Frequently Asked Questions

Our years of experience and expertise allow you to know what to expect up-front. 

Why should I build with Somrak Concept + Structure?

Somrak Concept + Structure together with Somrak Interiors is a premier full-service custom home builder in Crested Butte. We are a family run business and have a deep commitment to Client satisfaction, often creating life long relationships and friendships with our Clients. We have a reputation for unmatched quality and the service we provide is a result of our dedication to the highest industry standards. We are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the design-build experience and love creating beautiful, thoughtful and functional spaces for families, each unique to and representative of their personal lifestyle. Alongside our Team of highly skilled Project Managers, Carpenters, Craftsman and Subcontractors we aim to deliver an enjoyable home building and design experience that always goes above and beyond expectations.

Core Values:

1. Accountability through clear communication and transparency

2. Dedication to Client satisfaction

3. Unmatched Quality

4. Honesty & Humility

5. Hard Work & Team Collaboration

6. Empathetic approach to doing business both financially and ethically

7. Strong passion for the trade and continuous learning

Why does it seem to cost so much to build in Crested Butte?

Very common question and there are many factors that contribute to the overall equation; the easiest answer is: supply and demand, location and talent. Think of Crested Butte as it’s own little island slice of Paradise. A small mountain Town that is difficult to get to, which means all of the materials and supplies have a long way to travel before they get here. We have highly skilled subcontractors and employees who chose to ditch their old normal and high-end professional lifestyles and move to Crested Butte to mix in a great life with their trade. You’ll find all of our employees and subcontractors to be much more than your typical ‘run of the mill’ tradesman you get in larger cities and labor pools. Everyone is a true artisan and gets paid accordingly. All of our subcontractors and employees are trained, legal, local, and talented craftsmen – all highly dedicated to their final product. The current building climate in Crested Butte is also a driving factor – we have an extremely low supply of existing homes on the market for sale, low supply of buildable lots and high buyer market demand because a lot more people are starting to realize they could live and work in a place they love and are wanting to get out of the cities. People are starting to think, “Hey! I could live in CB?!?! I’m IN!”

How much does it cost to build in Crested Butte?

The million dollar question, right?!?! Simple answer would be: more than other places! (Although, we are still perhaps one of the most affordable Colorado ski towns to build, and get your foot in the door). It all depends on your specific piece of property and the type of home you envision. It should always be part of your due diligence when considering property to ask a builder to join you on site (Ben and Kate do this frequently for potential Clients.) The floor seems to be around $600 per square foot nowadays – although of course there are ways to achieve cost savings and the sky is the limit for your dream home. The difference can be found in the quality of the build, the finishes of the home (stone, countertops, tile, etc.), its complexity, and perhaps most importantly, the site conditions. We base our cost per square foot prices on the ENTIRE square footage of the home that is under cover/roof and can sometimes include heated outdoor living space square footage (if extensive). Typically, it includes garages, covered decks, heated patios and living space. This is really important to consider the square footage as a whole when designing your home. For example: a 3,000 square foot home with a 500 square foot covered patio and 750 square foot two-car garage that will cost $600 per square foot is calculated to be 3,000 + 500 + 750 = 4,250 x $600 = $2,550,000 total build cost.

Do you prefer to design the projects you build?

We enjoy cooking from our own recipe more than anything because we know the efficiencies we can achieve. Our pencils and computers solve all of the questions and issues before they become an expensive problem in the field. We design cost savings into our jobs and know your budgetary goals up front while we are drawing – not the other way around – which is many times a project killer when the design gets put in place before a budget is discussed. All that said, we are open to and continue to build many projects that are designed by outside architects and so long as we are working with the architect during the design phase, we can achieve many of the same efficiencies in the field.

Will you build a design from an outside Architect?

Yes, many times we will work hand in hand with the chosen architect to help design our proven efficiencies into the job. We enjoy being involved as early as possible in the process. If not, we will certainly take a set of finalized plans and make them a beautiful reality. We have a handful of select architects that we prefer working with and are happy to recommend, should our architectural design services not be the right fit for your particular project.

Do you have actual employees?

We do. A mixed staff of office, designers, metal workers, excavators, and carpenters comprise our carefully crafted “A” team – Crew23 – to represent us in high regard and create incredible projects. Our employees are paid well with benefits because they are the lifeblood of the business and no matter whom you deal with; you will be greeted by a positive and fun attitude!

How many projects do you typically have at one time?

Depending on timing, we will typically have anywhere between 3-5 projects going at once. By limiting the number of homes we take on every year, we are able to work closely with each Client on design and ensure quality standards are met through all phases of the project. We have a dedicated Project Manager and a highly skilled Team in place on each project to ensure focus on ALL of the finer details of building and designing your custom home, ensuring we are consistently in line with achieving our Core Values.

What is the process to get going on a project?

First, we want to meet you to discuss your goals and ideas!  This is best done on the property that you are considering for new construction or remodeling. We have three phases that will get you to a clear finish line: Pre-Construction, Design and Build.

Pre-Construction: Here we will take the time to get to know YOU! We can assist in the due diligence process, help conceptualize your project and either begin the architectural design process or point you in the direction of a local architect.  We will begin preparing preliminary estimates and discussing your budget and design goals. We respect the financial commitment required to build a custom home and at this phase we really like to understand your needs and lifestyle to ensure we can meet and exceed your expectations.

Design: This can mean architectural design services if you decide to go with us to draw your custom home OR interior design services (which comes into play later in the process). If you choose to work with another architect or designer, Totally OK! We still like to be involved early on and can often achieve efficiencies and design goals working collaboratively as one big Team. If you’d like to work with us on drawing your home, we would begin by getting to know you better – understand your lifestyle and how you live in your home. How can we make your life easier or how can we make spaces in your home function better to meet your needs? We would build your wishlist coupled with ideas and concepts that make sense for you – and put pen to paper! (AKA the computer screen :))

Design – Build: Here is where we truly excel! Custom home design and build go hand in hand. At this point, we would have a set of construction documents ready for build (either provided through us or an outside architect) and we would finalize the construction cost estimate, align budget goals and begin building! We would implement the interior design phase of the build and discuss the overall design concept, digging deep to again find what matters most to you and to ensure we create something beautiful that is a reflection of you and your family! We dive further into your goals and create a plan for each space within your home and begin the process for selecting interior finishes (the fun part!) and coordination of install through project finish out. This ensures that the vision is cohesive and that you are on board every step of the way!

Throughout the course of building your home, we deliver digital photos to you daily to keep you more in tune with jobsite progress. Our project Team meets weekly to discuss the status of your project in terms of specifics on design or construction. This helps keep everyone on the same page with construction progress and allows for better communication and collaboration from the beginning to the end in the process of delivering your custom home!

We found a lot on a hillside, does this add cost?

Big-time, in most cases! The slope of a property will mean everything to the design, engineering, and construction of the home. Many times people will buy into a steep property because it is less money up-front. Don’t be fooled though, you will usually save all of that money you spent on the flat lot up front in the excavation and foundation phases.

“The remodeling of this 1893 historic home in Crested Butte was our second project with Somrak Concept and Structure, Inc. We are return customers for a myriad of reasons, however, our complete trust in Ben’s integrity was why we chose to undertake this large scale remodel. We only observed the project in person twice over a 5 month span and arrived to find the home completed in a manner beyond our expectations, on time and within the budget we had discussed. Somrak created an atmosphere that bred complete confidence in the quality of his work and unparalleled attention to detail throughout the process. His understanding of the building process is deep and the quality of craftsmanship throughout the house is awe inspiring. Ben Somrak is the best we have ever worked with and receives our full and complete endorsement to those looking to engage a contractor in the Crested Butte area.”
– Derek and Stephanie L. from Texas
“Somrak Concept and Structure and it’s president Ben Somrak should be considered for any project large and small ranging from design to a full construction package. For us, he contributed to the design, kept us on budget and made some great recommendations as the project progressed on a difficult mountain lot and his follow up was beyond reproach. His choice of his regular employees and subcontractors was on the mark. Interim billing was very clear and explained totally when we had questions. Bottom line is that should we embark on another project, Ben Somrak would do it.”
– Don and Missy B. from North Carolina
“I hired Somrak Concept and Structure Inc. to add three bedrooms to a home we purchased in Mt. Crested Butte in October of 2013. Ben Somrak did the architectural design work and managed the construction. Be and his sub-contractors were professional, timely and respectful during the process as much of the time we were occupying the house. Ben had great ideas and solved several existing problems which were out of his scope of responsibility. They were on time and matched the quality of the existing custom home. Ben was a pleasure to work with and best of all, he was under budget! I would give Somrak Concept and Structure Inc. my highest recommendation.”
– Mark W. from Houston
“Ben Somrak and the Somrak team were fantastic to work with throughout the process. We purchased a Mountain home which was in need of a full updated renovation. We met with Ben and shared our vision of the transformation we were targeting. Ben was a great partner throughout sharing ideas from previous projects, looking for opportunities to repurpose existing items in the home and keeping us informed from afar throughout the project. Ben works with top notch sub-contractors and has a keen eye for detail. He demands excellence from his team and works with only the highest quality partners. Our home was recently featured in Crested Butte News highlighting the transformation. We could not be more pleased with the outcome and look forward to enjoying many years on the Mountain in our fantastic “New” Home.”
– Dirk W. and Louise P. from California
“Somrak provides the ultimate environment of trust and transparency every owner wants when building a house or doing remodeling. The attention to detail and craftsmanship delivered were top notch as it can be seen in our project pictures.”
– Eduardo and Kimberly M. from Indiana
“From design to final product, Ben Somrak and his team have been great to work with. His attention to detail and professionalism is top-notch. He kept us on budget and was able to turn our visions into reality. Every detail exceeded our expectations. He delivered an amazing home that is better than we ever could have imagined.”
– Cindy G. from Boulder
“We had the pleasure of working with Ben during the design phase and Jeremy during the construction phase. In short, it was a very smooth process with very few hiccups. When we first met with Ben, he took a lot of time to really understand our needs and goals for our home. His first draft of our plans were 90% on target. After a few rounds of minor revisions, it was time to hand the project off to Jeremy to break ground.
We broke ground on August 19, 2015 and received our certificate of occupancy on April 4, 2016. Needless to say, we were very pleased with that timeline, especially considering we built throughout the winter. Jeremy is probably the most organized person we have worked with. We never waited on subs or suppliers and he managed the timeline perfectly. Quality-wise, we are extremely happy with the final product. When Jeremy turned over the keys, the house was complete and ready for move in. Any minor issues that came up after we moved in were dealt with very quickly.
Building a home can be very stressful, and we would be lying if we said there were not stressful moments. But Ben and Jeremy minimized those stressful moments and made the process fun and enjoyable. As it should be! We completed the project ahead of schedule and on budget. What more can you ask for!
We recommend Somrak Concept and Structure enthusiastically and without reservation. If you would like to speak with us directly, feel free to get our contact information from Ben or Jeremy.”
– Chad and Shelby M. from Crested Butte
“Ben designed and built our home in 2010-2011. He was under budget and completed the project 2 months ahead of schedule. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him.”
– Jesse and Nina W. from Crested Butte
“I view Ben as one of the most talented, outstanding young and upcoming contractors in the north end of the Gunnison Valley.”
– David O. from Illinois
“Ben has approached this job with total commitment and enthusiasm. He clearly loves what he does, and is determined to deliver a great product. He has been creative, flexible, and responsive throughout. In those situations where he could have cut corners, he hasn’t, and the cabin is a testament to this attention to detail and quality. The cabin is a little masterpiece – it was thoughtfully designed and beautifully constructed. The end product far, far exceeds our expectations.”
– Seth N. and Priscilla N. from New York
“Our realtor introduced us to Ben in the summer of 2012 when we found a Crested Butte property that looked like it had potential. Ben met with us at the property and explained his vision of how the place could be remodeled. As we walked through the unit, Ben’s exuberant personality and obvious experience got us very excited to begin the demolition. Since we live in Texas and would not visit the job site until completion, Ben communicated with us via email and telephone, sending us pictures as often as he could of the progress.
Three grueling months later, our Colorado home was complete. Ben’s attention to detail, his desire to make things “perfect,” and all of the local artisan subcontractors he uses resulted in a beautiful finished product. We would highly recommend Somrak Concept & Structure for any construction project.”
– Dave and Diana P. from Texas
“Ben is a first rate craftsman. His work and what he expects out of others is nothing short of excellence. He was such a pleasure to work with on our condo remodel. With us living out of state, we counted on him for the success of the project. He exceeded our expectations. He sent pictures regularly to keep us updated on the progress, remained conscientious of spending, and came in under our projected budget, all while maintaining top quality. When we came up to see the final result, he was as excited and as proud of his work as we were to see it. We are pleased we chose Ben for this project and highly recommend him.”
– Barry E. from Texas
“It was an absolute pleasure working with Ben and the SCS team on our expansion and renovation project. Ben operates in a totally professional and transparent manner with excellent communications. Most important is his absolute commitment to the delivery of the highest quality end product to meet the customer’s desires. Every detail of our project met or exceeded our expectations. A major driver for this result is that Ben is very hands on and pays a high level of attention to the details of the construction for his crew as well as for his sub-contractors. He is very conscientious towards the homeowners needs and watches the budget as if it were his own money being spent. We are totally pleased with the overall project results along with the process to get there. I am 100% confident in recommending Ben for any level of project.”
– Bob and Lisa S. from Massachusetts
“In 2011, we decided to make a huge life change and move to Crested Butte. With that change, came a lot of decision-making pressures and stresses. We bought a home that was solid, but needed updating. Ben was the first General Contractor we met through our realtor, and ended up being the only one. We immediately trusted and liked him. Over the years, we’d worked with many general contractors on other homes, and had become bitter and skeptical. Ben changed that for us, both in his initial consultations and as evident in the final product in our home. He listened to what we wanted, and was open to feedback. We highly and wholeheartedly recommend Ben and his crew (Jeremy Erikson was a blessing as well!).”
– Cory and Beverly T. from Everywhere
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