Overview

Design-build firms in Denver carry a complex toolbox. They are required to bring the technical, the practical, the artistic, and the visionary to each project they tackle, as they help their clients design and construct unique, sustainable Denver homes. The list below includes both boutique and large-scale firms — firms that specialize entirely in residential and ones in which residential is only one branch of a bigger tree. Each firm brings a commitment to sustainability, which is a hallmark of Denver’s construction value system, while also building structures that can withstand the city’s distinct four seasons and its record hailstorms.

Top Custom Home Builders

10
Design Platform

Architects:
Jonas DiCaprio

Awards:
Denver Mayor’s Design Awards

Address:
1131 West Custer Pl. Denver, CO 80223

Contact:
720-939-9988
info@designplatformllc.com

About Design Platform

Design Platform values the engaged participation of their clients in the design-build process and puts a high emphasis on the collective. Run by Jonas DiCaprio, who holds a degree in architecture and grew up with residential developers, builders, and real estate agents for parents, the firm has an understanding of the varied elements of expertise necessary for projects to develop efficiently. Design Platform’s craftsmanship has been recognized in Modern In Denver Magazine, Luxe Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Design Milk, Remodeling Magazine, Dwell Magazine, Denver Life Home & Design, The Denver Post, and 5280 Home. Their work includes residential and commercial design, and as they continue to grow their presence in Denver, their hip, clean aesthetic is sure to be recognized as a trendsetting voice in the future of Denver homes.

Featured Projects

Design Platform’s stunning work on what is known as the “Artist Residence” incorporates innovation of both style and function. The tasteful, contemporary fixtures and exposed wood, iron, and metal create an aesthetic that is both updated and historical. Good placement of unique storage, as well as light, welcoming, large glass windows, makes the space feel bright and creative. An upper deck tops this space off with a private spot from which to enjoy the view. The Langley-Hawthorne residence showcases high ceilings, a gloriously large, gray brick fireplace, an exposed red brick wall, a gas fireplace, and the use of sliding wooden doors to create a comfortable, graceful, and modern family residence.

9
ArcWest Architects

Architects:
Todd L. Heirls
Kevin H. Anderson

Address:
2406 W 32nd Avenue, Suite A, Denver, CO 80211

Contact:
303-455-7741
info@arcwest.com

About ArcWest Architects

ArcWest Architects is a more recent addition to the Denver scene, and they believe in design that is progressive and innovative. Since 2006 ArcWest has built an impressive portfolio that includes residential, commercial, warehouse, and corporate projects. Founding partner Todd L. Heirls enjoys collaborating directly with senior management. He happens to have expertise in welding and often steps in to execute custom steel details. ArcWest’s other founding partner, Kevin H. Anderson, brings over 25 years of experience as a licensed Colorado architect and enjoys working on a large scope of projects that represent the diversity of the field. ArcWest was named one of the top 19 best architects in Denver on Expertise and received the 2016 Mayor’s Design Award.

Featured Projects

The Wyandot Street home was completed in 2014 at 4,223 square feet and represents ArcWest’s capacity to design a new home in a traditional style, without sacrificing the integrity of their artistry. The clients wanted their new build to respect the historic character of the surrounding neighborhood, and the result was an elegant home with brick exterior, a large front porch, an upper back patio, and plenty of natural light. ArcWest did a spectacular job with an N. Pecos Street build that reflects the urban feeling of the LoHi neighborhood. The exterior spaces take advantage of passive winter sun as well as summer shade. The upper floor master bedroom balcony provides privacy and comfort, and the top level terrace allows residents gorgeous sunset and city views. The exterior materials are a combination of hard stucco and horizontal cedar siding.

8
Doerr Architecture Firm

Architects:
Thomas Doerr

Awards:
Mayor’s Design Award

Address:
4848 Curie Court, Boulder, CO 80301

Contact:
303-544-0209
http://doerr.org/contact/

About Doerr Architecture Firm

Doerr Architecture Firm is a full-service design firm based in Boulder, making a unique stamp on ecological design that is also expressive, contemporary, and boundary pushing. Their green building practices and sustainability principles have garnered critical acclaim and have included projects with passive solar building designs, historic renovations, urban infill development projects, and net-zero energy homes. Principal architect Thomas Doerr also lends his talent to the educational sector, having taught a Green Building course at Naropa University that focused on the environmental impacts of buildings, as well as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system. The firm has been featured in LOCALE Magazine, and their work on the Finch House won the Mayor’s Design Award and was cited for dynamic aesthetics, great passive solar design, and various other energy efficient measures.

Featured Projects

The Finch House is like looking at a hip, modern version of a dwelling you’d find in the shire. It combines cozy with charm, and functional with sustainable. The progressive artistic vision evident in this structure shines in the dynamism of the vaults, the circular staircase, the exposed wood connector beams, and the appealing overall curvature of the building. Not to mention, its shaded southern windows and thermal mass make for sturdy insulation. This beauty features excellent daylighting, a highly efficient furnace and appliances, green materials, and passive solar design. The updates and addition that Doerr Design implemented on a 100-year-old Denver Victorian emphasized their ability to maintain character, adapt for energy efficiency and complement pre-existing aesthetics seamlessly. The design of a passive solar sunspace that acts as a free furnace warms the house and creates a gorgeous lounge spot and plant room. The home features natural convective cooling and is considered a Green Historic Remodel.

7
Sexton Lawton Architecture

Architects:
Sarah Sexton
Matthew Lawton

Awards:
AIA Denver Merit Award,
AIA Colorado Merit Award,
2011 AIA Colorado Honor Award.

Address:
1627 Gilpin Street, Suite A, Denver, CO 80218

Contact:
303-355-5762
info@sextonlawton.com

About Sexton Lawton Architecture

Sexton Lawton Architecture is a full-service firm founded and run by business partners Sarah Sexton and Matthew Lawton, who both attended Cornell University and worked in award-winning design firms (such as OZ Architecture) in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, and Denver before establishing their own. During his university program, Matthew Lawton was able to study in Italy, where he received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal for top thesis project. The firm is licensed in the states of California and Colorado and believes in environmental responsibility, local product sourcing, and hands-on collaboration with clients. The firm received the 2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Denver Merit Award as a Sustainable Stuart, the 2011 AIA Colorado Merit Award, and the 2011 AIA Colorado Honor Award.

Featured Projects

The Belcaro Residence is a fabulous display of what a well-executed renovation and expansion can do to make a midcentury ranch sparkle with modern appeal. The inclusion of operable glass walls to link indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as custom storage walls, makes the space highly functional and full of light. Original flagstone chimneys were extended horizontally to create an exterior fireplace, giving the residence a polished yet rustic aesthetic. In order to integrate well with the Craftsman style of the existing Congress Park structure, Sexton Lawton had to take care when adding 1,100 square feet of addition. Including a new kitchen, a children’s study area, a mud room, and a second floor master suite, their work was crafted to have light impact on the formal living spaces in the existing house. Interior and exterior finishes were selected with intention to pair perfectly with the original character.

6
RealArchitecture

Architects:
David Berton

Address:
2899 Speer Boulevard #102, Denver, CO 80211

Contact:
303-477-5550
mail@realarchitecture.com

About RealArchitecture

RealArchitecture is a licensed architecture and general contracting company that completes design-build projects in the Denver metro area and the Colorado Front Range, including single family residences, apartments, lofts, mixed-use, remodels, additions, and rowhomes. They hold fast to the belief that successful projects rely on the foundation of strategic planning, and they make it their goal to create safe and productive working environments for their team’s optimal performance. David Berton, the AIA and LEED-certified principal architect and founder, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Florida and founded RealArchitecture in 1995. He has taught at the University of Colorado Master of Architecture program and sits on the Board of Directors for various nonprofits, including Colorado Youth for a Change.

Featured Projects

The stunning residence on 3453 Navajo Street was handled with care by RealArchitecture, all the way from the acquisition of the land to the execution of the contemporary, artistic final product. Obtuse and acute angles, exposed steel, and both private and open spaces cultivate a sense of presence and comfort. The interior features clean lines, modern fixtures, and a blend of both neutral and bold colors. The modern, boxy residence on 1860 S. St. Paul is a wonderful aesthetic precursor to RealArchitecture’s Navajo Street work. Its blend of rectangular shapes, versatile window shape and placement, and slanted angles give it an undeniably hip, artistic curb appeal. Completed in 2015, this construction is 3,791 square feet and includes a gorgeous full-glass window in the main living space to provide ample natural light.

5
KGA Studio Architects, PC

Architects:
Jerry Gloss
Paul Mahony

Awards:
Nationals Silver Award for Best Architectural Design,
MAME Awards,
BALA Award

Address:
950 Spruce Street, Louisville, CO 80027

Contact:
303-442-5882
info@kgarch.com

About KGA Studio Architects, PC

KGA Studio Architects, PC was founded in 1977 by John Knudson and is a nationally recognized firm with a specialty in residential design. Within KGA are two design studios, one that focuses on custom homes and one that hones in on production housing. KGA prides itself on collaboration and unique attention to every client and type of project. They have several repeating clients and enjoy building enduring relationships. KGA has been recognized with the 2017 Nationals Silver Award for Best Architectural Design of a Single-Family Detached Home, the Marketing and Merchandising Excellence (MAME) 2016 Best On The Boards Design for a Custom Home, the CARE 2016 BEST Architectural Design (Remodel), the MAME 2016 Best Architectural Design of a Model, the 2016 MAME Award for Active Adult Home of the Year, and the 2015 MAME Award for Best Custom Home Over 5,000 square feet

Featured Projects

The Chanin Residence in Boulder took the 2008 Best in American Living Award (BALA) for Best One-of-a-Kind Custom Home, and it’s not hard to see why. The cutting-edge, rectangular construction shape, the open staircase that rises between floor to roof, the glass windows, and the bright modern kitchen are only some of the highlights that go along with the upper patio and the lower covered patio. The Urban Traditional pizzaz of 4,107 square feet of farmhouse-inspired beauty includes a wraparound porch, a window seat breakfast nook, a floor-level patio, and a country style kitchen. It represents KGA’s versatile capacity for executing modern takes on old, cherished styles.

4
Bonsai Design + Build

Architects:
Josh Oqueli

Address:
2931 W. 25th Avenue, Denver, CO 80211

Contact:
720-620-3523
info@bonsai-db.com

About Bonsai Design + Build

Bonsai Design + Build is a new take on the former company Studio Q4, founded 2008. Founded by Josh Oqueli, who realized the power of integrating architecture with the world of construction, founded Bonsai Design + Build and Bonsai Construction (its sister company) in 2013. Bonsai is made up of a small but effective team of four, who manage to make waves with high-performance design and construction of additions, single-family residences, duplexes, townhomes, and multi-family residences. Oqueli received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado Denver. He is National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certified and has over thirteen years’ experience with different Colorado architecture firms. Bonsai was featured in Colorado’s Best Kitchens Magazine.

Featured Projects

When Bonsai put their skills to work on the Lohi Urban Cottage project, they crafted a product that combines comfort, high performance, and visual pizzaz. The exterior envelope was made from structural insulated panels (SIPs), which minimize the thermal breaks that can be a disadvantage of modern framing. Instead of a standard HVAC system, Bonsai opted for small air handling units positioned throughout the home to generate a more efficient heating and cooling process. More home highlights include textured wood, an open staircase, a spiral outdoor staircase, an enclosed upper floor sunroom/walkway, and a 300-square-foot deck with views of downtown Denver. The Mapleton Hill Addition is a testament to what can be re-envisioned to take the place of decrepit, non-functional, attached housing structures. Designed to Boulder Green points standards, this one-and-a-half-story addition includes a full basement, a main level family room, and a private master suite. The real triumph is the way the construction is a contemporary take on the traditional architecture of the original structure, which involved carrying datum lines and imitating roof forms and porthole elements.

3
Factor Design Build

Architects:
Jane Blumer

Address:
3246 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205

Contact:
303-872-3482
info@factordesignbuild.com

About Factor Design Build

Factor Design Build relishes in the inherent challenge of versatility, and that’s why their projects range from urban lofts to old-world farmhouses. Regardless of the aesthetic, they are dedicated to fusing life-enhancing design with eye-catching artistry. Founded by Josh Flester and Kent Simpson, Factor Design Build has worked in the Denver metro and Boulder areas for more than 30 years, on both residential and commercial construction. Simpson has over 20 years of construction, property development, property management, and homebuilding experience. He graduated from Colorado State University, and when he’s not designing custom construction, he’s creating public art installations that win Mayor’s Design awards. Josh Fiester was formerly in charge of business development for Melton Design Build and brings 12 years experience with large-scale commercial and residential projects. He is LEED certified and served as the project manager for the first LEED Platinum commercial building in the country.

Featured Projects

Factor Design Build’s Osceola home shows a flawless integration of clean, bright design with efficient, spacious living concepts. Highlights include the three-level, open staircase (which features handsome wooden steps accented by a black iron base), built-in shelving behind the fireplace, French doors in the kitchen, an oversized island with a convection oven, and well-spaced can lighting throughout the residence. The 5th Street Farmhouse is what happens when you blend old style warmth with modern appeal. Factor Design Build’s use of floor-to-ceiling windows, an exposed first story walkway, a raised deck and a full wall, and marble kitchen mosaic backsplash are just some of the features that harness the charm of the old and the new in this cozy, spacious home. Their signature black iron staircase railing is angled to complement the vaults and crisp lines of the high ceilings, and a free-standing bathtub, positioned elegantly before a quilt-like, blue-tiled accent wall is, simply put, its own work of art.

2
Stone Cloud Design

Architects:
Bryan Bozeman

Address:
1284 South Clayton Street, Denver, CO 80210

Contact:
720-722-4040
info@stonecloudco.com

About Stone Cloud Design

Stone Cloud Design, founded by Bryan Bozeman, is comprised of a modest, four-person team, yet they manage to execute highly artistic home design that illustrates their unique eye for well-balanced contrast. Bozeman holds both a residential and commercial contractor license, as well as a real estate license, allowing him to bring versatile expertise to Stone Cloud’s projects. Stone Cloud has been featured in Denver Life Home & Design’s Summer Issue 2015 and on the Modern Architecture and Design Society Denver Home Tour 2017. Stone Cloud is dedicated to working with nonprofit organizations in the Denver community. They are currently involved with Colorado Uplift and Make-A-Wish Colorado.

Featured Projects

Inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright “Frederick C. Robie House,” the residence on 558 South Gaylord Street presents prairie charm clad in contemporary flourishes. The ultra-modern kitchen, including legless countertop chairs and a dramatic hanging metal light fixture, is a bold contrast to the simple exposed wood beams and skylight on the upper floor. That’s what makes the Gaylord house so interesting. Stone Cloud successfully intermingled strong statements, room to room. The bathroom, with a full glass-enclosed shower that houses a freestanding, oval-shaped tub and shower bench inside it, is simultaneously breathtakingly simple and exceedingly lush. Topped off with an outdoor, exposed brick fire pit, this home brings comfort, artistry, and entertaining into a new kind of balance. Another Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired beauty is the South Elizabeth Street home, completed in 2014. Featured in Denver Life Home and Design, the construction applies a unique use of horizontal lines and bands of windows. The implementation of can lit, wood-paneled, outdoor overhangs creates an easeful transition from outdoor to indoor, which seems to be one of the themes Stone Cloud successfully executed in their innovative design work. This theme can also be found in the outdoor bar that parallels the kitchen, separated through a wall of casement-style windows. Other notable features include a handsome, distressed wood accent wall contrasted by a hanging chandelier. Then there are the exposed wood ceiling beams, the freestanding ceramic tub, and the rectangular outdoor fire pit, to amplify the charm factor in this beautiful ode to Wright.

1
Denver Design Build

Architects:
Jeff Ayres and Jeff Gates

Awards:
ColoradoBIZ Best of Colorado Best Home Builder and Best Commercial Builder Awards

Address:
100 Kalamath Street, Denver, CO 80223

Contact:
303-680-4565
info@denverbuild.com

About Denver Design Build

Since 2008, Jeff Ayres and Jeff Gates have been pursuing their dream of offering reasonably priced, high-quality design alongside their slowly growing team, with Denver Design Build’s full-service expertise. They execute their client’s visions for custom homes throughout the Denver metro and Front Range areas. They were recently awarded first place for Best Home Builder and Best Commercial Builder in the ColoradoBIZ Magazine 2017 Best of Colorado Awards, and they were finalists for the C.A.R.E Awards in Remodeling Excellence. They were also nominated for Best Custom Home Builder for the 2015 Homebuilders and Associates in Partnership Awards and were featured in Modern Builder & Design and US Builders Review.

Featured Projects

The Denver University Transitional showcases Denver Design Build’s keen eye for smoothly integrating elegant traditional with youthful industrial in a way that is exemplified in the structure and aesthetic of the home. In the open concept kitchen, the can lights offer an unobtrusive backup to the three hanging, industrial light fixtures, and the cherry wood of the island is handsomely accentuated by the white- and gray-speckled marble countertop. The large windows and French doors in the living room allow for ample daylight, and the window reading nook in the upstairs bedroom creates a feeling of simple spaciousness. With the Berkeley Park Modern, Denver Design Build created spectacularly intentional divisions of windowpanes and slanted window angles that make the home feel like a contemporary art piece, while the black iron staircase railing; the slanted wood paneled, can lit patio overhang; and the floor-to-ceiling beige stone fireplace backdrop mixes in a new take on the rustic ranch visual.

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