Design + Build

In short, it is the process of hiring one company to oversee and manage the process of designing and building your custom home, rather than hiring separate companies for the three main tasks: architecture, interior design, and the actual build.

Having these three tasks executed by three separate companies (architect, designer, and builder/general contractor) increases the likelihood that expectations and communication will breakdown.

At Gowler Homes, we oversee every detail of the plan design process (architecture), interior finishes, colors and fixture selection (design), and budgeting, scheduling, and construction management (build).

The benefit of hiring us, a Design + Build company, is that there is a single point of responsibility for the outcome of the project. Our Design + Build process will ensure that every detail, from start to finish, is consistent with the vision for your home and within budget.

Our design phase (Project Development) is averaging about six months as of Q4 2021. Since we are a Design + Build company, we seamlessly transition from the Project Development phase into the Construction phase. Our philosophy is that the more detailed we get during the Project Development phase, the more efficient the Construction phase can go!

Also, our thorough Project Development phase allows us to prepare extremely detailed and accurate budgets BEFORE construction starts so there are no surprises or disappointments once construction begins.

The Project Development phase includes:

  • Floor Plan Development
  • Exterior Elevation Design and Material Selection
  • Site Plan Development
  • Lot Staking
  • Feature and Specification Documentation
  • Interior Layout
  • Interior Finish Specifications (cabinetry, tile, flooring, counter tops, lighting and plumbing fixture, doors and millwork, appliances, etc)
  • Exterior 3D Renderings
  • Preparation of a Line-Item Budget for the Project
  • Full Construction Documentation
  • Soil Testing
  • Septic Design (if applicable)
  • Well Permitting (if applicable)

Building timelines vary depending on site conditions, weather, and the complexity and size of the project. Most of our homes are completed within 10-12 months after we break ground.

Maybe, but probably not. Many of our clients come to us with a plan they found online that they like.

However, an architect is still going to be required to modify those plans to meet the code requirements where the home is to be built. Additionally, each building site has different requirements from an engineering, code, and topography standpoint, so the plan would need to be modified to fit the site.

If you have already purchased a plan, let’s take a look at it and see what it would take to make it buildable on your lot. Alternatively, we could use it as a starting point to custom tailor a plan that meets your needs on your specific lot.

Unfortunately, no. Due to licensing and permit requirements, schedule implications, warranty, and liability concerns, we do not allow homeowners to perform work on their home.

Trust us, we will make sure it’s done right, on time, and on budget. You can spend time with your family and enjoy the process without getting your hands dirty!

Our first step of engagement is to sign a Project Development Agreement, at which time a non-refundable design deposit is due.

Currently, our design deposit is 5% of the project budget. Our Project Development services include architectural plans, structural engineering, full interior and exterior design selections, material and fixture specifications, detailed line-item budgeting, and a 3D exterior rendering.

Additionally, we often need to perform or hire out other testing or design work in order to accurately design your home, which could include soil testing, septic design/engineering, survey work, well permitting, etc. If this work is required, we will include it in our Project Development Agreement, and it will be included in the design deposit.

Our typical design deposit for a custom home is 5% of the construction budget. This deposit is non-refundable if you choose not to build your home with Gowler Homes. However, should you move forward with construction with Gowler Homes, the deposit is credited toward the cost of building your home.

As of Q4, 2021: Our homes start at $1,100,000, not including land.

Our average build comes in between $275 to $325 per square foot, not including land.

Our current average build cost (not including land) is just over $2,000,000.

Build costs vary depending on building site, utility and infrastructure requirements, soil conditions, home size, complexity, and finish selections. However, this ballpark pricing will help you plan your budget!

Absolutely! Your home is covered for a full 12 months by the Gowler Homes warranty.
Matt Gowler, the owner of Gowler Homes, started building in 2003 and has successfully built over 500 projects, including dozens of custom homes and whole-home renovations.

Yes. We carry a class C homebuilding license in El Paso County, Douglas County, and Elbert County.

We carry $2,000,000 liability insurance on each project and workers-comp insurance on all employees. Additionally, we secure a Builders Risk policy for each individual custom-home project, in accordance with the client’s lender’s requirements.

We also require that any trade partners that work on our projects carry insurance and licenses, if required.

We build in El Paso County, Elbert County, and Douglas County. We build homes within a 35-minute drive from Monument, CO.

At this time, we offer only Design + Build services and are not available for design services alone.

Yes, we will coordinate the installation of your well and septic system as well as the electrical and natural gas/propane connections.

The cost of the well depends on the depth of the well. This is determined first by which aquifer you have a well permit for. Based on the aquifer, there is an approximate depth that the well will be drilled.

Once our well drilling company is actually drilling, they will determine the final depth of the well.

The most common aquifers in Douglas County, Elbert County, and El Paso County are the Dawson and Denver Aquifers, which are both part of the Denver Basin.

Dawson Aquifer wells range between approximately 200 and 500 feet in depth (depending on the location of the lot) and can cost $12,000 to $25,000 to install.

Denver Aquifer wells range between approximately 300 and 1,300 feet in depth (depending on the location of the lot) and can cost $25,000 to $65,000 or more to install.

The cost to install a septic system depends on which type of septic system you are required to have. This is determined by a licensed geotechnical engineer, based on the results of a “Profile Pit Observation” test, which is performed by the engineer.

Depending on the conditions and type of soil available at your septic location, the engineer will prescribe the best septic system for your home. Costs for standard gravity flow, chamber septic systems range from $12,000 to $25,000.

Engineered septic systems can cost $25,000 to $70,000 or more, depending on the system design.

We always aim to build our homes with energy efficiency and comfort in mind. The reality is that higher efficiency usually translates into higher upfront costs.


We are a certified EnergyStar builder and can build your home to meet their stringent requirements.

We will review your needs/wants in terms of energy efficiency and green building practices prior to designing your home to determine if you desire more efficient, non-traditional building practices in your home.

If desired, we can install solar, geothermal, spray foam insulation, insulated concrete forms, low VOC products, etc.

There are also many design considerations we take into account when designing your home (like passive solar) to ensure that we build homes that steward resources to the best of our abilities.

We are 100% custom and therefore do not have a list of ‘standard’ features. We can utilize any material from any vendor if it fits into your needs/wants and budget!

Most of our homes include:

  • Custom cabinetry
  • Level 5 or higher Quartz counter tops
  • Designer Tile, Lighting Fixtures, Plumbing Fixtures and Hardware
  • Character hardwood floors
  • Mid to High level appliances (Jenn-Air, Thermador, Wolf/Sub-Zero, etc)
  • Custom trim and millwork, beams and mantles
  • Blown Insulation
  • Fully Finished Garages
  • Higher end windows and exterior doors

Floor Plans

We have a small but ever growing collection of plans that are available for clients to build. Most of the homes that we build are 100% custom designed for each individual client.


That said, we assume that we are going to be designing a unique home for each specific client, on their specific lot. Whether we start from scratch or use one of our previous plans, you can be assured that we can customize it to meet all of your needs and wants!

Real Estate

Absolutely! We have an in-house real estate brokerage with licensed Realtor’s who would love to help you find the perfect lot for your new home!

This depends. Each client is going to have a different situation.

We recommend that you work with your lender to determine if you need to sell your current home to qualify for your construction loan. If so, you’ll need to sell your home and find a short-term rental during construction.

Need help? We have in-house realtors who can help you stage, list, and sell your home for top dollar! 

If you don’t have to sell your home to qualify for your construction loan, that’s great news! We’ll help you put a logistical plan together to determine when you should put your home on the market to coincide with the completion of your home so that you only have to move once!


There are usually two or three loans involved in building a custom home:

  • Land Purchase (can be loan or purchased with cash)
  • Construction Loan
  • Permanent Loan

There are also loan programs that combine your construction loan and permanent loan into one process. We highly recommend that you consider a “construction to permanent” financing option.

The benefit of using a construction to permanent loan is that there is only one application, one set of closing costs, and one appraisal. Also, your interest rate is set when you close on the construction loan, which means that you eliminate the risk of rates increasing during construction.

Lastly, when doing a construction to permanent loan, the appraisal is completed pre-construction, which means that you don’t have the risk of the home not appraising after construction is complete.


Expect to put down 10% to 25% of the purchase price of the land. Typically, land loans are short term (12 months) because of the expectation that you’re going to build on the land.

Expect to put down 10% to 20% of your total “construction + land budget.” If you financed your land, the construction loan will typically pay off the land and roll that loan into the construction loan.

Usually, the down payment that you made toward the land purchase will count toward your down payment for the construction loan. Each lender does things a little differently, so be sure to check with yours—but this is what we see most often.

Once construction has started, we will make draw applications on a monthly basis. Each draw will request reimbursement of the costs incurred in the previous month of construction.

You and your lender will approve the draw before it is funded. You’ll make construction loan payments to your lender based on your loan terms and the amount of the loan that has been funded to date. Naturally, this loan balance grows during the course of construction.

Matt and his team at Gowler Homes designed and executed the project flawlessly. They completed the renovation and we are now living in our dream home that started as a ‘throw-away’ old barn. Thanks to Gowler Homes, their vision, experience hard work made our dream home a reality!”
Steve & Holly Young, Black Forest