In your mind, you can easily picture the home of your dreams. It has the perfect layout, the perfect finishes and the perfect setting.

Getting that home out of your head and into reality can be a complex process – but it doesn’t have to be.

Comito Building and Design utilizes a “design-build” approach to creating custom homes, which works to take the stress out of what could be a trying experience for the homebuyer.

So, what does design-build mean? In a word, it’s teamwork.

“The traditional approach is that you would commission an architect before they decide on a builder,” says Lauren Comito-Perrault, marketing and operations manager for Comito Building and Design. “The architect would design the home of their ultimate dreams and wishes and everything would come out of that.”

The homebuyer would then take the plans to a few builders, who would bid for the project -- very likely leading to the discovery that the home will cost much more than the buyer budgeted. The choice then would be to redesign the home or increase the budget.

In contrast, the design-build approach involves the architect, builder and interior designer working together from the beginning to ensure a project stays within budget, with all of the team members on the same page from start to finish.

“This design-build approach is a proven way to do a custom home very efficiently and at very reasonable cost,” says Claude Comito, co-owner of Comito Building and Design with his wife, Debbie.

When clients first come to Comito Building and Design, the team helps them select a home site if needed, and begin to establish the client’s goals, budget and ideas for the home. After this “discovery phase,” Comito gets an architect involved.

“The photographs that you bring to it, the ideas that you bring to it, our job is to turn that into reality,” says Todd Brokaw of Brokaw Architectura, who often works with Comito Building and Design.

Having worked with the traditional approach himself, Brokaw much prefers the design-build method of custom home design and construction – and believes it’s much easier on the clients.

“Our job is to reduce your stress,” Brokaw says. “We reduce the complications by solving most of the problems and answering most of the questions that you may have so you can rely on us. In the long run, you’re going to save money, frustration and time.”

Interior designer Joni Bader, owner of Interiors by Joni Bader, says a collaborative approach helps bring her ideas to fruition in a smooth way.

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“It’s really reassuring to me that I can have an idea or a concept and I can go to the builder and the architect and say, ‘I’d like to share this with you. Can you help make this happen?” Bader says.

A team of professionals working together means many eyes on every project from the beginning. Each is able to bring his or her own ideas, expertise and suggestions to a project, finding ways to make a home more livable and efficient. In a way, it’s like a work of art.

“The whole house is a canvas,” Bader says. “So it’s making sure all those pieces come together and have balance. And that’s not something that just happens instantly.  There’s a lot of thought, a lot of time.”

Architect Dan Sievers of Design Renaissance adds, “It’s a collaboration of different minds that offer different things to the project. So instead of one person that’s carrying out the full design, you have different minds coming together.”

Although quite a few people work on each project, clients are not tasked with the job of juggling the roles of different professionals. They don’t have to get the plans from an architect and hope the builder interprets them correctly. Comito Building and Design handles all the coordination.

“It creates a continuity of service,” Comito-Perrault says. “It’s working with the same group of people from start to finish who have heard the ideas, the visions, the whole style of the home from the beginning. And then it’s executed by those same people, giving clients a single point of accountability.”

Throughout the process, clients are guided by Debbie Comito, who works as a client coordinator.

Comito Building and Design will have two homes in the 2011 Parade of Homes, which runs Aug. 5-21. One, called The Inverness, is located in Cedar Heights and was designed by Brokaw. It is a perfect example of the excellent results that can be achieved through the design-build process.

The Inverness offers a Colorado lodge feel with knotty alder beams, pecan floors and stone archways, in addition to a perfect location.

“Pikes Peak is at your front door and a view of Colorado Springs is at the back door,” Brokaw says. “It’s a phenomenal site.”

The other is called The Kalispel, designed to showcases one of Comito Building and Design’s smaller homes – if you consider 4,200 square feet “small,” of course. Sievers designed this one with a “Texas Hill Country” elegance. The team has labeled it an “urban ranch” home.

The Kalispel is tucked into the side of Cheyenne Mountain in the Star Ranch neighborhood.

For more information on Comito Building and Design, visit or call 719-219-5421.