Gypsum affordable homes start in a factory |

Gypsum affordable homes start in a factory

Chris Outcalt
Gypsum, CO Colorado
NWS finished Stratton flats KA 12-03-08

GYPSUM, Colorado ” The whole process starts inside a factory in Berthoud. It’s easiest for Amber Sterkel, program manager for Genesis homes, to explain with a pad of paper and a pen.

She drew eight rectangles ” four smaller than the rest ” on paper and pointed out how the smaller ones fit on top of the bigger rectangles.

“That’s it,” Sterkel said.

The first four-plex being built at Stratton Flats ” the county’s newest workforce housing neighborhood in Gypsum ” still shows some signs of the eight large wooden rectangles it started as. But 14 days after the pieces were delivered from the factory, it looks more like a home than a box.

Genesis is constructing the homes for the development, which is a partnership between the town of Gypsum, Meritage Development and Eagle County. The county invested $4.5 million in the project. The finished site will have a mix of 399 deed-restricted and free market condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes.

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Eight single-family homes and townhomes have been sold, money has been put down on 14 condominiums and six people are working through the pre-approval process, said sales manager Andy Forstl.

From the moment a buyer finalizes a loan, it takes about 60 business days or three months to finish the house, Fosrtl said. Once Forstl places an order for a home, the factory spends about 12-15 days putting it together and getting it on a truck.

The water, sewer, plumbing and foundation work is all done on site. Cranes are used to fix the frame of the house to the foundation.

“It flies through the air and you see the kitchen land,” Forstl said.

Buyers of a Stratton home can choose from a couple custom floor plans. But going with the custom plans was a stressful process, Forstl said.

“That was a big question mark when you do custom floor plans ” the homes have never been built before,” Fosrtl said. “Finally seeing it get out of the ground, we’re very happy with the quality.”

Construction Manager Bill Marshall only needs a couple weeks to prepare each site for a home to be placed on it. Marshall said he was surprised by the quality of the product.

“I didn’t know what to think,” Marshall said. “But I think we get a better product than field-built homes.”

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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