Epic Homes develops semi-custom homes that feature practical designs meant to meet the needs of its clients’ lives.
By Janice Hoppe-Spiers
People and relationships are at the core of Epic Homes. By focusing on how people live, the Littleton, Colo.-based high-end production homebuilder delivers practically designed homes that meet all of its clients’ needs. “Homebuying is an incredibly emotional experience,” founder and President Chris Presley says. “We recognize that and focus on how people live, which is just one of the things that have set us apart from the beginning.”
Before founding Epic Homes in 2015, Presley’s career was focused in homebuilding. Twenty years ago, she started in the industry as an accounts payable clerk. “My background is in finance, so I held head finance roles coming up through homebuilding,” Presley says. “In 2008, Meritage Homes gave me the opportunity to lead the Colorado Division in Denver.”
When her mother died in 2014, Presley said it was a life-changing moment that inspired her to leave Meritage Homes and take a year off to be with her family. Presley’s dream had always been to one day start her own homebuilding company and during her year off she realized, “if I was going to do it, it was now or it was never going to happen.”
In addition to launching Epic Homes in 2015, Presley that year also became the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Metro Denver’s first female president in the organization’s 73-year history. “It’s a milestone for the industry that is heavily male dominated, and I’m honored to have been nominated to that role,” she says. “I felt a strong need to leave a legacy, do something that would be a hallmark for the first female president and make an impact at the HBA not only during my tenure, but for the future. I founded the Professional Women in Building Council in Denver and it’s been phenomenal. We have grown to 215 members.”
Epic Homes differentiates itself by talking first about what a home will mean to its clients. It’s less about the measurements of a floor plan and more about the dimensions of how they want to live. “We take the time to really get to know our buyers – it’s more one-on-one and collaborative than what most public builders are willing to provide. We also that that same approach with our trade partners, mortgage companies and really anyone we come in contact with. Relationships are at the core of who we are as a company,” Presley says.
Despite being a production builder, Epic Homes offers clients more options and changes than most of its competitors, Presley says. “My philosophy is to say ‘yes’ until I have a reason why it has to be ‘no,’” she adds. “We create new options based off suggestions and items people want in a home, which end up becoming regular options. For example, buyers can choose their appliance brand and we won’t move the plumbing around, but they can customize the kitchen cabinetry the way they want.”
Epic Homes focuses on the move-up homebuyer who has more discretionary income. “We offer higher quality, higher service and the ability for them to make some changes,” Presley says. “We are priced slightly higher than the public builder, but we have never had pushback on that because we appeal to the buyer who is willing to pay for something that’s great. They see the difference not only in the design, but in the quality when they walk into our homes.”
Epic Homes maintains a core group of loyal trade partners to deliver consistent quality. “Our partners really are important,” Presley says. “A number of our subcontractors came from my past life in the public world. I had to stand in front of the trades telling about this new company I was starting and hope that they had the confidence that I could do this. We are nimble, resilient and can respond quickly and that really resonated.”
“Being a mom is my biggest influence,” Presley says when it comes to the design of Epic Homes. “I am heavily involved in the design, which was a little different for our architect, KGA Studio Architects, based in Louisville, Colo. There was a learning curve and they probably didn’t expect as much pushback as I gave them, but [KGA Partner] Jerry Gloss and the KGA team were amazing to work with and we have created great designs together. Our homes are winning awards at the local and national level.”
Summit is Epic Homes’ most popular design and best-selling home, Presley says. The second floor features a master bedroom that allows for a “private oasis of relaxation” for parents while the children’s bedrooms are on the other side of the floor. A laundry room is in the center to create that separation. “It’s a great flowing layout with no wasted space,” she adds.
From the garage, homeowners walk into a large entryway because people rarely go in and out of their front doors. Large closets also allow for more storage, bags and jackets. Presley says a beautiful staircase creates a wow factor in Summit, but ultimately the use of space is what attracts homebuyers. “Our homes are created in a way that each plan differentiates itself from the other plan by living completely differently,” she explains. “When you walk in our homes, you can tell a difference from home to home. All our plans are flexible to then add the additional rooms to meet the buyer’s needs.”
The Ascend model’s focal point is a kitchen made for entertaining, Presley says. Open space abounds both inside and out in the home, which is designed for fun, friends and family.
Epic Homes is developing the Pinnacle, a new two-story home that combines the first floor of the Ascend with the upstairs of the Summit to create an all-encompassing epic home. “It’s like when chocolate and peanut butter come together and create this awesome snack,” Presley describes. “That’s what we are hoping to get out of the Pinnacle by bringing together the best elements of Summit and Ascend.”
Moving forward, Epic Homes plans to partner with more communities to begin building homes at full capacity. The company’s goal is to build between 100 to 150 homes per year, which will allow it to retain that intimacy and one-on-one focus on which it was built. “I am most proud that the vision I had has actually resonated with buyers, trades, employees and our communities more so than I ever thought it would,” Presley says.