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The 4 Common Redhill Forest Building Mistakes

Updated: Apr 20

Many architectural software design applications provide 3D renderings, which can be very helpful in envisioning the final design.

As a homeowner who designed and built in Redhill Forest and a member of the Architectural Committee for a year, I have some observations and ideas that may improve your construction experience and the value of your future home.

1. Incomplete applications

The Architectural Committee's number one past and present frustration is receiving incomplete applications. I’ve seen owners and contractors who seem to think this is not an important process. There’s much wasted time sending e-mails back and forth trying to get clarifications. It's crucial to remember that the committee members serve voluntarily, and incomplete applications can waste their valuable time.

As the standards and expectations for home construction in Redhill Forest continue to rise, so does the complexity of the Architectural Committee review process. To put this into perspective, in our previous community in Eagle County, the ACC packet was three times as extensive as Redhill’s, and a licensed architect review required a non-refundable fee of $ 1,000.  While that may be the future, the Redhill requirements remain modest today. It's essential to adhere to these standards to maintain the unique aesthetic of our community.

Surveys are encouraged over line drawing, and good photo examples of planned materials are helpful. Floor plans with elevation renderings and a tree removal plan are necessary.  The committee also wants to ensure you have the proper county permits and no outstanding dues or fees.

2. Unimaginative design

You can download a guide here to understand preferred architecture better. As you drive through Redhill, it’s pretty easy to spot architect-designed homes. More typical are homes built by a local contractor who “has some plans” or sketches out a tried-and-true design. Owners, thinking they can save $20,000 -$50,000 in architectural fees, feel that “it’s only a mountain cabin” and focus much more on interior room design than outside aesthetics.

I discuss this in much more detail in “The Dream House Book,” based on my Redhill homebuilding experience. If you expect to keep a legacy house in the family over the years, you’ll appreciate it more if it looks good as you drive up. If you think you’ll sell it in a decade (or sooner), a better-designed home will not only stand the test of time but also command a significantly better price, inspiring you to invest in imaginative design.

Good architects understand use and flow when designing livable floorplans.

Better-designed houses always outperform, but that doesn’t mean they have to be all that expensive. By bypassing big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowes (for both ideas and material purchases), I found a much better selection of products for the same or slightly more. If you buy generic products, you wind up with a generic home.

3. Cheap-looking doors and windows

Unless you go with a wood entry door, an insulated fiberglass door is one of the better choices for Redhill. They come in all price points and are usually white. Unpainted, even the most expensive doors look cheap. We chose to paint our doors black.

Black window frames and dark red painted doors blend nicely with the exterior siding.

The most common overhead garage door is a steel panel design. Again, the white door stands out when the rest of the house is painted a darker earth tone. Panel doors can look very tract-home, suburban. For a little more money, you can get steel doors with permanent color. That gives you a much better street-side look. If you nudge your budget a little more, go with an insulated product—especially if you’re going to heat the garage.

Avoid unpainted aluminum window trim and choose black or white products. White frames look attractive with dark green and gray house colors. Black goes with anything, drawing less attention to the home's architectural features.

On a $700,000 build, upgrading your door and window package over the generic building standard will probably add $3,000 - $5,000 to the cost. This cost will raise the home's curb appeal and resale price if properly chosen.

4. Annoying lighting

In our Eagle County neighborhood, dark sky lighting was a requirement. Redhill doesn’t require this, but it’s just a good neighbor practice to consider. Our old neighborhood rule was simple: if you can see the bulb, it’s the wrong fixture. I used a mixture of downlights in our soffits and sconces. I even found some cool driveway solar lights on Amazon that aimed down. However, I did place floodlights on the corners and driveway for security and work light (cleaning the deck off after an evening meal outside). The floods are only used for a short time.

Solar panel landscape lights and bollards keep light focused on the ground. On the far left, lighting under the soffit shines down, creating a welcoming glow for visitors.

Think ahead

Redhill is changing. The quality of designs and materials being used is becoming more upscale. There are fewer do-it-yourself builds and more contractor-built projects. Well-designed homes using good materials have better appreciation and resale value.

Don Cohen is a Denver native who has built several successful companies. He has worked on major economic development projects on the Front Range and Western slope and has forty years of experience investing in residential and commercial real estate. Don is an owner and former HOA board member at Redhill Forest. The Dream House Book chronicles his experience building his home.

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2 bình luận

Don, Your home in Redhill sets the standard for sure. It was well planned and shows it. We all want a great community but sometimes a entry level home is all a family can afford. Let's try to keep this a affordable area while maintaining our quality of our community. I love it up here, let's not Breckenridge our fairplay! Cheers jeff


William Fox
William Fox
21 thg 4

Hello Don. I find all of your articles to be very helpful and insightful. Thanks! Barbara and I will be out there again soon, and would like to connect up. Best, Bill

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