Addition & Remodeling Contractors in Denver, CO
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Denver's Booming Remodeling Industry
Business is bustling for remodelers and builders. Nationally, the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) remains strongly above 50 in the last few years. The RMI uses surveys of remodelers to determine the overall health of the remodeling industry. This is based on factors such as actual jobs being done, bids being called for, backlogs of work, and appointments for proposals, among other remodeling-related factors.
Locally, Denver has been projected to hit an index score of 115.6 based on projected population growth, new construction, and repairs, but discounting repairs or projects priced at under $500.00.
Table of Contents:
- Popular Additions & Remodels in Denver
- Local Licensing & Insurance
- Hot Neighborhoods in Denver
Popular Additions & Remodeling Trends in Denver
When it comes to additions and remodels, Denver has something in common with the rest of the nation; kitchens and bathrooms are still king. Coming in with national average ROIs of 66% to 80%, only the steel front door upgrade for your house tops them at 91%. When the market is hot, these are the easy go-to spots for upgrades and remodels.
However, Denver has a mind of its own when it comes to remodels and additions. Here are the top ten remodels and additions for Denver and their ROIs as of 2015:
- Steel entry door replacement, ROI 112.5%
- Stone veneer accent, ROI 81.9%
- Attic bedroom remodel, ROI 80.9%
- Wood deck addition, ROI 80.8%
- Garage door replacement, ROI 80.4%
- Minor kitchen remodel, ROI 79.7%
- Fiberglass entry door replacement, ROI 76.6%
- Wood window replacement, ROI 75.1%
- Vinyl window replacement, ROI 74.7%
- Basement remodel or composite deck addition, both ROI 70.8%
High Returns in Denver
To make sure they have a house that will sell (or rent), sellers in Denver are remodeling homes and making additions in order to get a buyer’s attention. There is something quirky about the Denver area flipping market, though. While fewer people are flipping houses, the profit margin on a flip has stayed strong, around 30% or so.
- Rentals in Denver are generally up by volume, but down by profit margin, less than 6%.
- Home sales are down about 13% in Denver, but this is due to a tight inventory. The average price of the sale, however, is up 4%. They’re taking an average 21 days to sell, which is currently one of the fastest rates in the country.
- Of 7,561 homes listed in May 2015, about two thirds of them sold that same month.
What this means for real estate is that the Denver market is hot. If you take all of the most popular remodels and additions into account, you stand to make about an 88% ROI. But buyers have their own concerns and priorities, so choose your remodels carefully. Anything that adds livable space is seen as a plus. You still need to be careful, though. An attic bedroom has an ROI in the Denver area of a good 80.9%. A home office or den, on the other hand, has one of the worst ROIs of any remodel you can make, getting back only about 50%, more or less.Return to Top
One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner makes when deciding to do a remodel or addition is not learning what licenses and insurance are required. Sometimes a person has moved from one region to another and just assumes that the requirements are the same. They don’t realize that the requirements for contractors can vary widely from state to state and even from city to city.
Different projects will require different kinds of contractors. It depends on the kind of work being done. The most common contractors needed for remodeling or additions are:
- General contractor
- Electrical contractor
- Plumbing contractor
A general contractor oversees an entire construction project, using subcontractors to handle specific work. You wouldn’t need a general contractor to have new cabinetry hung, but you would need one if you were adding another entire floor to your house, a project which encompasses new electrical and plumbing work at the least.
General contractors are not licensed by the state of Colorado. The city of Denver does require a general contractor to have a license, however. Before they can get a license, Denver requires a contractor to hold a trade-specific supervisor certificate, or they must employ someone who does.
An electrical contractor specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of electrical systems. Any new electrical work or modification to the existing electrical system will require an electrical contractor.
Electrical contractors are licensed by the Colorado State Electrical Board. The city of Denver requires an electrical contractor to have a state license before they can be licensed to work within Denver.
A plumbing contractor specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of plumbing systems. They differ from plumbers in that a plumber is usually focused on repair and maintenance. You wouldn’t need to call a plumbing contractor to unplug your toilet, but you would need to call one to install a new bathroom.
Plumbing contractors are licensed by the Examining Board of Plumbers in Denver. Like electrical contractors, they are required to have a state license before they can be licensed to work within Denver.
Depending on the scope of your project, you may need other contractors such as carpenters, framers, gas pipe installers, or architects, to name a few. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies can help you find out if your contractor is licensed or not.Return to Top
Every contractor in Colorado is required to have a certain amount of insurance. They should be forthcoming with the information if you ask. If they try to avoid answering, do not hire that contractor. A good contractor will carry at least the following as required by law:
- Public Liability Insurance
- Minimum $150,000.00 per person
- Minimum $600,000.00 per accident
- Public Property Damage
- Minimum $100,000.00 per accident
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance
- Surety Bond for Right-of-Way licenses
- $5,000.00, good for one year
Denver’s real estate market is hot, but some neighborhoods are hotter than others. If you want to know where the best places are with the most remodels or remodel potential, here are the places to look:
- Capitol Hill
- Capitol Hill is one of the most cosmopolitan neighborhoods in Denver. There are many restaurants, clubs, stores, concert venues, and other cultural amenities. Buildings are mostly historic mansions, apartments, condos, and offices. The Coburn Hotel on Grant Street was once the residence of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, thus giving the area a long-time reputation as a bohemian haven.
- Capitol Hill is next to two major Denver parks, Cheesman Park and Civic Center Park. Both parks are known for hosting many community festivals throughout the year.
- City Park
- The City Park neighborhood is named for City Park, one of the oldest public spaces in Denver. The bulk of the neighborhood is taken up by the park, leaving a residential area only two blocks wide but a mile long.
- The southwest corner of City Park contains East High School and the City Park Esplanade, which is sometimes seen as an extension of the park itself. The eastern part of the neighborhood is also known as the Bluebird district, so named due to the Bluebird Theater on Colfax and other urban developments in the area.
- Denver University
- University is a Denver neighborhood dominated by the Denver University. As with most university neighborhoods, local buildings and businesses cater to the students. With coffee houses, fast-casual restaurants and bars, University is also home to a host of cultural and sporting events, shopping, and recreation.
- Residences range from small bungalows to grand estates. There are even some mid-century ranch homes making the area around Observatory Park an eclectic mix of architecture.
- Downtown is truly “where the action is”. With a mix of business, arts, entertainment, shopping, dining, and other recreation, a good public transportation system makes life here not only possible but thriving.
- Homes are often old office spaces re-invented as apartments, condos, and high-rises. With so much within easy walking distance, cars are largely optional for the Downtown resident.
- Platt Park
- Developers have rediscovered this part of Denver, and new construction and remodeling is attracting a lot of young families. This is attracting more small businesses to cater to them. Many older homes in this area are being remodeled for 21st century comforts and conveniences while maintaining their old century charm.
- University Hills
- Winding streets and the meandering Highline Canal combine with the Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Park to give the University Hills neighborhood a quiet, pastoral feel. Light rail stops at I-25 and Yale grant easy access to Downtown and the Denver Tech Center. Most homes here are mid-1950s ranch-style homes, making this neighborhood feel like an oasis of calm in the middle of a bustling, thriving city.
- Washington Park
- Also known as “Wash Park”, the tree-lined streets and 161 acre park that gives this neighborhood its name makes this a very popular place to live in Denver. The park offers lakes, recreation, gardens, a playground, and hiking trails, while nearby restaurants allow ample opportunity for a night out. Nearby light rail grants easy access to the rest of the city. Homes here are older, often historic, establishing a sense of pride and history.
Conclusion: The Denver Market
The Denver market is hot right now. Some people wonder if it’s a bubble that is due to burst. Professionals in the real estate market agree that all good things must come to an end some day, but current trends and past performance indicators hint that the Denver boom still has miles in it. If you intend to remodel for sale or rent, now is the time to do it!Return to Top
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