Overview

Of late, home design in the Mile High City shows an eclectic mix. Some homeowners are trending toward antique Victorian, and others favor sleek modern. But as diverse as these trends are, they point toward one theme: a gradual ditching of the Western cowboy, home-on-the-range image that Denver is known for. And that movement determined which of Denver’s most celebrated residential contractors made this list. This is not to suggest that none of these licensed contractors has put up a Santa Ana-style ranch. Many have. But each one also straddles the new “mountain modern.” Their layouts show neutral colors, cleaner lines, and fewer features with cattleman designs.

For this list, experience counts. That’s why high honors go to the Denver general contractor nearing the 50-year mark. Perhaps even more importantly for this list’s criteria is the natural artistic talent that separates carpenters from home designers. The top residential contractor in Denver noted on this list is recognized by building professionals as a market leader, and by finicky architects as a design icon.

Top General Contractors

15
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

Address:
3082 Sterling Circle, Boulder, CO 80301

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About Melton Design Build

Ty Melton founded this general contractor in Denver in 1993. He had already completed numerous commercial projects in Denver for Starbucks, The Body Shop, and The Boulder Community Hospital. General Manager Rick Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and an MBA from the University of Virginia. Melton Design Build is certified as a Building Analyst by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), which means it uses building science to perform whole-home assessments.

The home remodel end of this residential contractor’s business is so large that it developed a special three-step process to navigate clients from design through construction. Melton even provides architectural plans and uses 3D software so clients can visualize the end product. In 2017, Melton’s “Santa Ana Ranch” won a Bronze award for Whole House Remodel over $70,000 from the Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards. The year before, the firm won Gold from the Colorado Awards for Remodeling Excellence (CARE) for a Whole Home Remodel over $1M. In 2013, Melton was honored with a Guildmaster Award for Service Excellence from GuildQuality.

14
Austin Signature Homes

Principals:
Craig Austin

Address:
2140 South Cook Street, Denver, CO 80210

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About Austin Signature Homes

Based in Denver for over 50 years, this home design and home improvement contractor is still run by the Austin family. Craig Austin inherited the business from his parents, who worked as hard to deepen their roots in the Denver metro community as to build a premier construction company.

Craig took over the family business after earning a master’s degree in real estate and construction from the University of Denver. He served on the board of directors of the Home Builders Association (HBA) and helped to found the Homebuilder’s Foundation of Metro Denver. A typical remodeling job by his firm might cost about $50,000, but a new home by Austin Signature Homes can run up to $3M.

A typical build will be priced over $2M and feature an expansive floor plan with ample first-floor spaces for informal and formal entertaining. It will include an elaborate great room, maybe a white marble fireplace, oversized windows, a rec room with wet bar, a second floor reading loft, a wine cellar, and a dramatic staircase spiraling through several floors. Custom homes by Austin Signature Homes can be found throughout Aurora, Berkley, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Denver, and Grand View Estates.

13
Revolve Design Build

Principals:
Jared Phifer

Address:
5168 Parfet Street, Unit I, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

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About Revolve Design Build

This Denver builder was founded in 2003 around the novel idea that “homes should evolve with us.” That is how owner Jared Phifer describes his eclectic team’s forward-thinking home design philosophy. It’s a philosophy known as “Passive Home Building,” which is practiced in Europe but new to America. Phifer is now certified by Passive Home Institute (PHI) for building high-end homes that conserve on energy. The homes are built with airtight “envelopes” that prevent outside air from seeping in and create higher-performing windows and doors.

Phifer likens the passive home approach to green building and says more of his high-end clients are coming on board. Those clients are in upscale neighborhoods throughout Cherry Hills Village, Berkley, Denver, Edgewater, Mountain View, and Lakeside. They seek out Phifer for his team’s expertise in green building, sustainable home design, and energy efficient homes — even if that means paying the $3M price tag such technology commands. In 2017, Phifer’s revenue was $32M, which suggests his groundbreaking approach to residential construction in the Denver metro area is gaining traction.

12
Consolidated Construction Management, LLC

Principals:
Fred Ahlert

Address:
12860 West Cedar Drive, Lakewood, CO 80228

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About Consolidated Construction Management, LLC

One sign of a great contractor are the architects with which they work. In Colorado, few architects have the professional standing of Doug Walter, who specializes in residential remodeling. The principal of this general contractor in Denver, Missouri-native Fred Ahlert, is one of Walter’s go-to contractors for many residential projects.

Ahlert’s construction prowess goes back over 35 years, when he studied construction management at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri. Ahlert then honed his skills with various contracting jobs for which he served as project manager, construction superintendent, and vice president. In 1979, he settled in Colorado. Two years later, he opened Consolidated Construction Management, also known as CCM. Ahlert’s small team builds signature homes throughout Denver metro.

Some of his new builds are sprawling and extravagant estates in one of the state’s most affluent areas: Cherry Hills Village. An Ahlert build in Cherry Hills Village could span up to 20,000 square feet, feature a wine cellar, and have enough garage space for clients who collect luxury cars. Or a Mid-Century modern build by Ahlert in Chatfield Acres could feature floor-to-ceiling glass panes along large expanses of the structure, straight lines throughout an open floor plan, and tons of natural light.

11
Harrison Custom Homes

Principals:
Scott and Christine Harrison

Address:
3250 South Clermont St., Denver, CO 80222

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About Harrison Custom Homes

This general contractor in Denver has been run by three generations of the Harrison family. Aubrey and Pauline Harrison opened the firm in 1955. Within five years, they’d become a premier residential contractor in the metropolitan area. In the 2000s, Scott and his wife, Christie, took over and changed the firm’s focus to pre-sold business rather than speculative projects. The new builds that Harrison Custom Homes produces in Cherry Hills Village, Denver, and Greenwood Village start at $3M, but many easily climb to $10M. And, according to famed Denver architect Robert Larsen, member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), their quality is beyond compare. Larsen often selects Harrison Custom Homes to serve as general contractors on his designs.

These are not cookie-cutter residences. A typical Harrison build is anywhere from 8,000 to over 25,000 square feet. Every inch of it shows the client’s unique personality, lifestyle, and tastes. Harrison Custom Homes provides smart home technology and renewable energy, including solar and HVAC systems. The firm has constructed luxury homes in Denver metro valued at nearly $60M within the last decade.

10
Landmark Traditions

Principals:
Jim Halliday

Awards:
Marketing and Merchandising Excellence Awards

Address:
9141 Mountain Ranch Road, Conifer, CO 80433

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About Landmark Traditions

Based in Conifer, Landmark Traditions is still run by the Halliday family, who opened it in 1979. President Jim Halliday has a distinctive take on constructing a home: he’s been known to build an entire home around a show-stopping staircase. That approach, he says, explains why custom builds by Landmark Traditions are works of art. Halliday also stresses his firm’s forward-thinking processes.

Green building might be the rage today, but Halliday’s builds have always been energy efficient. What sets them apart, however, is an almost fanatical attention to detail. Consider, for example, a mountain ranch design with a butler bar, glass cabinets, and custom Alder opening up to a spacious great room, accented by log trusses and a dramatic spiral staircase made of stone. The same home has a hearth room with white oak floors, a stone fireplace, and wall-to-wall glass panels. Outside is a Flagstone patio with hand-peeled logs and a natural stone and boulder waterfall. Landmark Traditions has won Marketing and Merchandising Excellence (MAME) awards for Best Custom Home (1990 and 1992) and won first place in a CARE Whole House Remodel over $1M in 2010.

9
Camerata Homes

Principals:
Jan Knibbe

Awards:
MBAMD Bar Awards

Address:
7091 S. Sedalia Street, Foxfield, CO 80016

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About Camerata Homes

Owner Jan Knibbe received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University. He worked for one of the nations’s largest homebuilders after graduating, eventually becoming president of its Denver division. After leaving the company, Knibbe assembled a team of architects, engineers, and design consultants and founded Camerata Homes. His team builds custom homes throughout the entire metro Denver area,as well as doing whole house remodels, scrapes and basement finishing. Its projects vary widely in price and size, using the highest quality materials, in-house design, efficient building practices, and personalized service to give each client a positive experience and beautiful, custom final product.

Camerata Homes has won many awards, including Home Builders Association of Metro Denver Bar Awards for Best Custom Homes in four categories. It also won an HBA CARE Gold Award for Whole House Remodel in 2016.

8
Copperleaf Homes

Principals:
Steve Neary

Address:
7826 N. Academy Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

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About Copperleaf Homes

Copperleaf Homes urges prospective clients to buy new when shopping for homes. It’s more fulfilling and makes the buying experience less stressful. The firm builds throughout Colorado Springs and the greater Denver area. The Copperleaf Homes team is headed by President, CEO and Owner Steve Neary, a former project manager at John Laing Homes in Irvine, California. Neary is a member of the board of directors for the Colorado Springs Home Builders Association. His experience in residential construction spans decades. Executive Vice President and co-owner Tim King has over 30 years’ experience in homebuilding sales.

To set their clients’ minds at ease, Copperleaf Homes points out that it works exclusively with award-winning architect Michael L. Woodley, AIA, on home design. Depending on whether the price range is $500k or in the millions, Copperleaf Homes’ clients can choose features such as 9-foot ceilings, master bathrooms with frameless shower doors and ceramic soaking tubs, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, wrought-iron railings on winding staircases, and floor-to-ceiling window panes with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains.

7
True North Builders

Principals:
Craig and Jacki Pickrel

Address:
P.O. Box 889, Franktown, CO 80116

Contact

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About True North Builders

The construction expertise of the True North Builders team has been passed down for five generations. President Craig Pickrel learned the trade from his contractor father, Donald, who in turn learned it from his father and grandfather. Craig and Donald ran Pickrel Construction from 1973 to 1990. Ten years later, Craig and his wife, Jacki, opened True North Builders and quickly became known for building award-winning homes. The firm serves the Denver metro community, particularly the more affluent neighborhoods in Castle Pines.

Although new construction is a major focus, True North Builders is also known for breathtaking remodeling projects. A remodel for California clients relocating to Colorado brought warmth to the monotone and cool aura of their home. Cherry cabinets and cultured stone were added to the entertainment room. The fireplace was wrapped in cultured stone veneer, and a Flagstone cap and leg set was used to make an open hearth fireplace. The project won a CARE award in 2010. Another 2010 CARE winner was a whole-house remodel that updated a 1985 home with an open floor plan and refinished natural wood ceiling beams. The team replaced picture windows with double hung windows for a better view of the lake.

6
Stone Cloud Design Build

Principals:
Bryan Bozeman

Address:
1284 S. Clayton Street, Denver, CO 80210

Contact

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About Stone Cloud Design Build

This home builder works throughout all metropolitan Denver communities. Founding Principal Bryan Bozeman holds licenses not only for residential and commercial contracting, but also to sell real estate. He is also a principal at Cole Properties in Denver. Dan Hackett is Stone Cloud Design Build’s licensed architect. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and he is National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) and LEED AP certified.
Bozeman and team have been featured in the Washington Park Home Tour of 2014 for a prairie-style home they built near the Old South Gaylord Street Shops. The home, which made the cover of Denver Life Home & Design Magazine, was inspired by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The five bedrooms and five bathrooms form an extravagant master suite. Natural light floods the main floor’s several family rooms, and horizontal lines are everywhere.
The Denver Modern Home Tour in May 2017 also featured a Stone Cloud Design Build project in University Park. The modern home, on S. Fillmore Street, showed Bozeman’s ability to use high-tech lighting systems and innovative designs to blend aesthetics with functionality. Stone Cloud Design Build serves the greater Denver Area. It opened in June 2011.

5
Haley Custom Homes

Principals:
Dan Fuller

Address:
5211 S. Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Contact

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About Haley Custom Homes

In the early 1990s, founding Principal Dan Fuller developed a knack for buying and demolishing new homes that he then rebuilt to his liking. His were a new and distinctive kind of luxury home that Denver area buyers were quickly warming up to. One of those homes today sells for no less than $2M, but many go up to $7M. They range in size from 4,500 to over 20,000 square feet.
Haley Custom Homes builds in Bow Mar, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Denver, Englewood, Greenwood Village, and Boulder. And homebuyers aren’t the only people Fuller has wowed. He’s also drawn high critical acclaim, making LUXE Magazine’s Gold List three times and capturing spreads in LUXE Magazine, 5280 Magazine, and Colorado Homes and Lifestyle. Fuller continues to impress with breathtaking remodels. A 2017 LUXE article detailed how Fuller stripped walls and restored windows for clients in Cherry Hills Village, who wanted to preserve the mansion’s 1920s feel. “The result,” said LUXE, is “a house that shimmers with new life.”

4
Timber Ridge Properties

Principals:
Wise family

Address:
601 S. Broadway, Suite G, Denver, CO 80209

Contact

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About Timber Ridge Properties

A boutique approach to design build is what separates Timber Ridge Properties from the rest. The Denver-based firm, which has been owned by the Wise family since 1985, creates Classic, Modern, Timber Frame, and Craftsman-style homes to each client’s specifications. They handle custom homes and luxury remodels throughout the Denver area. All new homes start over $1M. Remodeling projects start around $250k.

A traditional family home built by Timber Ridge Properties featured a chef’s kitchen with hickory floors and a stone fireplace, and a master bathroom suite with Travertine tile, an island soaking tub, and an alcove walk-in shower. A secluded estate for another client had 20-foot ceilings, cast stone fireplaces, a library trimmed with knotty alder, a sweeping staircase with iron railings, and a patio with a fire pit. Downstairs, the firm also built a luxury wine cellar fitted with warm stone, rich wood, shingles, and detailed ironwork decorating an arched entry. New homes and remodeling projects by Timber Ridge Properties garner lots of media attention. The firm was recently featured in the Summer 2017 issue of Denver Life Home & Design magazine.

3
Masterpiece Custom Builders

Principals:
Mark Hannum
Dave Funk

Address:
1900 W. Hamilton Place, Denver, CO 80110

Contact

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About Masterpiece Custom Builders

Masterpiece Custom Builders, owned by Mark Hannum and Dave Funk since 2001, has a laser focus. It doesn’t remodel homes or additions. It does nothing but erect single-family buildings best described as castles. The builds are in Denver’s richest areas of Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Greenwood Village, Lone Tree, Castle Pines, and Castle Pines North. The designs vary between old-world Colorado charm, Italian villa, Tuscan farmhouse, contemporary mansion, and European chalet. The homes are revered by brokers, developers, and homeowners along the Denver metro front range.

A case in point is a recent build in Columbine Valley that was a finalist for the HBAMD’s BAR awards. Secluded in a gated community, the estate spans more than 7,500 finished square feet. It features custom millwork and timber-framed fixtures convey an “old world” aura. Another dream residence was built near a golf course in Castle Pines. The exterior blends stucco, stone, and tumbled brick. Inside, the home boasts more than 10,000 square feet of living space, tastefully decorated with natural timbers and Knotty-Alder. The spiral staircase winds through three stories. A great room with sky-high ceilings gets a rustic touch from boxed beams. The fireplace burns wood, and the entryway is a vaulted timber frame.

2
BOA Construction

Principals:
Tim Pleune

Address:
1339 Osage Street, Denver, CO 80204

Contact

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About BOA Construction

In its 46 year-history, BOA Construction has developed a reputation for custom homes and whole-home renovations priced in the millions. Tim Pleune started the company in 1972 and is still its president. Pleune has been president of the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s Denver chapter and the Associated Builders and Contractors. He’s also served on the board that founded the Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado. BOA Construction performs most of its jobs in affluent Cherry Hills Village, Castle Pines, Summit County, and the Denver Country Club.

Typical of its work was a limestone Mediterranean estate featured recently in LUXE magazine. The home was built on 19 acres owned by a retired Denver couple who need room for 15 grandchildren and parties they often host. The semi-circle courtyard required the team to install seven tons of sandstone slab, a water feature, and more than 600 tons of Canon City boulders. Kansas limestone was used for the exterior and interior walls; cedar and Douglas fir decorate pergolas and balconies. BOA Construction pledges to practice sustainable design and energy efficiency in its work. It participates in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program.

1
Old Greenwich Builders

Principals:
Chris Withers

Awards:
AIA Awards,
Institute of Classical Architecture & Art,
Professional Remodeler Magazine Market Leader

Address:
4100 East Mississippi Avenue, Glendale, CO 80246

Contact

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About Old Greenwich Builders

If press coverage indicates building expertise, then it’s no wonder that Old Greenwich Builders ranks first on this list. More than 26 features highlighting this home improvement contractor’s work appear in Modern in Denver, LUXE, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, Denver Woman, Remodeling Magazine, Mountain Living, Upscale Remodeling, and Colorado Expression. Also pointing to its credentials, Old Greenwich Builders is the go-to builder of famed Colorado architect Doug Walter, AIA.

Owner Chris Withers hails from Westport, Connecticut, where he opened a paint company — his first business. By 1999, he had relocated to Denver and founded Old Greenwich Builders. His marketing degree is from Syracuse University in New York. Co-owner Cress Carter was born and raised in Washington State. Carter received an MBA from the University of Virginia. When he joined Whiters’ team in 2001, he brought 15 years of project management experience.

The firm serves the entire Denver metro community and specializes in whole-house remodels and historic renovations. It has been honored with close to 30 awards from local and national building associations. Most notable are design awards from the American Institute of Architects Denver Chapter and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. In 2010 and 2011, Greenwich was named Market Leader by Professional Remodeler Magazine.

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