Builders hope to give buyers a sense of community (and a nice home)
It’s fun to see the light bulb that bursts to life when a builder goes from being an Energy Star skeptic to an Energy Star believer. Chris Colman, who has worked with his son, Silas, on numerous construction projects across the valley, became an Energy Star convert this winter while the finish work was being done on several homes in Copper Creek, the Colmans’ new subdivision off 25 Road south of G Road.
Because the homes were built to Energy Star standards, they had 2X6 walls, with added blown-in cellulose insulation, extra caulking and air sealing around joints, light fixtures and outlets. The HVAC systems weren’t yet up and running, however, so the homes had no heat. A small propane heater was able to keep the homes more comfortable than the 1970s-era home Chris owns on Orchard Mesa, which can be drafty and cold, in spite of a working heater.
“The houses sold me,” Chris said about Energy Star. He’s also sold on the rating system and what that means for homeowners.
“We’re at a really good number,” he said about the most recent home to be completed in the subdivision, which earned a 58. With HERS and Energy Star, the lower the score, the better. A home that scores a HERS of 100 means that its projected energy costs would be the same as a home built according to today’s standard building codes. A home that scores 120 would come with energy costs that are 20 percent higher. A home that scores 58 would have energy costs that are 42 percent less.
These numbers aren’t just guesstimates or wishful thinking, but are the results of better building practices and testing done on the house by an independent, third-party auditor during construction and when the home is finished.
In addition to building a neighborhood full of comfortable, energy-efficient homes, the Colmans are committed to creating a neighborhood with a sense of community. The 25 homes all have large, covered front porches and fully landscaped front yards. There is a community garden that will have raised garden beds for every homeowner. The father and son team built the neighborhood with hopes that they could create a place where neighbors would know and support each other.
Home buyers also have an opportunity to support orphanages in the third world when they buy a home at Copper Creek. The Colmans have been involved in mission work for decades and actively support the Alkare Foundation, a Grand Junction organization that supports orphanages in Mexico and Zambia. Many of the subcontractors working at Copper Creek, as well as the Colmans, have pledged to donate a portion of their profits to the Alkare Foundation whenever a house is sold.
A caring community is wonderful, but when buyers are evaluating a new home, the house itself matters, too, and the homes at Copper Creek don’t disappoint. From the street, the homes are welcoming and bright, with those great front porches and landscaped front yards. Rather than the ho-hum standard stucco and stone in muted earth tones, the homes’ exterior siding is a fiber cement siding painted in a two-tone scheme. The roofs also offer a touch of colorful whimsy, with a small section of the house having a colorful metal roof.
Inside, the homes are spacious, with tall ceilings and open living areas. Flooring is hardwood throughout the homes except in the carpeted bedrooms and tiled baths. In the kitchen, granite countertops, tile back splashes and stainless steel appliances are standard.
Depending on the floor plan, some homes have offices and bonus rooms in addition to the three bedrooms.
The master suites all have a five-piece master bath and beautiful tile work. In the second bath of many of the homes there is a pocket door to separate the bath area from the sink, and there are two sinks in many of the homes, which is a great idea when children have to share a bathroom.
There are currently three different floor plans available in the subdivision, but a fourth plan will be available soon. The smallest home in the subdivision has 1,640 square feet, while the largest two-story has 2,770 square feet. Homes can also be customized to buyers’ specifications.
This is the Colmans’ first subdivision, and they’re committed to doing it right and giving their buyers a home that works and will appreciate over time.
“We’re here in the subdivision every day,” Silas said. “We know what’s going on.”
When complete, the subdivision will have 25 homes. Currently, one home has closed, with homeowners already moved in; another home is under contract, two are available for sale and another pre-sold is under construction. Dave Kimbrough with RE/MAX 4000 is the listing agent for the subdivision. Current home prices range between $269,900 and $309,900.