3 Things to Know When Building a Home in Colorado

We may be a little biased, but we’re completely confident in boasting that Colorado wins the prize as The Best Place on Earth to Make Your Home. Our beautiful State’s 300+ days of sunshine, four robust seasons, and wealth of recreational opportunities combine to offer a lifestyle that’s hard to find elsewhere. Whether you gravitate toward the pulse of the city or are drawn to the solitude of mountaintops, the Centennial State holds a place to call home. If you’re fortunate enough to already live here or are looking to make a move, what do you need to know when building a home in colorful Colorado?

Every state has characteristics–whether geographic, political, or economic–that affect the industries operating therein. For example, coastal states have higher water tables, making basements highly impractical if not impossible to include in the construction of a home. Taxes can affect the cost of a home and/or a monthly mortgage payment. For instance, residents in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon pay no sales tax, while those living in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming pay no state income tax. And then there’s environmental conditions such as salt and humidity in the air in a state like Maine that wouldn’t be consideration in Colorado, where a heavy hail storm may get you a new roof every five – seven years. Becoming familiar with the area in which you wish to build will help you avoid pitfalls in the building process and capitalize on your state’s proffered strengths.

What Makes Colorado Unique for Construction?

  1. Our state is known for its expansive soil, which contains large quantities of Bentonite and montmorillonite (weathered volcanic ash) clays. According to the Colorado Geological Survey, these clays–which can expand up to 20% by volume when exposed to water and exert a force of up to 30,000 pounds-per-square-foot–are Colorado’s most significant geologic hazard, as they underlie many populated areas of the state. When choosing a building lot on which to construct a new home, extensive soils testing must be performed to ensure the safety and suitability of the site. Licensed engineers conduct and certify these studies before construction ever begins. Failure to do so could result in disastrous consequences in years to come if the clay-containing soil were to begin to shift and heave.
  2. Another Colorado construction bonus results from the area’s lower water table, which makes basement excavation feasible. In areas where the water table is too high, such as coastal Florida, basements are impossible to dig out, as flooding occurs when reaching an excavation depth of 10′ or greater. Here in Colorado, however, adding a basement to your home can double its potential for finished square footage, and the cost of finishing that space is typically 1/3 – 1/4 of what it costs to finish that same amount of square footage on the upper levels of the home, as the main systems of the home such as HVAC, foundation, and roofing are already in place and are not part of the basement finish cost. If budget is tight at the time of construction, finishing the basement can always be done at a later time.
  3. Along with Colorado’s 300+ days of sunshine come some snowy ones as well. In fact, fall/winter of 2020-2021 goes down in the record books as the snowiest season in 37 years, with a whopping total of 80.9″ (shy of the 1982/83 record by a mere 0.7″). While the snowy climate can certainly affect construction schedules to some degree, it may also present other considerations for your home’s design and features. For example, that long driveway may look stately, but how will you feel about it when it’s covered in two feet of snow and has to be shoveled?  You may love the look of ceramic tile on your bathroom floor–that is, until your bare feet touch it on a chilly January morning. Perhaps the expense of a heated driveway and radiant-heat bathroom flooring can be worked into your budget?

Wherever you decide to settle in the Denver metro area or in northern Colorado, Sheffield Homes can build you a home to last a lifetime. We’ve built homes in this beautiful state of ours for more than forty years and know how to keep your toes warm on even the coldest of Colorado days! Give us a call and let’s start designing your home today. 303-420-0056.


6777 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, CO 80003
(303) 420-0056