A Homeowners “To Do” List for a Successful Custom Home Building Experience

A Homeowners “To Do” List for a Successful Custom Home Building Experience

If you’re planning to buy land and build a custom home in Denver, the custom home building experts at Timber Ridge Properties suggests following our home builders to do list! You might be an armchair expert after watching hours of HGTV, but there are so many tasks that happen behind the scenes and conversations that aren’t aired that are imperative to a successful custom build. We have completed countless custom home builds in the Denver metro area and have used our experience and feedback from homeowners to compile this list. Everything from setting priorities to finding the right contractor – here is our “To Do” List for a Successful Custom Home Building Experience!

Define Your Priorities
Before beginning the design of your new home, we recommend brainstorming what features you desire most.  We suggest involving all family members in this process. You likely have many ideas about which features are a must-have versus a wish list.  Take time to organize them on a Pinterest/Houzz board by topic (i.e., room type, flooring, finishes, accents, storage solutions, architectural features, exteriors, etc.).  As you continue to curate your ideas, be selective in deciding which elements are of greatest importance to you, knowing that some might need to be dropped from your plan or added later.  It’s helpful to analyze your current home layout, noting what works well for you and what doesn’t.  It’s just as important to identify what you don’t like as it is to know what you love.

Hire a Custom Home Contractor
Perhaps the most important decision you will make in the custom build process is who to hire as your builder. There are, unfortunately, many negative stories about contractors.  Finding the contractor who fits your lifestyle and personality is the best way to avoid being another horror story.  Spend some time researching and interviewing contractors in your area. Ask for references, look for online reviews, visit their office, ask to speak with the owners/operators.  You will be spending a considerable amount of time with this team, make sure they are people worth spending time with.

Read our post about how to choose the right contractor!

Establish Your Budget
Your budget serves as a tool for decision-making, guiding your selection process by setting parameters. You may need to get a construction loan to pay for your custom build and you’ll need to have liquid funds available for a down payment with your home builder.

As of 2022 in the Denver metro area, a custom home build averages $300-400 per square foot.  The square foot price will fluctuate depending on the selections you choose to go into your home, such as flooring, countertops, light fixtures, tile, etc.  It’s also important to include a contingency component within your budget, as unforeseen elements are almost guaranteed to arise during the course of any project.

Select a Location
Finding an ideal lot on which to build involves many considerations and is best done with the help of professionals who can assess key aspects of the property such as slope, access to resources (water, sewer, electrical, and gas lines), and the quality/stability of the soil. Other possible factors such as zoning, Homeowners Associations (HOAs), proximity to neighbors, the style and type of other homes in the neighborhood, and the size and shape of the lot come into play when choosing where to build.

You will also want to think about which direction the home will face in relation to the sun (snow on a south-facing driveway, for example, melts much more quickly than it does on a north-facing slab), the size and number of trees, whether having a view is more important to you than having privacy, and the convenience of the lot in relation to everyday commutes.

See our post about finding a suitable lot to build your custom home!

Finalize a Design Plan
Once you’ve purchased a lot, it’s time to move out of the dreaming phase and start designing your new home. You may decide to start from scratch, working with an architect or architectural designer to draw a completely custom floor plan, or you may find a builder or architect who already has a library of plans that could serve as the starting point from which to begin designing your home.

Read our post about why you should include your builder in your meetings with your architect.

Make Timely Decisions
Your project has the greatest chance of timely completion if you make decisions within the required time-frames and stick to them. Be prepared for decision fatigue; you’ll be asked to select items you never even thought of before—everything from the color of the grout to the finish of the door hinges. Delayed decisions most often result in costly project delays.

Create a Foundation for Open Communication
The best route to successful project completion involves open, honest communication between you and your contractor. Find out how your builder likes to communicate—is it through email, text, a project management software platform/app, or in-person meetings? How will change orders be handled? Be available for discussion when needed and communicate your preferences clearly, but courteously.


If you’re looking for an experienced custom home contractor, look no further. Here at Timber Ridge, you’re more than just a client to us; you’re a part of our family. Our history of proven, high-quality work in the Denver area speaks for itself. But don’t let us stop you from learning more. Read the glowing testimonials from our clients and peruse the custom builds in our gallery. Our track record of delivering dream homes is unmatched. We will work within your budget and timeline to deliver a hand-crafted experience that you can’t find anywhere else. Let us be the dream contractor for your dream home.

Selecting a Suitable Lot for Your Denver Area Custom Home

Selecting a Suitable Lot for Your Denver Area Custom Home

So, you’re thinking about building a custom home! The first step, after finding a custom home contractor to build your home, is to find a suitable lot on which to build. Why do we recommend finding a contractor before you even have land on which to build? Your contractor is a building expert. They most likely have knowledge that you don’t have in terms of what to look for in the soil, what might cause challenges, the zoning of the area to predict what the area might look like in the future, and more.


Here is a list of things to consider before purchasing a piece of vacant land or property to build on:

  • City or County Zoning requirements
    • Perhaps you’re looking for rural living and the lot you’re looking at is currently zoned to eventually put in a development.
  • Building setback requirements
    • Setback requirements may hinder you from building the home of your dreams depending on the lot size and your square footage.
  • What kind of soil does the lot have?
    • Soil types vary all over the Denver area. The soil plays a big role in the cost of your home’s foundation. You may be required to over-excavate and bring in better soil, pour caissons, or build a structural floor.  All of these scenarios will increase the cost to build on the lot.
  • Is the lot a hillside or flat?
    • A hillside with a view is beautiful but, depending on the soil and the structure of the hillside, the lot may not be a viable build-site.
    • The topography of your lot will also determine if your home can have a walk-out basement.
  • What will it take to bring utilities and infrastructure to the property?
    • Power, water, and septic are modern necessities — it’s important to factor in how much it would cost to run a connection to a powerline, if there is a city water connection, or if you’d be drilling a well, and if the soil is viable for septic if there is no city sewer to which you can connect.
  • Is the property located or near a flood zone?
    • This could cause potential problems in the future. Your contractor could include flood mitigation in the building plan, but you may not get approval to buy the lot to build if there are potential flooding problems.
  • What will the adjoining properties look like when they are eventually developed?
    • This is a way of looking at if you’ll be right up against your neighbors or if you’ll be in a more private, open space. You may have an amazing view while the land is under development, but once all the homes are constructed your view becomes obstructed.
  • What kind of landscaping will you want your property to have?
    • If the property is located within the boundaries of a Homeowner’s Association, there may be specific landscape requirements. Some areas require a natural native landscape, while others will allow you to be more adventurous with your plantings.
  • Are you considering adding a casita, RV garage, workshop, pool, or other outbuildings to the property eventually?
    • It’s important to look into the future, no matter how distant projects like this might feel, to see if the land you’re considering has the space and zoning for outbuildings.


Keep your contractor on speed dial as you search for land to set your project for success.  Having a lay of the land, literally, will help your contractor design the home of your dreams.


Family-owned and operated since 1985, Timber Ridge Properties has maintained a reputation for being Denver’s top custom home builder. What has kept us at the top? Award-winning high-end custom homes in a highly personal, boutique atmosphere. Our homes, which have been built throughout the Denver Metro area, are coveted for their high level of craftsmanship, quality of design, and attention to detail. Are you and your family thinking about building a custom home and want to get on our schedule? Contact the custom home building experts at Timber Ridge Properties today!

Choosing a Custom Home Contractor

Choosing a Custom Home Contractor

Choosing a custom home contractor can be difficult. It’s important to find the right contractor to make your custom home exactly how you’ve always pictured it.

The city of Denver and the surrounding areas, including Parker and Littleton, have long showcased many gorgeous custom homes. These days, it might seem like new construction is constant, but that’s for a good reason. More and more people have decided to stop settling for someone else’s design or renovating their home piece-by-piece and are now interested in building a truly custom home that fits all their needs. But who can you trust with such an ambitious project?

Building a custom home can be a significant investment for you and your family. You want a dream contractor for your dream home. Read on for 5 tips to help you find the ideal custom home contractor for your one-of-a-kind oasis. 


#1 History of Success

One of the most important criteria to keep in mind when hunting for a contractor is simple: can they deliver on what they’re promising you? You want a contractor who can prove they’ve done great work in the Denver area, somebody with a history of success. It’s important to read client reviews and testimonials and get a full picture of how a contractor operates. If the contractor you’re looking at doesn’t have any reviews, that can be just as concerning as bad reviews. Think of choosing a contractor the same way you’d hire a new employee. You want to check their references. 

It’s also worth examining specific projects that your contractor has done. Look through the gallery on their website and see examples of their work, don’t just read about it in a review. 


#2 Communication 

As you read reviews, there’s a specific word to have in mind: communication. Communication is key in any relationship and especially so when it’s a relationship you’re investing time and money into. You deserve a builder who is going to keep you in the loop with project updates, design decisions, and any unforeseen complications. As you interview builders, ask them how they’ll keep you updated through the construction process. And remember, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. You want a contractor with a personal touch, one who knows what’s most important to you and treats you as more than just another client. It’s important to have a contractor who values your dream home the same way they’d value their own. 


#3 Budget 

We hate to repeat ourselves, but your custom home is a significant investment. A truly personalized home with one-of-a-kind craftsmanship demands a contractor who is up-front about cost, but also open and honest about complications. Quality is worth paying for, but it can be frustrating when you feel like your budget isn’t being respected. As you communicate with prospective contractors, get a feel for how they treat your money. Remember – always get it in writing! 

At the same time, don’t let price be your sole guide to choosing a contractor. You’re building a dream home – a unique place that you can call your own. Do you really want to lowball the personal space you’ve always wanted? You deserve somebody who is going to spend your money wisely without cutting corners or delivering anything less than exactly what YOU want.


#4 Vision 

When we say you want a contractor who is going to build what you want, we mean it. The best contractor you can have is a contractor who knows and understands what you want in your ideal home, not a contractor who is going to build what they THINK you want. The best contractors keep you involved in all steps of the process, from design to completion. They don’t just understand your vision, they share it. You deserve a contractor who is able to help you achieve your vision, while working within your budget and on-time.


#5 Timber Ridge 

If you’re looking for a custom home contractor who meets all of those criteria, look no further. Here at Timber Ridge, you’re more than just a client to us; you’re a part of our family. Our history of proven, high-quality work in the Denver area speaks for itself. But don’t let us stop you from learning more. Read the glowing testimonials from our clients and peruse the custom builds in our gallery. We don’t have anything to hide. Our track record of delivering dream homes is unmatched. We will work within your budget and on-time to deliver a hand-crafted experience that you can’t find anywhere else. Let us be the dream contractor for your dream home. 


13 Most Popular Home Styles Across the U.S.

13 Most Popular Home Styles Across the U.S.

No matter where you live, you’ll likely encounter a wide variety of architectural home styles just by driving through your neighborhood. From extravagant to quaint, homes across the U.S. hold their own unique beauty and characteristics just like the people who inhabit them.

So, what are the most popular home styles in the U.S.? From New York, NY to Portland, OR, you don’t have to be an architect to appreciate the range of stunning house styles available on the housing market. So whether you’re in the market for a new home or just love browsing homes on your favorite real estate app, check out the 13 most popular home styles in the United States right now.

What Are the Most Popular Home Styles?

1. Ranch-style homes

Dating back to 1932, the ranch-style home grew in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s and is still popular today. The iconic ranch architecture is known for its simple, single-story floor plan, low-to-the-ground look, often with an open layout and occasional basement. This style of house typically has a smaller yard, attached garage, and a low-pitched roof. The ranch-style home often features large windows and sliding glass doors, encouraging an indoor-outdoor living style. A ranch can also be called a ‘rambler,’ depending on which region in the country you live in and local terminology. 

Looking locally, ranch-style homes currently have the highest sale-to-list ratio in a handful of cities,  meaning this style of house is more likely to sell above the list price. These cities include Portland, ORPhoenix, AZChicago, ILSan Francisco, CA, and San Diego, CA. Each of these cities favor the rambler, with a current sale-to-list ratio of over 100%.

2. Craftsman-style homes

The beloved craftsman-style home became increasingly popular in the 1900s by architect and furniture designer Gustav Stickley and has remained popular throughout the 21st century. This staple for American Architecture adds charm to any neighborhood with its exterior features, including shingles, low-pitched roofs, and covered front porches. Craftsman homes also feature recognizable interior details such as thick trim, prominent ceiling beams, and built-in shelving and seating.

Craftsman homes are a desirable home style all across the U.S., but they are often sold above list price in Oakland, CASeattle, WAAtlanta, GA, and Portland, OR.

3. Contemporary-style homes

Contemporary architecture is often used interchangeably when describing modern style architecture. A wide range of recently built homes are built with Contemporary-style architecture. These homes have inventive designs and simple forms without elaborate ornamentation or detail. They usually have geometric lines, large windows and doors to bring in light, and open floor plans. They often incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly building materials, textures, and components, exposed roof beams, and flat or low-pitched roofs. 

Contemporary-style homes see the highest sale-to-list ratio in Oakland, CADenver, COPhoenix, AZSan Francisco, CASan Diego, CAChicago, IL, and Atlanta, GA.

4. Modern-style homes

Emerging in the 1920s to embrace minimalism and reject the more ornate home styles, modern house styles typically include progressive elements such as asymmetrical exteriors, flat roofs, and integrated outdoor spaces. Many modern interiors also feature minimal molding and trim, neutral color palettes, and metal accents.

You’ll find the highest sale-to-list ratio in Denver, CO.

5. Cape Cod-style homes

With roots dating back to 1675, the quaint and charming Cape Cod-style homes are reminiscent of the classic American cottage style. This type of home design migrated from England to the United States, maintaining its symmetrical design and central chimney. Cape Cod-style homes feature a steep roof to keep snow from accumulating, dormer windows for added light, wood siding and shutters to keep the heat in, and hardwood floors for comfort and practicality.

This style of house is prevalent in the northeastern part of the United States, commonly found in the New England region.

6. Colonial-style homes

Dating back to 1876, East Coast architecture has maintained its allure in many parts of the United States. These classic homes are known for their old-world charm, decorative doorways, and symmetrical window placement. Many colonial-style homes will have two or three stories, fireplaces, and brick or wood exteriors.

Colonial-style homes are similar to the Cape Cod-style home because of their symmetry and side-gabled roofs, but Cape Cod-style homes are typically one story rather than two or three. Colonial-style homes can be found in the northeastern part of the United States.

7. Tudor-style homes

Originating in the 15th century during the reign of the House of Tudor, this style of house is fairly easy to identify with its unique features. Tudor-style homes typically have a combination of brick, stone, or stucco exterior and decorative half-timbering on the second story to create the well-known striped exterior. They also feature a steeply-pitched roof, cross gables, and tall, narrow windows. Today, Tudor-style homes are prominent in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States.

8. Cottage-style homes

Inspired by the medieval styles of the English countryside, American architects designed cozy cottage-style houses during the 1920s and 30s. This style of house typically has a steep, thatched roof, arched doorways, shuttered windows, and a warm storybook character bringing to life old-world charm.

9. Mediterranean-style homes

Mediterranean-style homes are suitable for warmer climates, which is why this style of house became prevalent in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. Influenced by the architecture of countries in the Mediterranean region, they often have low-pitched red tile roofs, vaulted ceilings, arched doors and windows, and a stucco or adobe exterior. The floor plan is typically U-shaped, creating a central courtyard for a garden or fountain. Today, this style of house remains popular in California and Florida.

10. Farmhouse-style homes

The farmhouse was designed back in the early 1700s, built as housing for farmers, and all about practicality. Modern farmhouses still exhibit many of the same features that the original design included, like large, wraparound front porches, clapboard siding, large fireplaces, wood floors, eat-in kitchens, and oversized kitchen sinks. 

11. Mid-Century modern-style homes

Mid-century modern style is part of the modernism movement and dates back to post-World War II, and remained popular throughout the 1970s. A mid-century modern design is characterized by minimalism, clean lines, and floor-to-ceiling windows. You’ll often see open layouts, and a mix of natural and manufactured materials for the interior elements like wood, stone, steel, and plastic.


Mid-century modern style homes are most popular in Oakland, CADenver, COSan Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA, with a sale-to-list ratio as high as 131.5% in Oakland.

12. Victorian-style homes

Victorian-style homes were first seen during the Victorian Era from around 1860 to 1900. This house style is best described as a colorful dollhouse with romantic and distinctive features. Victorian-style homes have elaborate detailing in just about every part of the home, from the intricate wood trim, ornate staircases, stained glass, and decorative woodwork. They have steep gabled roofs, a front-facing gable, patterned shingles, bay windows, a round tower, and a front porch.

Victorian-style homes remain popular in Boston, MA, and San Francisco, CA, with a sale-to-list ratio of 98.5% and 101.1%, respectively. 

12. Townhouse

Originating in Europe and eventually migrating to the United States, townhomes are most commonly found across cities in the United States. With the convenience of spacious layouts, townhomes offer more amenities than the condo styles and are lower maintenance than most residential homes. They’re typically two or three-story homes, usually sharing one or two walls with adjacent properties, and a rooftop deck to enjoy sprawling views.

Home styles with the highest sale-to-list ratio in the largest 12 US metros:

Metro Home Style Sale-to-list ratio % active listings
Phoenix, AZ Ranch 102.3% 4.0%
Contemporary 101.8% 2.0%
Atlanta, GA Craftsman 100% 1.9%
Ranch 99.9% 2.0%
New Construction 101.9% 3.0%
Portland, OR Ranch 105.4% 2.2%
New Construction 103.5% 11.2%
Craftsman 101.5% 2.0%
Oakland, CA Mid Century Modern 131.5% 1.2%
Craftsman 128.4% 2.2%
Contemporary 112.5% 4.4%
Boston, MA Victorian 98.5% 1.0%
Craftsman 99.1% 1.0%
Penthouse Unit 103.3% 1.0%
Chicago, IL Raised Ranch/Ranch 100.2% 1.0%
Contemporary 99.1% 1.3%
Elevator Building 99.0% 1.0%
Denver, CO Contemporary 101.5% 7.9%
Mid Century Modern 105.1% 1.0%
Modern Architecture 103% 1.1%
San Francisco, CA Mid Century Modern 122.8% 1.0%
Contemporary 102.6% 6.5%
Ranch 104.7% 2.4%
Seattle, WA Mid Century Modern 110.9% 1.0%
Craftsman 108% 3.9%
New Construction 105.4% 28.0%
San Diego, CA Ranch 102.5% 2.3%
Contemporary 100.7% 3.3%
New Construction 101.2.% 1.2%

*Per home trends listing data on Redfin.com, as of May 2021 

Individual results may vary. This is not intended as a substitute for the services of a licensed real estate agent or licensed and bonded home services professional or appraiser.

15 Best General Contractors in Greenwood Village

15 Best General Contractors in Greenwood Village

Timber Ridge Properties is thrilled to announce that we were named as one of the 15 Best General Contractors in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Family-owned and operated, Timber Ridge Properties provides a wide range of general contracting services. Since 1985, the firm has established itself as a premier luxury home builder and remodeler in Greenwood Village. As a client-driven company, Timber Ridge focuses on the needs of clients by providing a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

With 35 years of experience in building homes across Colorado, the firm uses a unique design-build approach. The firm works closely with clients in designing and building their dream homes. Using a personalized approach, the firm delivers exceptional build-outs that exceed customer satisfaction. Recognized for its outstanding projects, Timber Ridge Properties was voted as one of the top three home builders in Denver.  

We are so proud of the work we do and of the clients that put their trust in Timber Ridge Properties to bring their dream homes to life.

Interested in building or enhancing your dream home with Timber Ridge? Contact us today.