In the summer of 1969, Boulder, Colorado, was as far away from home as I could get in a ’67 Firebird with no muffler and expired New Jersey plates. I was headed to college at CU. When I needed a job three years later, a few friends and I hooked up with a local builder and started framing houses. Did I imagine myself a burgeoning homebuilder? Not exactly, but something bit and better yet, it stuck.
With a tool belt in one hand and a SamsoniteTM attaché in the other, I launched Markel Homes. The year was 1973. We started with framing and remodeling projects in Nederland but soon moved on to spec homes. Our first was in Boulder’s Parkside subdivision. The home sold for $54,800 in the mid ‘70s. We didn’t exactly have a formal plan for how the company would evolve but we knew what we liked and we followed our instincts.
From the beginning, quality design and solid craftsmanship were big priorities. Over time we branched into high-end custom and semi-custom homes, which gave us the opportunity to explore new architecture and do something different with interior textures, finishes and floor plans. We designed homes that complemented their natural surroundings and meshed lifestyle with design. We built what we wanted to live in. Along the way, we found our niche.
Through the years the market and people’s priorities have changed. In some ways we’ve changed, too, but in other more significant ways, we haven’t changed at all. When we go in search of new property, we still look for Back Range and Flatiron vistas, trail access and close proximity to open space.
Even though we’re building at a range of price points, our taste for originality and craftsmanship hasn’t wavered. A standard feature in a Markel home is usually an upgrade in another neighborhood. We’re not a cookie cutter builder and have no desire to become one. We’ve been building green for years because it’s the right thing to do. Preserving resources and reducing energy consumption are as important to us as they are to you.
Every building and development experience teaches us something more about how you like to live and which materials and designs you prefer. We’ve learned where you’re willing to compromise and what you won’t do without. Nearly four decades late, our newest neighborhood, North End in Louisville, proves we’re still paying attention to the most important person in the equation, our homebuyer.

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