Living the Dream on Dutch Ridge Ranch: Part 2

dutch ridge ranch Tim Lesha truck of lavender

In Part 1 of this series, we introduced you to husband and wife Tim and Lesha, and the vision they have for their ranch in Livermore, Colorado.

dutch ridge ranch barn cabin custom home under construction by HighCraft Builders

Over the past four years, HighCraft has been closely working with this incredible couple to transform their parcel of raw land into a thriving homestead, complete with guest cabin, livestock barn, storage shed and custom home.

“This is the big finale,” HighCraft co-founder Dwight Sailer said about building Tim and Lesha’s forever home, which is starting to take shape (see above). From digging and pouring the foundation, to framing walls and setting trusses, today’s photo gallery shares the steady progress to date.


custom home trackhoe digging foundation progress photos

We’ve come a long way from the ceremonial groundbreaking to the home’s fully excavated foundation (above).

custom house builder northern colorado foundation footings concrete forms

After the footings were in (left), the team began assembling the forms to create the basement walls (right).

custom house builder northern colorado foundation wall forms

Using a concrete pumper truck was an efficient way to fill the forms (left). Multiple concrete mixer trucks drove to and from the property to provide a steady supply of liquid concrete. The concrete was allowed to set in the forms (right).

custom house builder northern colorado concrete foundation walls before backfill

Once the concrete was dry, the forms were removed.

custom house builder northern colorado foundation dirt backfilled

And the soil was backfilled to the new foundation walls.

custom house builder northern colorado basement prep for concrete

The basement floor was prepped before concrete was poured.

custom house builder colorado pouring concrete floor slab basement_progress photos

More concrete mixer trucks arrived, and the pumper truck was on hand again – this time to pour the basement floor. The crew worked down below, guiding the hose off the boom and smoothing out the liquid concrete.

custom house builder framing mountain home blue forklift

Framing began and the house started to take shape.

custom house builder lifting trusses with telescopic forklift

The telescopic forklift moved trusses into place.

custom house builder framing mountain home_progress photos Sept 2019

By mid-September, the crew was making good progress on the framing.

dutch ridge ranch shed and landscape from window frame_pcDRR

“We designed the house to take advantage of the views,” Lesha said. And here is one of those views (above), looking over lavender fields and foothills, through the frame of a future window.

This is a great opportunity to answer a question we field all the time at HighCraft:
What does it take to build a home on a raw piece of land?

HighCraft truck lifting trusses framing custom house northern colorado foothills


The term “unimproved” or “raw” land typically describes a property without utilities and services, such as electricity, septic, gas, water and phone. The cost of improving raw land varies from parcel to parcel and depends on a variety of factors, including the ease or difficulty of bringing services and materials to the building site.

Building on unimproved rural land can be highly rewarding, but it often comes with a set of unique challenges. First-time land buyers often admit, “I don’t know what I don’t know” when it comes to buying an unimproved piece of property with the intention of building. So we created a basic checklist of Questions to Ask Before You Buy Land to Build a Custom Home as a good place to start when evaluating a rural property’s potential. The linked article also addresses potential hidden costs associated with building on raw land.

lesha tim dwight sailer highcraft builders at new home construction site


HighCraft has strong working relationships with Northern Colorado municipalities and Larimer County planning and building departments. We’re familiar with their master plans, understand their zoning and building requirements, and we can help you navigate their review processes. Our team knows the appropriate channels and steps to take to properly install utility services. We also have existing relationships with trusted trade partners who work well in remote locations.

Our team also loves a challenge. Touring a rural piece of land, talking about your dreams to build there, and pulling off near-impossible buildouts, are some of our favorite things to do. And if you already own a parcel of land and you’re ready to build, our team can navigate every detail of the planning and construction process so you don’t have to.

Contact HighCraft with questions or to schedule a free consultation.

Special thanks to Tim, Lesha and Dutch Ridge Ranch for several photos used in today’s post.