Copper Homes is a full service custom design and build firm. We build both semi-custom homes as well as multi-million dollar custom homes.
We are headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado and have been in business for nearly ten years, building about twenty-five custom homes per year with a very talented full-time staff as well as a loyal team of sub contractors.
Our process has been crafted over many years to help better align your vision and budget with the architect, interior designer and builder from day one. Copper Homes works both with our internal architects and the independent architect of your choosing. In both cases our team will work hand in hand with you and the architect throughout the design process. This investment in time upfront pays dividends in saved time during the building process and helps us insure what the architect drafts is in line with your budget. Interior details are often the most important part of a home and for that reason our interior designer is a part of the process from day one.
We recognize how overwhelming the process of rebuilding after a fire must be and are here to help. We hope you’ll find this guide informative and look forward to working with you.
We would encourage you to be patient…there are still a lot of unknowns centered on demolition, cleanup, building code requirements (will there be any flexibility from current codes related to energy that may drive costs up), and whether the cities will adopt any reduced fees or accelerated reviews. We want to help you work through these uncertainties and execute on a well planned project with detailed budgets, plans, and specifications.
If you’re a victim of the fire, there are surely a million things on your mind. And when it comes to the thought of rebuilding, it’s probably overwhelming. Most people bought their home after it was already built and even if they bought from a builder, they probably weren’t involved with the construction financing, permitting, design, selections etc.
In the best of times, building a custom home is overwhelming. We know that we aren’t the right fit for everyone, but we will happily spend time listening, giving you advice, sharing building costs, and helping you find the right path forward. Typically building a custom home is a “want” not a need. But now there are so many who need new homes and we are pleased to help you through this challenging time. And, if you decide that rebuilding is not the right choice for you, we would be happy to give you a fair offer for the purchase of your lot.
If you have any questions please reach out to Andrew Batson at 303-641-5058 or email Andrew@Copper-Homes.com
We know that we can’t build for everyone, and rebuilding may not be the right choice for you, but we are here to share our experience with you freely.
We are a full service design and build company. This means that we handle every step, from the architectural design, coordination of structural, civil, mechanical engineering, surveys, estimating, submitting the permit to the city and managing the approval process, helping with interior design, coordination every selection and finish for the home, and of course building the home and provide a warranty.
Historically we have been primarily a custom home builder, but In 2022 we are constructing twenty-four custom and semi-custom homes in Broomfield in the neighborhood, Anthem Reserve. The homes range in cost, without land, from about one million base price to over two million finished with upgrades. Although the size of these homes is a little larger than would typically fit on a 60 foot wide lot in Louisville the process we have developed for assisting customers translates into a more efficient customer experience even for custom homes.. You can view some of these homes at https://copper-homes.com/anthem/
Here is a link to view the addresses of nearby homes that we have built.
We are staffed to build approximately 25 homes per year. We maintain a $5 million general liability policy, have excellent banking relationships, deep ties to very loyal subcontractors, many that have worked with us for over eight year, trusted suppliers and excellent customer references.
We employ a full-time construction disbursement accountant, architect, permitting specialist, two interior designers, construction manager, superintendents, and punchist/warranty specialist.
We arrange construction financing, prepare your plans, coordinate all of the engineers and consultants, obtain HOA and city approvals and build your home. Our designer helps you select every fixture and finish in the home. Then we give you a detailed, transparent line item estimate. We build it on time and on budget, and even give you a 10 year structural warranty. The upside is that today’s building materials and our own quality standards insure you’ll own a home that is almost surely less maintenance and more energy efficient than any home you have owned before.
How do I receive Insurance money and how do I pay to rebuild? How does my old mortgage work?
We’re not insurance experts, but our understanding is that in a total loss scenario the claims process should be pretty straightforward. If your policy had coverage for let’s say, $600,000, then the insurance company would pay the cost of rebuilding, but not more than $600,000. We can provide a detailed, line item estimate of rebuild cost based on your old home.
Let’s say your land is worth $250,000 (tough to value land, but we can help since we buy lots of land).
And let’s assume you have a $400,000 mortgage.
The insurance company will write the check to both you and your mortgage company. So of course you’ll need to be in contact with your mortgage company.
In this scenario you would probably let the mortgage company take their $400,000 out. Now you’re left with $200,000 cash and a free and clear lot worth $250,000.
You could sell the lot and use the $450,000 in equity to go buy another home, or you could rebuild. I’ll explain below how to finance the rebuilding.
How can I afford to rebuild?
If your insurance proceeds were enough to rebuild, then you could work with your mortgage company to finance the rebuilding. Most likely they will want to hold onto enough of the insurance proceeds to equal their loan amount, and then as you build the home they would release payments to the contractor. The last thing the mortgage company wants is a $500,000 mortgage on a $150,000 vacant lot!
In practice this is going to be a huge pain…mortgage companies aren’t set up to act as construction lenders. And unfortunately there’s a pretty good chance you will spend more rebuilding than the insurance proceeds would cover—maybe because you are “underinsured” or maybe you want to build a nicer home.
We work with an amazing credit union as well as some local banks to offer what’s called a one-time close construction-permanent loan.
In this scenario it would work like this:
– We work with you to design new home plans based on a target budget.
– We estimate the cost to build the home with a detailed line item estimate.
– The bank appraises the new “future” house based on the plans and approved a loan.
– You take your insurance proceeds and pay off your old loan.
– The remaining cash, plus the land value is your equity (also called downpayment) for the new home and loan.
– The bank will pay the builder each month as the house is built.
– When completed the loan converts to a regular 30 year (or 15 year, etc.) mortgage like you had before.
The nice feature is that there is just one loan and you can lock the interest rate in at the start of construction. This is important because rates are likely to increase. And you only pay closing costs once.
Call Andrew at 303-641-5058 and he’ll walk you through the math on this (insurance, loan payoff, payments on new construction loan, etc.)
If you decide that rebuilding is not the best fit for you we would be happy to give you a fair, cash offer for your lot.
BUILDING AGREEMENT and MANAGEMENT FEES
A cost plus building agreement gives you a more transparent and flexible building process.
With a cost plus contract, since you agree to pay all costs incurred, the builder can be more flexible in changes and custom work that may have unpredictable costs.
In a cost plus agreement you take on some of the risk that we as the builder would absorb in a fixed price agreement. In exchange for you bearing some of that risk, our margin is lower and you have the opportunity to save money.
To be clear, when entering into a cost plus agreement, you agree to pay actual costs, even if they exceed the budget, estimate or bids. Likewise, you are the beneficiary of any under budget items.
Our general contractor fee for a cost-plus agreement is 18% of the actual cost of the work. A site supervision fee for our on-site supervisor is charged as a line item expense (typically about $60k for site supervision), but we do not charge any additional fees for profit, management, overhead, licenses, marketing, accounting, estimating, permit coordination or interior design coordination. We actually invest more working hours before breaking ground than during actual construction and we have one in-house employee for every employee in the field—estimating, accounting, design coordination, etc. are all a big part of our job!
With a cost-plus agreement you typically own the lot and pay us monthly during the design, engineering and construction phase based on the work completed.
For Boulder County (including Louisville and Superior) as of Spring 2022
We have prepared a simple ballpark cost calculator available here:
This estimate includes all expenses such as architecture, engineering, permitting, the builder’s fee and labor and material. Basically everything except landscaping and window coverings.
Typical building costs:
These homes would be similar in architecture and finishes as shown in our Anthem Reserve Models.
These costs assume finishes consistent with our Gold Standards, which are shown here.
The homes considered in this rough estimate are much more expensive from an architectural standpoint than the original Richmond and Sheffield homes…the roof lines are more cut up, taller ceilings, more stone, more windows, larger architectural series windows, large sliders, etc. larger garages, etc. While we could duplicate some of the original floor plans and the cost would certainly be less, we lack the cost efficiency of a custom builder and provide a better value in the custom arena.
Typically a home in this category will feature 10’ ceilings on the main floor, 8-9’ ceilings on the second floor, 9’ ceilings in the basement, and a 3 car garage that is approximately 22’ deep.
Main floor finished sq ft with 10’ ceilings is about $400 per sqft.
This includes an unfinished basement with 9’ ceilings.
Second story finished square feet with 9’ ceilings is about $300 sq ft.
Basement finish with the same level of quality as upstairs is $85 sqft
The most affordable design is a two story with the master up. Typically the second story is larger than the main floor. For example, a house with 4000 sq ft of which 1200 is an unfinished basement, 1200 is on the main floor, and 1600 is upstairs is less expensive that a house with 1600 in the basement, 1600 on the main and 80 upstairs.
These are just starting numbers to help with target budgets. We will perform a detailed line item take off on all plans and then upon completion of engineering obtain bids for a final budget.
After we prepare your floorplan and elevation we will calculate a detailed line item estimate. Here’s a sample line estimate similar to what you will receive:
It’s not uncommon for customers to upgrade finishes even beyond the Gold Standards and spend another $100,000-$500,000 on a home. For example, double stacked kitchen cabinets cost more, typical appliances are about $9400, but some customers spend upwards of $30,000 on Sub Zero, Wolf, etc., Hardwood on the stairs can add up to $400 per step, while a level 1 granite or quartz is standard, some quart countertops and exoctic stones will cost significantly more, etc.
Other structural items that will increase costs include:
- Additional garage space (beyond 3 car) is usually about $150 sqft (detached garages are approximately $250 sqft)
- Expansive soil: Building on expansive soils that requires caissons and a structural concrete floor will add about $35 per square foot to the main floor footprint.
- Walkout basement: A walkout basement is more expensive to build because of the additional stone, siding, additional windows and sliding glass door, stair case, deck and railing. This is typically about $75,000.
- Covered decks and porches. Covered decks and porches are expensive to build, but since they are not reflected in the square footage of the home they will drive up your average per sq ft cost. Because they encompass a foundation, a concrete slab, a roof and usually raising the costs are often around $150 per square foot.
- Second story decks: Decks off a second story or master bedroom are typically around $75 per square foot (or $25,00 minimum) especially if they are over living area below which require waterproofing, etc.
- 10’ ceilings in basements. A 10’ ceiling in the basement is a fantastic upgrade that really makes it feel much more custom. Typical cost adds about $15 per sqft to the basement footprint and $5 sqft to the basement finish cost.
- Wetbars, home theaters, etc. These will all add to the basement finish cost.
- Additional fireplaces: The gold standards assume one fireplace; additional fireplaces can range in price from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the model and the surround.
- Large sliders: We get a lot of requests for nano walls and large 16’+ sliding doors. These are beautiful doors, but can cost between $12,000 and $30,000 each. Our plans typically have one 12’ wide slider which is still a big upgrade compared to the sliders typical in the 1990’s.
- Roofs. Metal roofs are quite a bit costlier than asphalt or even tile. Tile roofs are usually more expensive than asphalt and there are different qualities of asphalt roofs.
- Trimwork: As a custom builder we can accommodate lots of elaborate trim work such as beams, wainscot, and custom built-ins. These all add the building cost.
- Small footprint: A very small footprint (under 1500 sq ft) will drive the cost per square foot up because the kitchen, garages, and utilities are all amortized over less square footage but likely cost the same as a larger house. Plan on adding about 15% to the cost per square foot as the footprint gets much smaller than 2,200 sqft above grade.
- Fire sprinklers: Fire sprinklers are likely to be required and add about $20,000-$30,000 to the cost of a typical home. That cost is not reflected in the above price per sqft number since they aren’t always required.
- Net Zero Energy Code. if the city enforces a net zero energy requirement on the home every aspect of the home from window sizes, type, insulation, hot water heaters, furnace, solar, appliances, etc. has to be considered. It would not be unusual for this to add between $30-$50 per sqft to the construction costs.
Silver Finishes (Money saving Opportunities)
For many our Gold Standards represent a significant upgrade over prior construction and they may be able to save money in a number of areas:
- Doors: Dropping to 6’-8” doors throughout will save money.
- 9’ Ceilings: 9’ ceiling on the main will save costs.
- 2 car garage. A tandem is also a little less expensive than a 3 car wide in most cases.
- Straight stairs: Keep stairs simple and reduce the amount of railing.
- Eliminate exterior stone, no decorative chimneys, simplify roof lines, rectangular footprint.
- Vinyl windows: Our standard windows are a fiberglass window. You can save a significant amount staying with vinyl windows.
- Garage doors: A more basic long panel steel garage door will save money over our standard.
- Fiberglass shower pans: Our standard is poured concrete, tiled shower pans, but a prefab fiberglass pan will save money.
- More carpet: Our standard has a generous amount of hardwood, but if you move to move carpet that will save money.
- Basic light fixtures. Builder grade, light fixtures and the least expensive plumbing fixture will save money versys our Gold Standards.
Realistically it is unlikely that dropping to Silver Standards will save more than $50 per square foot.
Costs versus old building codes
All estimates will initially be based on current building codes. For insurance purposes we will then itemize out what costs might have been under old building codes (less insulation, 2×4 walls, cheaper windows, less efficient furnaces, etc.).
Custom Level Finishes & Architecture similar to houses like the French County, Mountain Industrial (different styles, but very custom) shown on our website. High end finishes such as DuChateau wood flooring, natural stone on exterior, $45,000 appliance package, $25,000 light fixture allowance, custom wood garage doors, Sierra Pacific windows. 75% siding or stucco and 25% man made or natural stone. Very custom finishes and architectural design can quickly add 50% to the building costs.
We have several in-house and contracted architects that have agreed to provide architectural services to our customers that are rebuilding at an excellent rate.
CUSTOM HOME ARCHITECTURAL FEES AND EXPENSES
The total architectural design fee and production cost for your project is based upon the total gross floor area of the project.
- About $8 per finished square foot above grade
- About $4 per finished square foot basements
Attached Garages are included in this rate.
$150 an hour for additional work, complete redesigns, extra renderings, etc.
It doesn’t hurt to start with a plan that you may find online. We will completely redraw and customize it, but the challenge of a home in a typical neighborhood is the limitation on width. A 50’ wide home is not going to look the same as a 100’ wide custom home on an acre.
Here is a link to some 50’ wide homes that might be a good starting point. Let our architect know what you like about some of these plans and what you would change.
Other required professionals include a surveyor ($1000-$2000 for initial topo survey), structural engineer ($2-$3 sqft), geo technical engineer ($900-$1500), civil engineer ($2000-$4000), energy consultant ($900-$1500), and fire sprinkler system designer ($1000-2000).
Our team at Copper Homes will coordinate all of these engineers and consultants.
We handle everything from the first meeting through the day you move in and beyond.
We require an initial retainer of $15,000. This is not a fee, but is a deposit to be applied towards actual costs. You’ll only pay what actual costs are plus our management fee (as described above).
Actual costs will be billed monthly with the retainer applied to the final payment.
At the completion of engineering we will have the project bid out and present you with a final budget.
On a cost-plus job if you own the lot you will either pay cash each month for construction or obtain your own construction loan. We can assist with obtaining construction financing.
The costs for architecture and engineering are all a part of the total build budget and estimated costs as described above, they are not additional expenses—just expenses that are paid earlier in the process.
A quick summary of the steps and timeline are as follows:
- Initial meeting (zoom or in person—our office is at 14613 Orchard Parkway, Ste 200, Westminster at the Orchard Mall in Westminster at I25 and 144th) to assess your needs, budget and review your lot.
- Initial consultation with our in-house architect or one of our partner architects.
(We’re happy to work with the architect of your choosing as well).
- Chip Pace is an architect that has been working in Boulder County for about thirty years. Chip is a very senior level architect that also excels in working with the city on the permitting process. Chip has agreed to dedicate all of his time to Copper’s fire rebuilding clients.
- We are staffed to take on approximately twenty-five home rebuild projects in 2022 (building to start late 2022/ early 2023 and finish in 2023)
- If you have an existing plan, or a plan that you find online that can speed up the initial design process
- Determine whether you prefer to work off an existing plan with modifications or develop a custom plan (which may include concepts from an existing plan).
We have received many inquiries from homeowners in Louisville and Superior in master planned communities. Typically “custom” lots are at least 100’ wide, whereas many of the Louisville “neighborhood” lots are about 65’ wide. Most of these 65’ wide lots will support a home design that is about 50’ (+/-) when considering the allowed setbacks. Considering that a garage will take up at least 20’ of the width there are a lot of constraints on the design of the front elevation.
- As a rough starting point we have provided links to a couple dozen home plans that are 50’ or less. These plans are only intended to be a starting point and the architect will create the perfect home—just be aware that the width of the home is often the limiting factor.
- Enter into the preliminary design agreement. We will collect a preliminary design deposit based on the size of your project and whether you are modifying an existing plan or starting with a new plan. Typically this deposit is between $15,000 and $35,000, but if additional upfront studies such as topo surveys, geo technical engineering or specific research is needed the deposit may be greater.
- Between one and four month design process typically consists of meetings in person every two weeks, with interim revisions by email or online reviews.
- Design sign off once floor plan and elevations are perfected. (about 60 days)
- Once the design is signed off, we will give you an estimate of costs based on that design. Typically the estimate is within about 7%. We will give you a final estimate/budget that is based on bids once engineering and construction documents are complete.
- Construction drawings and engineering are prepared. (about 60-90 days)
- Permitting & Selections. While the city reviews your permit our designer will work with you to finalize all selections. and engineering. City review times range from 30-150 days. 60 days is pretty typical (Broomfield is 4+ months).
- Financing. During the permitting phase we will work with you, insurance company and bank to plan for financing. We have a lender that can assist as well.
- Permit issuance
- Construction (10-12 months is typical depending on size and finishes; very large 8,000 sqft customs can take longer).
We are a full service design-build firm with in-house architects, interior designers, insurance/construction lending specialist, permitting technician, estimator and an amazing team that will oversee the construction of your home.
What licenses and insurance do you carry?
We have a $5 million liability policy, carry builders’ risk on each property, and provide a 10 year third party structural warranty on each home. We are licensed with every city where we are actively building.
Do you have any models to tour in the area?
We are primarily a custom builder so we have photos and 3D virtual tours of the homes we have built. We are building many homes in Broomfield in the Anthem Reserve neighborhood; some are now past the framing stage and we can provide guided tours if needed. We can also give you a list of addresses of nearby homes that we have built that you can drive by. We’ve built dozens of beautiful custom homes close by.
Do you have plans available or is an outside architect required?
We do have many plans that we have built before that can be customized by our in-house architect. Alternatively we can start from scratch, or start from a plan you may find online. We have an architect dedicated to the rebuilding projects.
What is your current build capacity? How many can you start per month?
We are staffed to start approximately 2-3 homes per month. We have twenty-four homes in Anthem at permitting or under construction and another half dozen custom homes under construction. These projects will all be wrapping up about the time that new homes in Louisville, Superior and Boulder would start. We have delayed starting our new custom home projects in Mead and Berthoud to help with the fire rebuilding.
How many homes are you looking to take on at this time?
We are prepared to take on twenty-five projects that would like to start on plans immediately.
Describe your full time staff. Do you have people in sales, design, procurement, Project Manager (PM)?
We employ a full-time construction disbursement accountant, architect, permitting specialist, two interior designers, construction manager, superintendents, and punchist/warranty specialist.
How many homes does each Project Manager handle?
It depends on the proximity between jobs and the scale. We have built multi-million dollar homes with a dedicated project manager. In a neighborhood where the homes are all next door, one project manager can supervise six homes at one time.
What is your typical build timeline?
A home that is less than 5,000 finished square feet usually takes 10-12 months to build. Homes between 5,000-8,000 square feet might take 12-14 months and large homes over 8,000 square feet could take 14-16 months.
Do you have a copy of the contract you use and can I review it prior to signing?
We would be happy to provide a draft of all our agreements upon request.
How are payments handled? When are they due and what triggers a payment request?
We typically provide an itemized invoice each month for the work completed during the prior month.
Do you have someone at your company that works specifically with insurance companies and will they assist in this process?
We have a full-time accountant that works with banks and insurance companies to process all payments. We will also work with our estimator to itemize budgets in a way that maximizes insurance benefits by isolating costs for building code upgrades, etc.
What is the range of price per square foot that you are building at today?
With our Gold Level of Finishes (hand troweled drywall, Marvin fiberglass windows, solid doors, painted shaker style cabinets, hardwood throughout main floor, etc.) most jobs come in around $400 per square foot for the main level, $300 for the second story. That includes the unfinished basement, but basement finishing is usually $85 per sqft. Those costs include all permits, architecture, insurance, engineering, and all of our fees as a builder.
When will the final price of the home or build be determined?
We primarily work on a cost plus basis. We will provide a very detailed estimate and budget upfront and charge you for actual costs plus a management fee.
How are finishes selected? Does the owner select them or are they a predetermined package?
We have two full-time interior designers that guide you through every selection. We have excellent vendors that we work with and they provide both labor and material, thereby ensuring they warranty everything that goes in the house.
What items are not included?
Landscaping is not included. Window coverings are optional. Everything else is typically included.
How are change orders handled?
A cost plus contract ensures that you will not be penalized for making changes and preserves some flexibility for you. Whether a fixed price or cost-plus contract we always document changes and do our best to estimate costs.
Is surveying, engineering, design, civil engineering, or lot preparation included or separate?
We handle all of these items for you and they are included in our estimates.
Is there an addendum in the contract related to changes in material costs?
In a cost-plus contract you do share in that risk. Alternatively in a fixed price contract we would have to build in a large contingency.
What type of warranty is included? What does it cover? What is the process for making a claim?
As a builder we basically offer a bumper to bumper one year warranty. Many appliances, furnaces, AC, etc. have longer manufacturer warranties. We also offer a third party ten year structural warranty.
How often and when will I have access to the property during construction?
We have a regular schedule of walk-thrus with your project manager. We do ask you to schedule any other visits and to wear a hard hat for safety.
What is the process for inspections during the build? Upon completion, how would you respond to a third party inspection?
You are welcome to have a third party inspection. These can be even more useful at the rough stage when everything is still exposed and not covered with drywall.
Please provide a list of local subs and references.
We have a loyal bunch of subcontractors that have worked for us for many years. They appreciate that we pay them promptly and have well run job sites. All of our work is between Broomfield and Berthoud and our subs are all based in this area.
What is the process for communication?
We use a portal called BuilderTrend to manage your project. All plans, budgets, specifications and communication will be saved in this portal accessible by you and our team.
TAKE A LOOK INSIDE OUR CUSTOM HOMES
View the latest styles and designs built by our team and customized to your desire.
French Country Style on the St. Vrain River
This is an example of a French Country style home. The spiral staircase railing was fabricated onsite. Note the turret ceiling with the curved beam work– this was constructed by our talented trim carpenters as they worked 25′ above floor level on scaffolding.
Colorado Mountain Style in Pelican Shores
The clients that hired us to build this custom home did an amazing job with the contrast of the rustic mountain style and the bling– we love it! The fireplace is unique in that it is open on both sides with no glass giving it a true mountain lodge feel. The home was designed by our architect partner, Kyle Callahan of Callahan and Associates.
The wonderful family that we built this home for was moving from Ohio and were disappointed to find that all the homes for sale were stucco and stone “Colorado style” homes. They had always dreamed of a farmhouse and it’s safe to say everyone loves the results. The iconic appeal of a farmhouse with its simple lines, a welcoming front porch and timeless appeal is hard to beat.
This beautiful Craftsman is an example of when a client finds a house plan they absolutely love from a set of stock plans. We made a few changes, but the real secret to the appeal is the beautiful workmanship..note the classic Craftsman design of the cabinetry made locally by Tharp cabinets and the locally sourced natural stone.
This gorgeous house mixes the Colorado mountain style with elegant modern design. The amazing thing about this house is that the client herself did all the interior design. This wonderful home with tasteful design choices adds a wonderful modern element to our growing custom home portfolio.