Overview

Cozy and casual defined the layouts of Denver area kitchens for decades. The style was uncomplicated and, by today’s standards, certainly uncool. Kitchen countertops were yellow or green laminate. Kitchen cabinets showed the city’s Western inspirations; they were made of oak and more rough than rustic. But all of that has now changed, as the Denver metropolitan area is projected to become a tech mecca in the coming years. And with technology comes Millennials, who now make up a large chunk of the city’s population.

Nowadays remodeling a kitchen in the Mile High City requires that contractors keep pace with national trends more so than ever before. Some of the contractors on this list have been local favorites for generations. But not one of them clings to outdated kitchen design ideas, and that is why each was chosen. Within this select group of known experts, those who showed more creative pizzazz ranked higher. This, too, shows a current trend: while kitchens are supposed to function, who can look at today’s most sought-after kitchen floor plans, appliances, and fixtures and deny that style is king?

Top Remodeling Contractors

15
nested. design+build

Principals:
Rebecca Musielak

Address:
6555 S. Waco Court, Centennial, CO 80016

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About nested. design+build

President and lead designer of this Centennial-based remodeling contractor, Rebecca Musielak had close to 20 years’ experience in the design-build industry when she decided to open her own shop in 2016. Barely one year later, she and her close-knit team have already established a devoted following. The firm, nested. design+build, serves homeowners in Aurora, Castle Pines, Centennial, Denver, Englewood, Littleton, Lone Tree, and Parker.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Musielak has moved a lot due to being a child of an US Air Force officer. She then stayed in State College, PA for 12 years, eventually graduating from Penn State University. She then moved to Denver in 1998, where she obtained a General Contractor Class C license. She served as a kitchen and bath designer with Kitchens by Wedgewood, a cabinet company serving Denver, Centennial, and Louisville. Musielak then moved on to serve as vice president of 303 Development, a design-build firm specializing in high-end new residential construction in affluent neighborhoods such as Highlands, as well as commercial construction.

General Manager John Miller is also a Licensed General Contractor and was the owner of Mill Holl Custom LLC, a now-defunct general contracting and architectural firm in Littleton, CO. Rebecca Musielak and her team have handled kitchen remodels on different scales with prices ranging between $20,000 and $1.2M. Most recently, the company would be featured in the June 2018 issue of Architectural Digest in Denver as one of the chosen design-build firms in Denver for 2018.

14
Earthwood Custom Remodeling, Inc.

Principals:
Kim and Ryan Coats

Address:
7072 South Cherry Drive, Centennial, CO 80122

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About Earthwood Custom Remodeling, Inc.

Typical kitchen remodeling costs charged by this Denver kitchen remodeler are between $50,000 and $3M. It’s owned and run by Colorado natives Kim and Ryan Coats, who together have over 40 years’ experience as residential contractors.

President Kim, who started Earthwood in the 1980s as a framing company, handles the firm’s project management, structural design, and customer service. His son, Ryan, joined Earthwood as co-owner and secretary after an honorable discharge from the US Army Cavalry Scout & Medic. The firm re-opened as a general construction company in October 2006, serving all of Denver, but especially LoDo, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Heritage Hills, Castle Rock, Aurora, and Cherry Creek.

Both men are licensed contractors. They offer a wide range of services, from home additions and whole-home renovations to bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects. One elegant focal point of a remodeling project at Cherry Hills Village is a box bay window — framed with dark walnut stain — over a sink that floods the kitchen with natural light. For a modern-themed Denver Palace loft kitchen in LoDo, the team installed a butcher block countertop that runs the length of a centerpiece island, linear pendant lights, and a stainless ceiling mounted range hood.

13
Factor Design Build

Principals:
John Fiester
Kent Simpson

Address:
3246 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205

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About Factor Design Build

“All architects, designers and construction managers in-house,” is what this Denver kitchen remodeler promises its clients. Principals John Fiester and Kent Simpson founded the company on that full-service philosophy. Fiester, born and raised in Boulder, CO, is also CEO. He served as manager of business development for well-known Denver contractor Melton Design Build for eight years.

Fiester has been Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified since 2005. In 2013, he was recognized as a member of the “Forty Under 40” by Professional Remodeler Magazine. Co-founder Kent Simpson has over 20 years’ contracting experience. Simpson served as director of construction with national builder Richmond American Homes/MDC.

And true to its promise, Factor Design Build employs a licensed architect, Jane Blumer, who received her Master of Architecture from the University of Utah. Before joining the Factor team, Blumer had extensive experience with residential projects in California, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Colorado. Kitchens remodeled by Factor Design Build can be found in Denver, Applewood, and Cherry Hills Village. They represent diverse styles, such as Contemporary, Historic Charm, and Farmhouse.

12
Buildwell

Principals:
Ryan Wither

Awards:
AIA People’s Choice Awards

Address:
13905 Braun Road, Golden, CO 80401

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About Buildwell

Not many kitchen remodeling contractors draw critical acclaim from a professional architecture association, but Ryan Wither’s Buildwell has. Perhaps that’s because Wither, born and raised in Colorado, received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Or it could be because he spent years immersing himself in architecture fabrication and industrial design before founding this Boulder-based residential contracting firm in 2012.

Buildwell’s team is experienced in architecture, civil construction, engineering, and product design. They work throughout Boulder, Louisville, Paragon Estates, Gold Mill, and Longmont, producing kitchen renovations like one for the Rich family in Boulder, which was featured in Colorado Homes Magazine. For that project, Wither tore down the walls dividing a small kitchen, dining area, and living room to create an open floor plan. He covered the walls with white tiles, then contrasted them with warm oak floors. A huge slab of white and gray marble became an island countertop, and the gourmet range was built into the cabinets.

In 2011 and 2013, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored Buildwell with People’s Choice awards.

11
H&H Builders

Principals:
John Happel

Awards:
Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence

Address:
12295 Pennsylvania Street, Denver, CO 80241

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About H&H Builders

This Denver kitchen remodeler is headed by John Happel, a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) with a Master of Science in Structural Engineering and more than 30 years’ experience in home improvement. He is former a director and chair of the council of Professional Remodelers of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver (HBAMD).

H&H Builders handles projects in Lakewood, Westminster, Lafayette, Centennial, Longmont, Littleton, Denver, and Cherry Hills Village. A typical remodel can cost up to $500k. Many of the firm’s nine CARE awards have been for its kitchen remodeling.

An Estes Way kitchen in Lakewood was remodeled as part of a whole-home renovation to provide more space and functionality as the clients aged in place. But the client also needed a new kitchen, so Happel and team made that room the centerpiece of the entire project. They installed a large island with seats, granite countertops, a walk-in pantry, and a skylight. A special feature was the glass watercube backsplash above the range. What sets the firm apart, says Happel, is having a lead carpenter on site every day, from beginning to end.

10
Kreative Kitchens & Baths

Address:
9393 W. Colfax Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80215

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About Kreative Kitchens & Baths

Since 1986, this general contractor has kept homeowners in the Denver metro area happy, with trendy kitchen renovations that typically cost up to $50,000. Trendy, to Kreative Kitchens & Baths, often means fewer doors and more drawers for kitchen cabinets. It also means floor-to-ceiling cabinets for a dramatic effect and extra space, and choosing materials for cabinets that provide value, such as laminate or high-end plywood.

A not too extravagant project in Arvada had the Kreative team remodeling the kitchen in an 1,800-square-foot tri-level built in the 1960s. Knocking down walls provided a seamless floor layout between the kitchen and great room. Smokey Mountain granite countertops were chosen for maple-painted Star Mark brand cabinets. In Krisana Park, the team selected textured cabinet doors with soft close drawers and a minimalist design for a European look.

In Thornton, a contemporary kitchen was modernized in trendy all-white, with Super White Pental Quartz and 48-inch tall cabinets under stack crown mold. Kreative Kitchens & Baths does most of its work in Boulder, Centennial, Littleton, Parker, Englewood, Lakewood, Castle Rock, Cherry Hills, Arvada, Thornton, and Westminster.

9
Husek Remodeling

Principals:
Tai-Dan Hsu

Awards:
Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence

Address:
5255 Marshall Street, Arvada, CO 80002

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About Husek Remodeling

Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) Fred Husek founded this residential contracting firm in 1992. He spent the next 25 years working alongside top architects and designers to establish Husek Remodeling’s singular reputation for excellence. In 2016, the company was purchased by Dr. Tai-Dan Hsu, who has three decades of experience in residential home remodeling.

The firm works mostly in Englewood and the surrounding neighborhoods, and it specializes in kitchen remodeling. Attesting to its craftsmanship are numerous first- and second-place finishes in the luxury and standard kitchen categories of Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence (CARE) competitions. Husek’s kitchen remodeling ideas show an emphasis on function first, and on creating an open and airy feel by reconfiguring floor plans and preferred lower cabinets. For more even lighting, the team opts for recessed lights and surface-mounted fixtures on the ceiling.

Many of Husek’s remodels make the stove a focal point. For one particularly dramatic remodel, Husek built side-by-side, extra thick, natural stone arched entries between the kitchen and living rooms. For customers with bigger budgets, Husek suggests a bronze or nickel range hood and natural countertops made of extra durable, centuries-old marble.

8
Alair Homes Longmont (formerly Quality Renovations & Home Services)

Principals:
Pat Dion

Address:
435 Mountain Avenue, Berthoud, CO 80513

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About Alair Homes Longmont (formerly Quality Renovations & Home Services)

This is the remodeling arm of the premier design-build company Alair Homes. It’s run by a renovation specialist Pat Dion, who ran Quality Renovations & Home Services in Berthoud, Colorado, for 20 years. Dion describes himself as a “mountain boy” from Carbondale, Colorado.

Dion, who works throughout Denver, Niwot, Boulder, and Longmont, has been honored with awards from Guild Quality and Remodeling Magazine. His kitchen remodeling projects for Alair Homes Longmont show a diversified style. For a modern Lakeview home, he created an open-concept layout, added extra large windows for maximum daylight, and brought in all stainless steel appliances for a sleek look. The finishes were designed to contrast the white walls and white cabinets. An elegant touch came from a natural stone fireplace.

Dion is fond of wide plank, white oak hardwood floors, and Venis Porcelanosa backsplash. His farmhouse kitchens are eclectic but elegant. They rely on barnwood as a focal point and feature oversized sinks, bulky ceiling beams, salvaged materials, pine floors, and reclaimed wood.

7
Melton Design Build

Principals:
Ty Melton

Awards:
Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards,
Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence Gold Award,
GuildQuality Guildmaster Award for Service Excellence,
Remodeling Magazine Big 50 Award

Address:
3082 Sterling Circle, Boulder, CO 80301

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About Melton Design Build

For the past 25 years, this kitchen remodeler has been one of the leading contractors in the Denver metro area. It was started in 1993 by Ty Melton, a Colorado native who began his construction career while still in high school. Melton later became a framing and siding lead carpenter and land surveyor, and then a custom cabinet and furniture maker.

When the company first opened, Melton pursued big name commercial clients like Starbucks and The Body Shop. He later realized that homeowners could also benefit from a design-build approach to their remodeling projects, so the firm began its residential focus. Today, kitchen remodeling in particular has become a Melton specialty. An example is a luxury remodel that won a Gold CARE Award for Remodeling Excellence in 2016. The Asian-themed kitchen was built around a natural granite slab topping the main island. The slab depicts an abstract dragon. A copper farmhouse sink serves as a beautiful accent, while a Wolf range with three warming racks allows the homeowner to prepare gourmet meals.

Melton has also been honored with the Big50 Award in 2006 from Remodeling Magazine, the 2010 MVP Award from Remodelers Advantage, the Guildmaster Award for Service Excellence in 2011, America’s Top Remodelers Award in 2011, the Qualified Remodeler’s Master Design Award in 2012, and an Honorable Mention from CARE for a luxury kitchen remodel in 2012.

6
TLC Company, Inc.

Principals:
Todd Lahr

Awards:
CAHB Awards,
HBA Awards

Address:
1561 Harlequin Drive, Longmont, CO 80504

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About TLC Company, Inc.

Before starting on TLC Company, kitchen renovation general contractor Todd Lahr had served as construction superintendent of Kurowski Development in Englewood. Though Lahr was trained as a home builder, his passion lies in cabinetry. In fact, Lahr recently opened TLC Cabinetry in Longmont, which specializes in supplying high-end cabinets to homeowners, contractors, and designers.

His other business, TLC Company, opened in 2000 and specializes in all aspects of home improvement, with particular focus on kitchen remodeling. Kitchen remodeling costs by Lahr start at $10,000, although some have gone over $1M. Mostly, he serves Longmont neighborhoods. His designs are varied: traditional, contemporary, modern, and even Tuscan.

Some projects have attracted local press coverage, such as a kitchen remodel on Neon Forest circle, which was featured in a Zona Prospect article in 2013. Since 1999, Lahr’s team has been honored with numerous awards from the Colorado Association of Home Builders (CAHB) and the Home Builders Association (HBA). In 2015, TLC Company was chosen for the Best of Longmont Award in the Residential Construction Contractors category.

5
Classic Homeworks

Principals:
Kelli Cost

Awards:
Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence Gold Award,
Remodeling Magazine Big 50 Award,
Regional and National NARI Contractor of the Year Awards,
Named one of Colorado’s Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies by ColoradoBiz Magazine,
Better Business Bureau Gold Star Award and Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics

Address:
3430 E. 12th Avenue, Denver, CO 80206

Contact

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About Classic Homeworks

The principals of this firm have a 30-year tradition of remodeling excellence in the Denver metro community, but they still pride themselves on being a “small firm that emphasizes integrity.” That claim is backed up by an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It’s also proven by the affluent clients who tap Classic Homeworks to handle high-end kitchen remodeling projects. Those clients are in Washington Park, Country Club, Congress Park, Hilltop, Park Hill, Highland, Belcaro, Bonnie Brae, and Cherry Hills Village, to name a few.

President Kelli Cost, who studied architecture and design at the University of Nebraska, heads a well-rounded team. Cost’s team has been a CARE winner numerous times, including winning second place for a Park Hill luxury kitchen remodel in 2015. Highlights of that project were a Mediterranean-themed kitchen — built out of a former sunroom — with an elaborate arc entry, an exposed beam ceiling, and dark-stained natural wood floors.

4
Coggeshall Construction, Inc.

Principals:
David Coggeshall

Address:
3829 S. Glencoe Street, Denver, CO 80237

Contact

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About Coggeshall Construction, Inc.

This high-end general contractor has a 40-year history in the Denver metro area. It is still run by founding Principal David Coggeshall. The team works throughout Denver but focuses mostly on Greenwood Village, Hilltop, Crestmoor, Cherry Creek, Washington Park, and Cherry Hills Village.

Remodels by Coggeshall Construction can cost between $150k and $1M. They typically show architectural consistency, such as tall ceilings with crown moldings, and leaded glass windows. They are high-end in their preference for natural wood floors, stone counters, and chandeliers.

The firm is featured in more magazine and trade journal articles than it can note on its website. The coverage includes articles in Better Homes and Gardens and Colorado Home & Lifestyles. Just as numerous have been first-place finishes in CARE competitions, including those for luxury kitchen remodels. Most notably, Coggeshall is often the contractor of choice on large remodeling projects undertaken by a leading Colorado architect Doug Walter, AIA. The two recently teamed up for a remodeling project in Independence Hall, which won Project of the Year by CARE in 2016 and was written up in Pro Remodeler Magazine’s April 2017 issue.

3
Consolidated Construction Management, LLC

Principals:
Fred Ahlert

Address:
12860 West Cedar Drive, Lakewood, CO 80228

Contact

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About Consolidated Construction Management, LLC

As the general contractor and owner of Consolidated Construction Management, Fred Ahlert likes to keep his profile low and his team small. A Missouri native, Ahlert received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Ranken Technical College in St. Louis. After graduation, he worked for contractors in Missouri, holding positions as project manager, construction superintendent, and vice president. He settled in Colorado in 1979. Consolidated Construction Management opened two years later and started constructing new homes throughout the Denver area’s upscale neighborhoods.

In his 38-year career as a general contractor in Denver, Ahlert has also become known for his high-quality kitchen renovations. Often, Ahlert’s projects start with kitchen designs by well-known Denver architect Doug Walter. An example is a kitchen remodeling project by Ahlert and Walter for a Cherry Hills Village home that won CARE in 2007. Another of Ahlert’s renovations – also in Cherry Hills Village — won first place in the Standard Kitchen Remodel category for CARE in 2013. And a third Cherry Hills Village remodeling project by Ahlert modernized the kitchen in a 1965 ranch by vaulting ceilings and tearing down walls to create a more functional and open layout.

2
Colorado Master Builders & Architects

Principals:
Kingsley Brown

Address:
4230 Elati Street, Denver, CO 80216

Contact

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About Colorado Master Builders & Architects

This Denver-based design build firm does it all, from conceptual design and construction documentation to building, woodworking, and even fabrication. Owner and architect Kingsley Brown founded the firm in 1990. He and his partner, architect Rodney Kazenske, are known for building ritzy new homes around Denver. Lesser known outside of professional circles is that kitchen design projects have been a signature specialty of Colorado Master Builders & Architects.

The firm’s style is diversified. For contemporary looks, Brown’s team will use stone, wood, and steel, with imposing islands that provide lots of prep and cook space, not to mention seating for eight. A French look will have hand-forged iron chandeliers and delicate window treatments. The cabinets will have marble countertop undertones.

Brown’s team likes to blend light and dark finishes against a backdrop of metallic fixtures to add extra glamour. They also like to anchor kitchens with eye-catching islands, sometimes with distressed finishes, then contrast them with lighter-toned cabinets and floors. Final touches come from architectural details and custom millwork. Kitchen designs by Brown’s team highlight architectural details: they are especially skilled at contrasting large and small fixtures to create drama. Essentially, the firm’s 27 years’ experience comes together in breathtaking results.

1
Austin Signature Homes

Principals:
Craig Austin

Address:
2140 South Cook Street, Denver, CO 80210

Contact

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About Austin Signature Homes

Before Craig Austin took over the family home improvement business, he received a master’s degree in real estate and construction from the University of Denver. Austin Signature Homes, which was founded by Austin’s parents, has for five decades enjoyed a solid reputation as a leading full-service design-build contractor in the Denver metro area.

Austin is best known for custom builds, but the firm has branched out into additions and renovations. Its kitchen remodels have been described as “off-the-grid” glamorous. Austin Signature Homes kitchen designs show a singular talent for connecting spaces that help this highly functional room flow smoothly. The designs hint at traditional amenities but add splashes of chic, such as eye-popping tiles and old iron light fixtures. Six- and eight-burner Wolf ranges are framed with natural zone arcs. Countertops have geometric patterns, and elaborate lighting fixtures enclose antique cut glass. Austin clients rave about the contractor’s relentless pursuit of detail and brilliant synthesis of design and craftsmanship.

Austin’s remodeling projects are in Aurora, Berkley, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Denver, Grand View Estates, Greenwood Village, Lakeside, and Littleton. Austin is a founding member of the Home Builders Foundation of Denver. He is a former member of the HBA’s Board of Directors.

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