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.