Colorado is an amazing place.
It’s a beautiful state that offers a little bit of everything.
From beautiful countryscapes, to mountains, to rivers, to thriving small towns–there aren’t very many places in the world as awesome as Colorado.
It also has a varied climate. It can range from being dry and hot to cold and wet—and does so with startling swiftness at the change of the seasons.
With all of this being said, the state provides an awesome canvas for builders and architects to build homes on.
It’s beautiful and complex—and that also makes it a challenge.
So if you’re planning on building a new home, here’s what you need to know about Colorado—in all of its grand and majestic glory.
In this guide, you’re going to learn about 17 essential tips to help you navigate your home-building journey.
You deserve to end up with a home that’s perfect. Let’s get you there.
1. Understand Colorado’s Climate
Colorado has a varied climate.
It boasts arid semi desert-like conditions, plains country, and even colder alpine environments.
This diversity can have a big impact on your building style and construction choices.
You’ll want to build a dwelling that fits in well with the local area. But you also want something that’ll withstand the rigors of the fast-paced weather patterns.
When it comes to Colorado, you’ll also want robust heating and cooling systems.
You won’t want to have these systems dying on you in the heat of the summer or the cold, snow-filled winter.
Home shape, specific location, and insulation style will also factor into these decisions.
As a general rule, Colorado (especially if you move up toward the mountains) will require a bit of extra planning in the home-building and home-design phases of the process.
But that’s ok. That’s just the nature of the game where this beautiful state is concerned.
And honestly, it’s well worth the extra effort.
2. Choose the Right Location
Location itself is also paramount.
This is crucial before you buy your property.
Try to choose a place that offers the kind of lifestyle you’ll be wanting.
Do you want to live closer to town, or further out? These are the types of lifestyle choices to think about.
3. Work with Local Experts
Engaging a Colorado based design firm can be invaluable.
Local architects and builders understand Colorado’s environmental conditions and zoning laws better, and they can provide expert-level guidance to help you design the best possible home for your specific location.
4. Budget Wisely
Building costs in Colorado can vary widely.
You’ll want to ensure that your budget covers construction costs, land purchase, permits, and any other possible unforeseen expenses.
5. Sustainable Building Practices
Colorado is a leader in sustainable building.
You’ll want to opt for eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient designs, so as to minimize your environmental footprint.
This’ll also save you on energy costs.
6. Plan for Outdoor Living Spaces
Colorado’s beauty is best enjoyed outdoors.
Design your home with decks, patios, and/or balconies to savor it.
7. Be Prepared for Wildlife
In some Colorado locales, wildlife encounters are common.
Plan your home and landscaping so that it’ll peacefully coexist with local fauna.
And watch out for those grizzly bears!
8. Prioritize Water Efficiency
Water conservation is crucial in many parts of Colorado.
Implement water-efficient fixtures and consider xeriscaping to reduce water usage.
9. Focus on Natural Lighting
Colorado boasts an abundance of beautiful, radiant sunshine.
This can empower you to maximize the levels of natural light in your home design.
This can be accomplished with large windows and skylights.
10. Incorporate Local Materials
Using local materials like Colorado-sourced stone and wood can integrate your home into its natural surroundings.
Think ‘log cabin’ to get some awesome ideas!
11. Understand the Permit Process
Building regulations in Colorado can be complex, especially in certain areas.
For best results, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with local codes and permit requirements early-on to avoid project delays.
12. Consider Accessibility
Do you have any accessibility concerns? If so, build these into the design.
Think about ramps, steps, your driveway—and how you can make these features more user-friendly.
13. Plan for the Snow
You’re going to get some heavy snowfall in this state.
So design your home in such a manner that ‘snow removal’ won’t be a nightmare.
14. Opt for a Durable Roof
Make sure that you design for a durable roof. From rain, to wind, to snow, to falling branches, you’re not going to want to skimp out on this vital feature.
15. Prepare for High Altitude
Building at high altitudes, which are typical in Colorado, can present challenges.
Some of these include increased UV exposure and lower air pressure, which can affect various different aspects of the construction process.
16. Factor in Wind Conditions
The winds in Colorado can get strong.
And this tends to be even more true as you move upwards into the mountains.
So make sure that you think about this while building.
Don’t build something that the wind is going to knock down too easily!
17. Choose the Right Heating System
Adequate heating is essential in Colorado.
Don’t want to be cold? Also check.
Building a new home in Colorado can be a massively rewarding journey—but it’ll require thoughtful planning and consideration.
By following these tips and working closely with local experts, you can create a home that’s not only beautiful, but also highly functional.
You’ve got this!
Now go make it so.