Vail Valley Voices: Now’s a great time to build in Vail |

Vail Valley Voices: Now’s a great time to build in Vail

Jennifer Eliuk
Vail, CO, Colorado

For anyone thinking of doing a home improvement project in Vail next spring, this winter is the best time to start putting your plans together and applying for permits.

Winter is typically our slowest building season, which means we have less applications coming though our door at the town of Vail. Savvy homeowners have learned that this is the best time of year to submit plans to us for review, not only because we have more staff time available, but because they’ll be ready to start building as soon as they want.

If you wait for the snow to melt, you will find that we are in our busiest application time of the year. Design Review Board approvals are good for one year, and building permit approvals for six months, so you can get your approvals ahead of time and not feel rushed to get started building.

Don’t dismiss fall and winter for building, however. They are great times for interior remodels, which are largely unaffected by the weather.

Remember that old, drafty fireplace you keep meaning to replace? Maybe this is the year! A more efficient gas appliance or EPA Phase II wood fireplace will heat your home better and stop drafts from old flues. Get your project rolling now so you can enjoy it after a long day on the mountain.

Some misconceptions about town of Vail development barriers do exist. For example, many people assume the building permit process will be lengthy and costly. Not so. A building permit from the town of Vail for a $10,000 kitchen remodel costs approximately $303 (not including other required permits such as electrical), and takes no longer than three weeks to review.

Recently, the Vail Town Council requested a report on building permit fee “holidays” being offered by other local municipalities and their effectiveness.

Our research discovered that the decision to build was not based on that small savings alone, and that permit applications did not increase. So getting a building permit will not “kill” most home construction projects, and in fact offers a kind of insurance and peace of mind.

Additionally, by obtaining a permit you are assured that your project meets current building codes, is safe to occupy and won’t present any problems when the property is sold.

There has rarely been a time in the Eagle Valley where there were so many opportunities for a home construction project. Many contractors have time available, enabling consumers to find more choices and better prices.

Contractors sometimes have lower prices in the winter, making it a great time to negotiate a contract. Contractors have more time to spend focused on your project, as do local architects and engineers.

Incentive programs for weatherization and efficiency projects abound, and an improvement project can add value to your home as well

Reports on-line

If you are interested in keeping track of building permit activity in the town of Vail, please visit, navigate to “Community Development Department,” then click on “Building Safety and Inspection Services.” From there you will see a link for “Building Permits Reports,” where we post monthly reports showing both permits that have been applied for and issued. It’s a great way to check the pulse of the local building community and see what kinds of projects are being done.

If you are considering a home improvement project and want to learn more about the approval process or set up a pre-application consultation, please call me at (970) 479-2128.

“The space within becomes the reality of the building.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

Jennifer Eliuk is the development review coordinator for the town of Vail.

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