Building a home in the mountains is not like building in other places.  It’s absolutely exhilarating, as you travel from initial concepts to a finished home created just for you.  There are some challenges to think through as you get ready to start building your Southwest Colorado dream home, though.  Read our suggestions—they may help you feel even more eager to get started!


Evaluate the Lot Carefully

It’s a good bet that you’ll be looking to capitalize on the views from your lot.  After all, that’s one reason Durango mountain homes are so desirable.  But when you find a piece of property that interests you, there’s much more to consider.  Think about infrastructure:

  • Are there at least two decent roads you can use to access the lot?
  • Will you need a septic system and well? What’s the cost?
  • Are cable service and internet available?

Be sure to step back and take an objective look at the features you love about the lot.  Trees, streams, and rocky outcroppings can be so appealing, but they can also add challenges to the build.  And if the lot is sloped, are you willing to design a multi-story home?  Consider that a one-story home suitable for aging in place may not work well on a steep lot with big views, and flattening a sloped parcel may not be advisable or even feasible.

Lot at Twin Buttes of Durango

This beautiful lot is located at Twin Buttes of Durango.

Winter in Durango area

Plan for the Climate

If you’re moving from a different climate, you surely know that you need to plan for snow when building your mountain dream home in Durango.  You’ll work with your team to locate the driveway advantageously, make sure you have the right roof, and so on.  There’s more to think about than just snow, however.

Here in Southwest Colorado, we have four distinct seasons.  Spring is sometimes referred to as “mud season” in our area—don’t let your architect draw up plans that leave out a mud room!  And summer can be surprisingly warm here.  Figure out how the sun will travel above, and orient your windows and plantings to shield you from the rays in July (and take advantage of lower sun angles in January).

Invest in Outdoor Living Spaces

Making the most of outdoor living is a goal you’ll have in common with other Durango dream home builders.  Investing here will pay off in the years to come.  You’ll be thinking about decks, porches, and patios, but let your imagination take off.  Can you see yourself:

  • Relaxing in a hammock with a water feature nearby?
  • Enjoying a firepit on crisp fall evenings?
  • Watching the kids play in a tree house or playhouse/cabin?

Whatever you come up with to take advantage of your setting, think about whether you might need a screen for spring breezes, some shade overhead, and other weather accommodations.

Outdoor Living Area by Centennial Custom Builders

Home by Centennial Custom Builders. Photo by Scott Griggs.

Home by Centennial Custom Builders. Photo by Scott Griggs.

Consider Neutral Materials and Finishes

Whether you’re leaning toward a mountain modern design or a more traditional look, you probably want your new place to harmonize with the beauty of the Four Corners area.  We suggest using plenty natural materials when you’re building your dream home in Durango.  Native stone and wood beams incorporated into the exterior plan look especially attractive in Rocky Mountain environments, as do granite, wood floors, and other interior materials without an overly “engineered” appearance.

We also advise considering colors that blend with nature.  Neutral browns, grays, and greens work very well here; you can always add splashes of color with outdoor furniture and indoor accessories that are easy to change.

Research Contractors

We can’t stress it enough: consider Durango builders for creating your mountain dream home.  They know how to build houses that withstand our terrain and climate, but they offer much more than that.  Local Durango builders are well connected with trustworthy subcontractors, and they have relationships with key building department officials.  Not only that, they live and work here too.  Satisfied clients are important to them.

A great place to start looking is the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado’s member list—find it here.

Welcome to mountain living!

Featured home at top by Krueger Group. Best Home Remodel/Addition, Parade of Homes 2017

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