Colorado may only be the 21st most populous state in the nation, but it is toward the top of the list when it comes to luxury mountainside mansions. Something about the state’s gorgeous Rocky Mountain setting seems to go perfectly with a sprawling, multimillion-dollar architectural work of art. Indeed, the Aspen area is long famed as a favorite retreat for Hollywood and the billionaire set. It boasts some the most expensive homes in the world, and there is always a new palace going up somewhere in the pine forests.
Beautiful custom homes also abound in the Western Slope ski havens of Vail, Telluride, and Steamboat Springs. The Front Range, where about 70 percent of the state’s population resides, is also home to amazing custom homes — many built according to high efficiency standards and using the latest green and sustainable techniques and materials. This is a list of the very best Colorado custom home builders. These firms are the state’s award winners and industry leaders, the builders with the most experience, vision, and know-how to push the envelope and create homes their clients love.
15) New West Partners
Website | 970.771.3995 | 69 Marksberry Way, Breckenridge, CO 80424
New West Partners has been building high-end mountain homes in and around the popular ski town of Breckenridge since 1998. In the process, they have learned to overcome the challenges — and perfect the tricks — of high-country luxury home building. The company is a recognized leader among Summit County’s custom home builders in Colorado and has won awards from the Summit County Parade of Homes, including Home of the Year.
Founder and Partner Alan Evans started out building milking sheds on his family’s dairy farm in Ireland as a child. He worked for 20 years designing and building homes on Australia’s Gold Coast before taking up skiing and moving to the Colorado mountains in 1989. In 1992 he built one of the first casinos in Blackhawk, as well as a $13M recreation center for Gilpin County. He began concentrating on high-end mountain homes in 1998.
The company’s recent work includes a 7,230-square-foot mountain mansion in Breckenridge’s upscale Muggins Gulch subdivision. The six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath mountain-modern home was designed by Allen-Guerra Architects. It features a wall of windows, large decks, Douglas fir ceiling beams, white oak floors, and a beautiful stone fireplace. The stunning new home was featured on the 2017 Summit County Builders Association Parade of Homes.
14) Ivan Stanley Fine Home Builders
Website | 970.423.3055 | 100 S. Ridge Street, Suite 201, Breckenridge, CO 80424
The husband-and-wife team behind Ivan Stanley Fine Builders has built many wonderful luxury homes around Breckenridge, Summit, Eagle, Vail, and throughout the central Rockies. Principal Jeremy Fisher founded the company in 1997, naming it after his two grandfathers, Ivan and Stanley, and partnering with his wife, co-owner and interior designer Karen Fischer. Both owners attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, where Jeremy obtained a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation and Karen earned a master’s in art history.
Concentrating on high-end custom homes, home remodels, additions, historic restoration, and light commercial projects, the company has received six awards from the Summit County Parade of Homes. Ivan Stanley’s recent home project “North of Silverthorne,” designed by Berglund Architects, shows off the company’s innovative techniques, featuring a transparent window wall and an elegant curved ceiling. The ceiling in this sprawling mountain masterpiece also opens to the sky and extends over a large outdoor room, perfect for that legendary Colorado indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
13) Schlumberger Scherer Construction
Website | 970.925.8360 | 314C Aspen Business Center, Aspen, CO 81611
This company has been a custom home builder in the Aspen, CO, area for more than 40 years. Schlumberger Scherer Construction knows how to build big, beautiful, innovative, and breathtaking properties that stand out in a place where jaw-dropping mountainside mansions are a dime a dozen. Concentrating on high-end custom homes and remodeling projects, Owner and President Martin Schlumberg started the company in 1974. Recently Scott Scherer, who had worked for the contractor since 2002, moved up to co-owner and senior project manager, taking over the daily operations of the residential contractor. Scherer has a engineering degree from Vanderbilt and a master’s degree in construction management from the University of Colorado.
The company’s work, which includes light commercial projects, has been featured in Dwell, Architectural Digest, Aspen Magazine, the Robb Report, and other publications. The company’s portfolio of recent projects includes large ranches and enviable luxury mountain retreats. Many of these projects incorporate sustainable materials and building techniques, custom millwork, an indoor-outdoor focal point, exquisite stone work, and amazing glass wall systems.
12) Kaegebein Fine Homebuilding
Website | 970.510.5797 | 225 Main Street, Suite 301 & 302, Carbondale, CO 81623
The three partners, principals, and friends that make up Kaegebein Fine Homebuilding started out as a dorm remodeling company while attending Florida State University in the mid 1990s. Nate Kaegebein, Charlie Berger, and Robert McClung have gone on to build more than 70 luxury custom homes in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley over the past 20 years. The custom home contractor has six project managers and two project engineers on staff.
The firm is known for its sleek and sophisticated contemporary homes in Aspen, sprawling ranches in Woody Creek, mountain retreats in Basalt, and major remodels throughout the area. The builders work with Michael Fuller Architects and other Colorado firms. Kaegebein is particularly good with the modern-contemporary style, as evidenced in their recent masterprice in Aspen, “West End I,” which features clean lines, a sleek white palette, and lots of large windows to let in those awe-inspiring Colorado views. The company’s work has been featured in the Luxe Magazine publication The Luxury of Home.
11) Cornerstone Homes
Website | 303.444.0433 | 1005 S. 120th Street, Unit 201, Lafayette, CO 80026
A leader in sustainable building and net-zero energy homes in Boulder County, CO, Cornerstone Homes has built some of Colorado’s most forward-looking and innovative homes over the last 20 years. Owner and President Keenan Tompkins is a third-generation home builder with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois. He specializes in constructing high-end custom homes, using green and sustainable building techniques in the Denver and Boulder areas. Co-owner and Lead Project Manager Tirion Tompkins is also a third-generation builder with a passion for sustainable and healthy building. One of the net-zero energy homes he supervised received the best Natural Air Infiltration Rating in the state of Colorado.
The firm’s work has been featured on HGVT and in Modern in Denver Magazine, the New York Times, Dwell, and Boulder County Home & Garden. One of the company’s more attention-grabbing recent builds is the modern metal masterpiece “4 Mile Sky High,” a “fire-proof and earth-friendly fortress” perched 7,300 feet above Boulder. Working with Architect Corey Martin of THA Architecture in Portland, Cornerstone built the eye-catching home out of rusted corrugated steel siding with an Ipe hardwood deck.
10) Koru Limited
Website | 970.963.0577 | 2551 Dolores Way, Carbondale, CO 81623
Working with some of the region’s top architects, Koru Limited builds eye-catching, innovative luxury homes in Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley. Founded by New Zealander Ants Cullwick in 2005, the company has worked with famed Arizona architect Will Bruder, as well as top Colorado firms Studio B, S2 Architects, and Cottle Carr Yaw (CCY) Architects.
In 2015, and in collaboration with Bruder, Koru Limited built “Black Bird House” — a 5,829-square-foot work of art in downtown Aspen. The home features charred cypress and custom black anthra-zinc metal cladding, polished reflective white plaster walls and ceilings, white oak doors and cabinets, and walnut floors. In 2014, the custom home builder in Aspen worked with CCY Architects (winner of a 2017 Firm of the Year Award from the American Institute of Architects) on the gorgeous Gambel Oaks Ranch residence, a 5,897-square-foot home in Eagle County built of steel, rock gabions, and pine. The home won an Award of Excellence from AIA Colorado. The firm was also recognized as a recipient of this year’s Historic Preservation award for best preservation efforts made in Aspen. Their work was also featured in Luxe Interiors + Design and on the Luxe Gold List, Aspen Magazine, Green Source, O Magazine, and Ski Magazine.
9) Harrington Stanko Construction
Website | 303.441.9155 | 7101 La Vista Place #100, Niwot, CO 80503
Known for working on unique and challenging residential and commercial projects in Boulder County, Harrington Stanko Construction is one of Colorado’s most talented, innovative, and daring custom-home builders. Co-founder Thomas Stanko has been building since 1974, working on a wide range of projects from churches to apartment buildings and custom homes. Stanko has a bachelor’s degree in art from Yale University and a master’s in architecture from the University of Colorado. Co-founder Tim Harrington, a graduate of Michigan State University, has been building high-end custom homes and specialized commercial projects since 1981.
Harrington Stanko Construction has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The Hawaii custom home builder’s work has been featured in Colorado Homes Magazine and Boulder County Home + Garden. A definite stand-out in the builder’s extensive portfolio is the aforementioned glass house perched on a hillside in Boulder, designed by New York architect Thomas Phifer.
8) TreeLine Homes
Website | 303.449.2371 | 1727 15th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302
With an experienced in-house team of project managers, master carpenters, and cabinet makers, TreeLine Homes has been building luxury custom homes and major remodels in Boulder County and the Front Range for more than 25 years. Derek Guarascio, a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in construction management, founded the company in 1994. TreeLine is a dedicated green builder and uses eco-friendly, efficient, and healthy building strategies and materials. They have experience with solar and geothermal heating and cooling systems and the latest cutting-edge sustainable building products and practices, and they have built and remodeled homes with net-zero energy consumption.
The custom home contractor’s work has been featured in Luxe Interiors + Design and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles. TreeLine’s gorgeous custom homes feature modern, artful craftsmanship; limestone, steel, and wood; glass NanaWall bifold doors; and custom cabinetry.
7) Beck Building Company
Website | 970.949.1800 | 780 Nottingham Road, Avon, CO 81620
Founded by Vail homebuilding pioneer Andy Beck in 1972, Beck Building Company is a leading Colorado builder of luxury homes with a fine balance of style and efficiency. The company is led by CEO Frank Payne and President Kevin O’Donnell. Payne has been with the company for nearly 40 years. O’Donnell, a graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in construction management, has been with the company since 1996.
Beck Building has offices in Vail, Basalt, and Lakewood. The company’s work has been featured in Colorado Homes, Dwell, Vail Valley Home, Luxe Interiors + Design, and elsewhere. They have received the Gold Seal from Luxe Magazine since 2012. On the sustainability front, the company is a moving force behind the switch to high energy standards in Boulder County. In 2014 the company worked with Stephen Sparn Architects on a home that generates 29 percent more energy than it uses. Beck Building received the national Chrysalis Award for Green Remodeling from Professional Remodeler Magazine and the American Builders Association (ABA).
6) Cottonwood Custom Builders
Website | 303.449.3076 | 4439 N. Broadway E, Boulder, CO 80304
Cottonwood Custom Builders’ founder and CEO Jeff Hindman, a Colorado native, is a passionate environmentalist and a leader in the state’s green building industry. A former campaign manager for environmental causes, Hindman started his company in 1995, before being green was trendy. The company uses the latest sustainable techniques and technologies to build stylish custom homes and renovations. A pioneer and expert in the use of local, renewable, non-toxic materials, as well as solar and geothermal energy, Hindman sits on the board of directors for the Colorado Green Building Guild.
The company has built several net zero homes in greater Boulder, some with negative Home Energy Rating System (HERS) ratings. This dedication to green and sustainable building extends throughout the company. Some Cottonwood project managers are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, while others have completed the Green Home Certificate at Colorado State University’s Center for the Built Environment. The company’s carpenters and project managers also receive training from the Colorado Green Building Guild and the National Home Builders Association (NAHB).
Website | 303.783.2100 | 2950 S. Fox Street, Englewood, CO 80110
A partnership among three Colorado building industry veterans, Cadre General Contractors has been building high-end custom homes and remodels in the greater Denver area since 1984. Partner Kevin Collins has been building for more than 40 years in his native Denver, while partner Mark Drexel grew up in the construction industry in nearby Boulder. Partner William “Rusty” Conway, also a Boulder native, started with Cadre as a trim carpenter and has been with the firm for more than 23 years.
The company’s work has been Featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Modern In Denver, Colorado Homes & Lifestyle, 5280 Home, and Luxe Interiors + Design. Cadre has an A+ rating from the BBB and has won awards from AIA, Custom Builder Magazine, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Cadre builds custom homes in some the Denver area’s high-end neighborhoods, including Belcaro and Cherry Hills Village, where the company completed an elegant 10,070-square-foot modern palace designed by Denver’s Boss Architecture.
4) Haley Custom Homes
Website | 303.601.9446 | 5211 S. Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
A high-end boutique home builder, Haley Custom Homes has built luxury homes for Colorado’s rich and famous in Denver, Boulder, Aspen, and Vail. Founded in 1998 by Dan Haley Fuller, the company builds three to five homes per year for prominent families and athletes. Dan Fuller started out as a flipper before moving into the high-end residential market. The company’s work has been featured in Luxe Magazine and on the magazine’s 2018 Gold List.
Their “South Hampton Home,” which transports a classic East Coast style to the Rocky Mountains, was a 2017 finalist for the Colorado Homes & Lifestyle Home of the Year. Haley Custom Homes is equally adept at the sleek elegance of modern and urban contemporary structures. Its eclectic portfolio of custom homes features some stunning details, including large windows, gorgeous brickwork and millwork, black steel frame, and wide open interiors. Haley Custom Homes is a member of the Colorado Home Building Association (CHBA), the NAHB, and the Colorado Association of Realtors.
3) RA Nelson
Website | 970.949.5152 | 51 Eagle Road #2, PO Drawer 5400, Avon, CO 81620
RA Nelson builds its share of astonishing mountainside mansions around Vail, but always with a focus on sustainable building practices and materials, and often in more out-of-the-way and hard-to-reach areas of the high country. Founded in 1976 by R.A. “Chupa” Nelson, the company has a staff of more than 90 and has offices in Avon and Carbondale. The contractor builds quality luxury custom homes and commercial projects in Vail, Beaver Creek, Snowmass, Breckenridge, Telluride, and elsewhere.
A member of US Green Building Council, RA Nelson has 13 LEED Certified staff members. The company is also a member of the the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA), the Colorado Association of Home Builders (CAH), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The company’s “Nine Pines Ranch” in Lake Creek is a wonderful example of high-end green homebuilding. The LEED Gold home has a high-performing building envelope, spray-foam insulation, and efficient sliding glass doors. The company’s president is Travis Bossow, a second-generation builder who grew up in the construction industry in Vail Valley.
2) Caliber Construction
Website | 877.859.6533 | 3201 Osage Street #100, Denver, Co 80211
Denver-based Caliber Construction owner Brad Liber is a passionate and talented contractor who has been building homes in his head since he was a kid, when he drew up fantasy floor plans around the kitchen table. Liber attended Colorado State University before starting Caliber Construction in 2006. The custom home builder works on luxury properties throughout the Denver metro area, including in the upscale Cory-Merrill neighborhood, where it headed up Denver Life Magazine’s Designer Showhouse in 2015.
Caliber recently worked with architect Chad Mitchell of Meridian 105 Architecture on a wonderful modern mashup in Denver’s hip Highlands District. The three-level contemporary mashup features a dramatic, geometric exterior with a wonderful mixture of cedar siding and galvanized metal. The high-perched master bedroom takes up the entire upper floor, reached by an open raw-steel staircase and kept private from the neighborhood by sitting above it all. The company’s work has been featured in Luxe Interiors + Design and on the Luxe Gold List.
1) Hansen Construction
Website | 970.920.1558 | 310 Aspen Business Center, Aspen, CO 81611
Hansen Construction has built some of the largest and most expensive luxury homes in Aspen, a place where sprawling, multimillion-dollar mountain palaces are the norm. Indeed, Hansen built one of the priciest homes in the world for Prince Bandar Al Saud. Hala Ranch, a 56,000-square-foot, 14-bedroom home in Vail, was once listed for $135M and sold in 2012 for $49M.
Founded by Steve Hansen in 1979, the company has worked on more than 200 projects in Aspen and Snowmass, including West End cottages, mountain showplaces, and retail spaces in Aspen’s famously upscale downtown. Hansen Construction, which has a A+ Rating from the BBB, won a 2017 Pacific Coast Builders Conference Gold Nugget Award of Merit for its work an amazing Aspen Park home designed by Charles Cuniffe Architects. The art deco-inspired, 15,000-square-foot, contemporary mountain home features 36 different species of wood, two glass elevators, and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Aspen Mountain.