Animal Control and Shelter
Ph: (970) 668-3230
Summit County Assessor
The Summit County Assessor's Office
is charged with discovering, listing, classifying, and valuing all taxable real
and personal property.
Phone: (970) 453-3480
Building Inspection Department
Main office: (970) 668-3170
Clerk & Recorder
Main office: (970) 453-3470
Community Development (Building Dept.)
Phone: (970) 668-4203
Summit County Community & Senior Center
Phone: (970) 668-2940
The Summit County Community & Senior Center offers meeting-room and event rentals, volunteer opportunities, and a variety of senior services and programming.
Elections in Summit County
Call the Elections Division Directly:
Phone: (970) 453-3479
Summit County Finance Department
Ph: (970) 453-3434
Summit County Engineering Department
Environmental Health Department
Phone: (970) 668-4073
Building a Mountain Home in Colorado
Things to Consider
When Buying Land
If you have selected a few possible properties, think about the location of the land. Will this property be able to fit the needs of a house? Work with your realtor or your custom home builder to find out:
The number of access roads leading into your property—is there only one way in and one way out? When choosing a property, is it accessible all year round or only part of the year? When choosing location is the availability of services and amenities.
If there is enough square footage potential for the home that you want. If you have access to utility services like water, septic, and electricity. If the property is properly zoned for residential use.
Zoning and Setbacks
When buying land make sure you check zoning and what is ok to build on it, as well as any other structures you were thinking of adding, like maybe a barn, or shed. No matter where you plan to build, it is important to be familiar with the zoning and setbacks for your lot. Some neighborhoods also have covenants or design guidelines that must be considered.
Snow Removal and Road Maintenance
Find out who is responsible for snow removal and road maintenance in your neighborhood. In many areas, the city or county will plow the roads. If you build in a more remote area, it is important that you understand good chances you might have to dig your own way out should it be from a snow storm or strong winds causing snow drifts. We learnt our first year a tractor was needed to moving snow just from our long driveway to the main road.
Topography and Soils
Soils in Colorado can vary greatly, even within a small area. One lot might have excellent soil conditions while the lot right next door suffers from expansive soils, which increase the cost of building. Steep sites may require extensive excavation and fill. Once you start building, if the builder encounters rock formations as they are trying to dig the foundation, may require dynamite to clear out the rocks to be able to do a foundation.
Where will your utilities come from?
City or community system, there will probably be tap fees. If you are in an area that requires a well, you will need to get a permit in order to drill. Just how deep will they have to go, and if they don't find water, cost of drilling on another spot. If a local utility company provides service to properties in the vicinity, check with them and make sure no underground service lines cross your property. If they do, determine their location before you start boring a well.
Many areas do have access to natural gas. There will be a tap
fee to hook it up. If not available many people choose to use propane, which can be delivered to the home. Look into size of Propane bottle and what fees they charge for propane,delivery, should you lease a bottle or buy one, and where the propane bottle should be on your property, consider the people who deliver propane, will they be able to access it easily enough even in winter
Has electricity already been run to your street or lot? No matter how close it is located, there will be a fee to connect it. If electricity has not been run to your street, you will need to pay to have it brought to your property. Timing varies, so ask the utility company how long it will take them to do this. Off Grid, meaning electricity can not be brought straight to your property, and you must consider alternative power
Most areas have sewer system available, or will you have to install a septic system? If there is a sewer system, find out how much you will need to pay to hook up to it. This will depend on size of your home, bedrooms, baths, etc. this will determine the fee. If installing a septic system. Before you close on the purchase of your lot, it is a good idea to make sure the land will be able to handle the septic system, do a perc test.
Budgeting for a Home-Stay on Track
Establish a budget.
When making your budget, of course you'll begin with what you can afford, and how the cost of your house fits in with your overall plans for the future. When you're ready to get down to details, include everything that will go into the project: the cost of the land, local fees and taxes, design and engineering fees, construction of not just the home but the landscape, not to mention decorating the new house.
Choose your Architect designer to plan your home.
Making suggestions to keep the budget in check. An architect’s assistance can include suggesting appealing, cheaper alternatives to pricey finishes you like; recommending features worth spending on and places to save; and helping you anticipate costs you might not be
aware of. (Note: Time equals money—if you’re paying to rent somewhere else and you’re paying mortgage for the place under construction, that dual housing cost can lead to big budget overruns if the renovation falls behind deadline.)
Its best really to hire a professional architect designer, preferably local area, who will know the area well, when it comes to designing a home there. Always smart to get everything in writing too.
By getting a professional home designer can help protect you through the many of the challenges of building a mountain home. Things like high winds, damp weather, making sure your home is built right, good set of plans make it easier for the builder & the bank.
Get a Bid
Now take your plans to a builder, in fact take it to several and see what numbers come up to having your house built. If above the budget you had tried to stay with, then go back to your architect and see what ways you can come up with to reduce that cost.
Location. If you build in a remote location, the chances are that your builders will charge you more for the pleasure of the longer drive and other situations that occur as a result of being farther away from resources. Just another factor to consider.
Contingency Budget for Unexpected Costs
Your contingency budget is your safety net. It’s the money you set aside to cover unexpected costs during construction. Subtract this amount from the total budget and reserve it for future use. Do not allocate this one on other items in your budget as this is your insurance against project risks or uncertainties.
How to Choose a Builder
1. Ask someone you know who has recently done work with a general Contractor. Ask them about their experience and if they would recommend their GC to you.If you walk into someone's home and love the work you see, just ask them who worked on their home! That's a good place to start. But if your just moving into the area, then take maybe a different approach. When talking to a builder, ask to visit other properties the builder has worked on. You may want to ask the owners what they thought of that builder.
Questions to Ask
You are looking for a strong recommendation for a contrator who has worked on a quality project, from start to finish. You are also looking for a client who is satisfied.
Are they happy with the work that was done, and are they loving their new home, have they had any issues since they moved in??
Did the project stay on track, particularly in area under the contractor's control? Did the contrator offer ideas oh how a client could save money?
Was the schedule realistic and was the work completed in a reasonable amount of time? Just remember building in one area like in the city may go faster then when buillding in the mountains.
Did they get a warranty should anything go wrong? And if an issue had occured, did they come out to fix the problem?
A reputable, licensed builder is a must. Before you begin your search, figure out how much you can afford. Most companies will require proof of pre-approval from a bank or mortgage lender.
Be clear about your must-have features to be sure your prospective builder can provide them.
Verify experience. Ask how long the company has been in business and how many homes they’ve built. You can also ask to see examples of their work.
Check credentials. Ask for proof of licenses and insurance information. Licensing requirements vary depending on your location and the size of the project. Check state-by-state licensing requirements. Then verify your prospective specialist has the right ones for the size and scope of your project. Call the issuing insurance agencies to verify the information is accurate and up to date.
Ask about warranties. An insured third party should provide home warranties. That way, even if your pro goes out of business, you’re still covered. You should also ensure the builder will transfer warranties for fixtures and appliances purchased as part of the contract.
Take a tour. The best example of a company’s work is one of its existing units. Tour a model unit and a job site, and pay attention to materials, workmanship, and safety.
Ways to go Eco-Friendly Tips & Building Materials
1. Build Smaller
A smaller house is going to be much better for the environment than a large one. This is not to say that a big house can’t be energy-efficient, but a smaller home will have a smaller environmental impact. Be thoughtful about how you use your space. Square footing should be considered an investment—don’t just build out in every direction.
Metal roofs- are a great investment because of their longevity – they can last 50 years or more. This doesn’t even begin to account for them being eco-friendly. Not only can they be made from recycled content, and fully recycled after their useful life, but their construction reflects heat. This can help keep energy costs down. Choosing a lighter color material often yields the best results.
Slate Roof-Even more durable than metal, slate tiles can still be seen today on many historic homes, as they are designed to last upwards of 100 years. This longevity is one of the many reasons why homeowners choose slate over other materials. Additional advantages include beauty and fire resistance. Reclaimed or salvaged slate tile roofing materials are your greenest option. Like metal, light colors will reflect heat.
Cedar Shakes-It’s hard to beat the appearance of wood. However, to ensure you’re getting a green product, you’ll want to look for wood that has been sourced from sustainable managed forests. These products will be FSC-certified. The downside to cedar shakes and other types of wood shingles is that they are not very fire resistant and aren’t very durable. They will typically need to be replaced after 15-20 years.
3.Work with Your Surroundings
When choosing or building your home, it’s important you take the surrounding landscape into consideration. A typical transformation many homeowners make is removing trees from their plot. Don’t cut down trees—use them to your ability.
Things can use to help :
Find and plant trees, flowers, and shrubs native to your region. For small animals in your yard, use plants such as barrier hedges to create habitats for creatures. Try hardscapes as opposed to turf for outdoor reduce water usage. Environmentally friendly materials such as permeable pavers.
4.Utilize Solar Power & Geothermal Heat
Solar energy is a big deal—it’s one of the ultimate sources for clean and low-cost energy. If you’re building your home, you have the opportunity to plan for solar power in ways that older homes did not. Think about where to position your home and its solar panels so that you’re getting the biggest impact; Project Sunroof can help you do just this.
Geothermal goes kind of hand-in-hand with solar energy, in that it moves heat around (sustaining the energy) rather than creating it by combustion. Basically, it is an eco-friendly alternative for an HVAC system that uses natural heat sources to either warm up or cool down your home.
In the most basic sense, having multi-functional rooms means fewer rooms that need heating, cooling, and lighting requirements.
High Performance Windows, Low-E, insulated windows offer less energy loss.
Look for certifications and ratings. Always use windows that are at least ENERGY STAR approved, and get products with other designations if possible. Also, look for windows with high R-values and/or low U-values.
Siding-Vinyl siding on exsterior walls saves money on installation & maintenance. Cement siding is termite & water resistance.
Insulation-Increasing the amount and R Value of insulation is a cost effective way to save energy and help reduce heating & cooling bills, which accounts for at least half of the energy used in the home. Blown Cellulose or Spray foam insulation types completely fill wall & ceiling cavities.
Heating-High efficiency HVAC units use less energy and have lower operating cost. On demand hot water systems such as Rannai tankless water heaters heat only the water you need instead of storing hot water.
Conserve water with duo flush toliets,water saving faucets and rain sensors for lawn sprinking.
Benefits Of Using Solar
Provides Energy Without Toxic Emissions
Reduces Air Pollution
It Doesn’t Only Save Your Money But It Can Help You Earn
You Some -The demand of solar energy is getting more popular
because of the high prices of electric bills. Utility companies buy
excess solar energy from the people whose solar panels produce
more electricity than their consumption.
Many areas say Solar panels add value to your home. Installed solar
panels on your home attract potential buyers, if you are selling your
property. This is because installed panels are regarded as upgrades.
In addition, it also adds value because of the benefits it brings.
Who does not want a house with a solar panel system, if you know
that it can help you save money from utility bills
Types of Solar Energy & Solar Power
Active Solar Energy
Converting the solar energy into useful energy using mechanical devices, collection, storage and distribution of energy to be used in the future
Passive Solar Energy
Is the type of harnessing the sun without the use of mechanical devices. Using sun-facing windows to get natural lighting and heat the homes
Solar Thermal Energy
This Energy is used to satisfy heating needs by capturing the energy of the sun for heating applications such as water or swimming pools. Solar thermal power can be used for traditional heating.