For Sale!!!!

Want to own a brand new custom Old Montana home in Whitefish with an awesome view of Whitefish Mountain Resort (Big Mountain) right out your front door?  Does it sounds exciting to own a 2014 Parade of Homes multiple-award winning home?  We started a new spec project in The Lakes this past week based on the Woodlot (which took home several awards this year, including best home in it’s class!) and in a few short months it will be ready for moving day…just in time for spending summers in Montana!!  This home is just waiting to be snatched up!  Send us a message or stop by our office downtown Whitefish to look at the plans and let us tell you about all the awesome features of this custom home!!  You can also visit our website and look at the original Woodlot in our photo gallery   


2 hours…2 minutes

For all of you who follow Old Montana Building Company you know I try to write about the different homes and projects we have going, and all the great things we get to do with the awesome clients we have.  It is a little different to try to tell my own story.

The idea of the Lookout started a little over a year ago, when Jon presented me with my own folder with the name “Somer Joy Treat” across the top and a floor plan and a couple sketches.  See, the idea was to build something different and unique, this little Lookout on a rock pile in West Glacier, and along the way push Somer to do something extra fantastic.  I look back at those drawings now and they have hardly changed at all…that idea, so absolutely crazy-perfect from the very start, it just instantly stuck.  It’s not a normal opportunity; to have someone give you the chance to do something like this – and I have felt lucky every single day of this project.

But orchestrating all the pieces in order to make it happen has not been so easy; all of it has just been a little extra challenging…the road, the site, the rock, the foundation, the utilities, the engineering, the framing…and today the roof.  I suppose the extra work does make it extra rewarding, which is easier to say once each part is over!  It is also proof that because I have had all the right people, who from the very start have helped me get to this point, anything is possible.  I have had the BEST team of people going above and beyond for me.

I remember a few weeks ago when Cal, my framer, told me he was going to build the roof on the ground and fly it up to the top of the Lookout with the biggest crane he could book in the Valley.  I thought…really?  Cal said it was the best idea, and although he had never done it, it just made sense.  I mean, why not do that – people must fly roofs 3 stories up on the edge of a cliff all the time, right?  And Cal was the perfect person to try to do it…he planned it, he imagined it, he did everything absolutely right…and today when it didn’t go perfectly at the start he stayed even and calm and positive and figured it out.  I’m a lucky girl.

This morning, at 9:45 AM, when the roof was set to “lift off” (as Cal called it) everything seemed just perfect.  But on the first try, the roof was too heavy, close to 15,000 pounds, and the crane operator said it was a no-go.  Everyone took a step back and shook their heads and unhooked the cables.  I have to say, my heart did sort of stop.  Fortunately, a bunch of determined people managed to put their heads together and decided if the crane could just get 15 feet closer to the Lookout it might work.  And as fate had it, my cousins could make that happen in less than an hour of time and one torn up road and an excavator that miraculously started.  2 hours later at 12 PM, we all stood back, holding our breath and they lifted it up 4 feet off the platform.  2 minutes later it was on the Lookout.  2 minutes…that is all it took to get a roof.  

1 year of surveying, 12 months of planning, 6 months of site-work, 2 hours of waiting, 2 minutes in the air…a lot of hand holding, a few tears, and all the perfectly right people to make it completely worth it.   The hard part is over…the rest will be “easy”!!





Lookout…the 3rd Floor

Today was just one of those days.  One of the days I am sure I will look back on, many years from now, and remember all the details and the way I felt.  A great day.

My little building team and our framer are doing an amazing job, with a not so ordinary little house in a not so ordinary place.  Building in the winter in West Glacier wasn’t going to be easy, but building a 3 story Lookout wasn’t suppose to be easy.  Nothing about this project has been easy.  And right now my framer is busy building the entire roof system on the garage slab, which on Monday (if all goes as planned) will be hoisted up to the top with the biggest crane in the Flathead Valley.  Totally normal.  Stay tuned for a video next week.

The Lookout is one of those projects that every time I get a chance to see it (not as often as one would think) I have been happy…because things are as good or better than I hoped.  For someone who has spent the past year planning and imagining every detail with the very best builder-boss around…it should be just that way.

Today, for the first time, I climbed the ladder to the 3rd floor of the Lookout and I expected to feel like I felt the day I walked up the steps to the second floor…happy.  It is not like I didn’t know the view, I have been looking at it for months while we went through site work and for months since we started building (and honestly, I have been looking at this view since I was a little girl) so I expected it to be the same.  What’s another 12 feet up in the air?

But the third floor was better…for so many reasons…some of which I really can’t put into words – and I honestly have to say it was just one of those times when I felt surprised to feel SO lucky.  Happy tears lucky. For some reason, right at that moment, the inversion fog which has been covering northwest Montana for the past 3 days lifted just enough for me to see what I hadn’t seen before…and to imagine I just might be able to see a little bit more than I thought (maybe a glimpse of Glacier Park’s Livingston range up there after all?)  And I had that “this is far better than I could have ever hoped for” feeling.

When the roof goes on the Lookout Monday I will be one excited girl, and my framer Cal will be able to sleep again, and all the people taking part in this project will be giving each other high fives…but I doubt that will top what I felt today.   I’ve come along way from a sketch on a napkin and a builder who knew I needed something extra special…the third floor is like the icing on the cake.



Over a year ago, at the Parade of Homes, we met an awesome family and began talking to them about building their dream house.  Over the course of the past year we have planned, watched them buy property, planned and designed some more, waited while they sold their current house, waited for the last pieces to come together…and finally for the HOA thumbs up…and today we dug a hole.  We have started!  

We have met people and started planning and building days later, we have met people and started months later, and sometimes it takes longer than a year.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.  And as I told these clients, this house is going to be perfect…we have been thinking about it and building it in our minds for months!  Today was totally worth waiting for!


The List

I was thinking the other day, how did it get to be the middle of November?  Where did this past year go?  2014 has been busy from start to finish and at times the months all blur together.  When I went to list all the projects we have going now and the projects we have coming up it looks like 2015 is going to be even better.

I start to think…how can we have an even BETTER year?  We have had the chance to work with so many great people this year, do so many great things, built homes we are so proud of; it is really hard to think we can top it.  Yet, as we looked at the list on our office wall, I can’t help but be super excited about all of it…our current projects, our awesome clients, the houses we are building and the houses we are just starting to plan and design…all of it.  It’s a pretty fun list.

Best part…I think there is still room for a few more.


The Keys

Building a house isn’t something that just happens…it takes a lot of time and months of work.  In a way, it’s a little like a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs and highs and lows.  It starts out with nervous excitement and big dreams and the planning and the “what ifs”, and it comes with hard decisions, choices and limits.  It brings the butterfly feeling and the anxiety and the thrill of seeing the pieces come together…the first scoop of dirt, the first drop of concrete, the framing, the sheetrock, the paint color (did we pick the right one?), the day the cabinets are delivered – the list goes on and on. There is no way to describe it really, the excitement, the worry, the impatient waiting, the wondering, the watching…all of it is called construction.

We get to see all the highs and lows and ups and downs.  It is part of building a house.  What I can’t describe is the feeling at the END…the feeling of finishing.  Riding the rollercoaster to the end, at the point where you get the feeling of “this is a house”.  This is your house.  Today is the day you get the keys to your house.  Today is the day ALL of it is worth it.  This is the part of the ride WE wait for…the part where we get to say “welcome HOME”.  (And this ride has been brought to you by Old Montana Building Company!)

Nothing makes us happier than happy clients…thank you Ashley and Jared for a fantastic project.



It is hard to believe it is almost the end of October, and in a few more weeks we might see snowflakes falling in Montana.  This fall has flown by, we have been busy finishing and starting a variety of awesome projects, as well as planning future homes we could not be more excited to begin.  I have written a hundred blogs in my mind, but haven’t seemed to find the time to sit down and post any of them.

I was on a trip with clients recently and we got to talking about building and construction and how much I loved my job.  We are in the last couple months of their project which started almost a year ago: the home stretch.  This time is full of lots of little decisions, seeing the finishing touches, watching everything come together and the excitement of feeling the end is in sight.  We were talking one night about the house, when they started to think about building, how it all began, and the home owner was telling me that when they first started to consider building she had no desire to do it at all.  She said for several months she resisted the idea all together, she wanted nothing to do with any of it.  She said she could not even imagine taking on something like building a house, and she told her husband several times she didn’t have the time or the desire to put into it…she wanted to just forget it.

But then, they started working with us and it started to change her outlook on building.  Somewhere along the line she started to have fun and feel excited and look forward to it.  She said, I could never have done this alone, but with you here to help with every step, I have actually started to ENJOY it.  I could even do it again.  How did that happen?  How did you make this so easy?

That is what we do.  At Old Montana we make building a house fun and easy.  It is everything I could hope for a client to feel during a project…like yes, this is actually FUN.  It’s a pretty big reward to know, after all this time and work, we were actually able to make something daunting feel easy.  Who would have thought?


The Lookout…

The Lookout has finally started…

The Lookout is getting a foundation today, which for all of you who know the story of the little West Glacier Lookout, is a BIG step in a very long process.  I get to help build houses every day, at a job I love.  But, I only will ever get to have one house built FOR me.  I knew today would feel good, finally getting “out of the ground” and the official start…but it was better than I expected.  It was a little trip down memory lane and a good reminder of all that went into getting me to this point.  

The Lookout has quite the story, one that I feel pretty proud to be part of.  See, the Lookout didn’t start out as a Lookout.   It started out with me wanting to build in a very challenging spot for special reasons (basically, a rock pile).  It started out with a lot of walking around and strategizing and over a year of surveying and permitting.  It started out with me thinking I knew just what I wanted to build, see I had it all figured out in my mind.    

But, as it turns out, I’m a pretty lucky girl.  My builder/boss/friend told me I should step back and throw all my “this is what I am going to build” ideas out the window and start with a fresh slate…he told me if I didn’t do that I was closing my mind to the possibly of something great.  I can tell you from first hand experience, this is not easy to do….we encourage our clients to do it all the time, but doing it myself was very hard. But once I let go, my builder took everything he knew about me, and why I wanted to be near Glacier Park, the way my husband and I live, all the things he knew I loved, and created something I could not have ever imagined.  It was a lot of work, a lot of planning, and it took a lot of people to help make it come together.  It took 4 months to put in a road, to run power, to drill a well.  It took 8 days with a rock saw to get in utilities and break rock to make a level spot.  It took the 3 long days and countless amounts of rebar to set up the forms to pour the foundation – what I watched happen today.

The newest Old Montana project has started.  It is going to be special to me for so many reasons, but knowing I have the best builder, and the best team of people, pulling out all the stops to make it happen…priceless.  And it all happened because someone convinced me to let go.  I’m so glad I did.



It is a perfect September night in Montana and Old Montana Building Company is feeling a bit lucky and very grateful.  Tonight the Flathead Building Association presented awards for this years Parade of Homes, and we were honored to win multiple awards for both our houses.  Our Woodlot house had the highest record of attendance out of all the homes in the parade, and the Middle Fork Lodge not only received the Best of Show Award from the Judges but the People’s Choice Award.  

Recieving the People’s Choice award tonight with the name Old Montana Building Company on the plaque is special, but what it really says is the team we put together to create a house; the clients, the talented people who help us develop a project, the subcontractors and vendors and all individuals that work really hard together to make it happen…they ALL win too.  Building a house is no small feat, and certainly you can’t do it alone, but we have a fantastic team that makes it happen for us over and over again.  We are people who really care about what we do and we truly LOVE building homes.  What tonight says is people see the thought and care in the homes we build…and it makes us feel grateful and humbled.

Thanks to everyone who is part of the Old Montana Building Company team and family of clients who have supported us along the way…we would not be here without you!


Thank you!

Just wanted to send a thank you out to all the people who came through our 2 houses in the Flathead Building Association’s Parade of Homes this past weekend.  We had over 2000 people come see our houses, and it was a great opportunity to be able to show people what we do and how much thought and care we put into our projects.  I also want to thank all our vendors and sub-contractors who came out and gave part of their weekend to work our houses and represent our company. We have quite the team of people behind us.  We feel honored and humbled at the awards our houses received…we are very lucky to get to do what we do every day!!