc), and whether you’re going into the project with a clear vision already in mind. In general, it takes about seven to nine months to construct a home, on top of four to six months for design, selections and estimating. You should anticipate the project running about 12-18 months  from start to finish. A skilled home builder can tackle your project at any time, even during the winter, but spring and summer are generally considered the best times to start building because of the warmer weather. Once you are ready to embark on the home building journey, it’s best to speak with your contractor about a realistic timeline and when to start construction.

4. Location and Transportation

Building your home is only one piece of the puzzle. You also have to select a piece of land that accommodates your needs in terms of proximity to work, school and local amenities. You may be drawn to one of the beautiful mountain towns that Colorado is known for. However, think ahead to what sort of daily life you can expect if you build in that location. For instance, how are the roads leading out to your new home site? Are you comfortable driving in snowy and icy conditions for part of the year? What sort of daily commute do you want? Where will your utilities—including water, sewer, natural gas and electricity—come from? As a general rule, any property that is larger than 2.5 acres will be on a well and septic system and you’ll need a well permit from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. Also, consider your lifestyle and what sort of proximity you desire to natural attractions, recreation opportunities, schools, churches, restaurants, stores, medical facilities and other establishments. These are often things people take for granted, but the location of your new custom home really can dictate the pace and convenience of your daily life.

5. Colorado Building Codes and Zoning Laws

Regardless of where you build, you have to be willing to work with the local building and zoning codes and setback requirements that apply to your lot. Setbacks can significantly impact the size and placement of your house. In that sense, you have to either select the land and then choose a suitable floor plan, or look for a piece of real estate that can accommodate your pre-established vision. This is an area where it becomes useful to include home builder when searching for property, especially if you’re moving to Colorado from a different state. For example, some soils are harder to build on and must be tested to determine whether home construction is possible. Your home builder should be familiar both with the local real estate market, as well as what a new home build entails, and can help you identify available land that fits the type of home and outdoor environment you desire. As part of the design-build process, they’ll also acquire the appropriate permits for your project.

Creating a Custom Home in Colorado

Cost, timeline, location and zoning are only a few of the issues you’ll want to be knowledgeable about before designing and building a new custom home in Monument or the surrounding area. You also have to consider topography, soil conditions, natural resource rights, property taxes, financing and more. Given the complex nature of creating a custom home, you want an experienced and expert team by your side. At Gowler Homes, we seek to streamline and simplify the home building process for you so the overall experience can be more enjoyable and rewarding. After years of building new homes in the Colorado Front Range, we are well acquainted with the logistics and can empower you to make confident decisions when choosing land, designing your home and having it built.

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