Contractor Selection

A big day for us - we’ve made the decision on which contractor to use for our project.  It’s been a challenging process, as the final three were all very qualified, and some had experience in areas that we valued a lot.

Ultimately, the one with extensive SIPs experience won out, in that he is comfortable with them, and will not be charging us a significant premium for framing all the exterior walls with them.  It’s amazing how many contractors in the Denver area do not even know what SIPs are!

Many of the custom home-builders are charging a premium for their services in Denver.  Even though the market as a whole may be slowing, custom outfits in the metro area still aren’t hungry yet.

We are very happy to have made this milestone, and now the focus is on getting the permit set into the city and the project started ASAP!

Tough Decisions

Money symbol

We’ve been reviewing our bids for the last few weeks -- a challenging and frustrating process. Materials and building costs do not seem to reflect any economic downturn.

The price points of a number of items that we researched and would purchase directly are also towards the upper end of what we can afford, so some trimming will be done there too.

Ultimately the biggest item on the chopping block seems to be radiant floors. It’s amazing that these systems are so expensive. It’s been around for a while now, but unfortunately, it has not become a commodity item like conventional forced-air systems.

With energy conservation in mind, we are looking at a high efficiency furnace, a swamp cooler rather than a conventional compressor (central air) type air conditioner, and an on-demand type water heater.

We shall see...

Schematic drawings are done!


The months of hard work have come to an end as we have completed the schematic pricing set up drawings. Yahoo!  It feels great to finally reach this milestone and be able to move on to the next phase of the project.

Over the last week we have been meeting with contractors and printing set after set for review.  Now we wait for the bids to come in...

Setting Goals

Ok, we are getting serious now, and we realize we are faced with several challenges

To create a modern home, utilizing eco-conscious measures and materials, for our family of four.

The site:
Typical metro Denver residential neighborhood lot with 1 1/2 story bungalows to the north and south. Lot size 37 x 140

The process:
Explore and use any delivery method necessary to build a 2300-2500 square foot home for $140 to $165 square foot.

Historically, a strong inner metro housing market that has slowed slightly within the last year, but at much less noticeable pace than the outlaying suburbs.