Should You Build a Custom Home or Purchase and Renovate an Existing Home?

Custom Home in Columbia Falls, Montana

That’s a difficult decision, right? One drive through the neighborhoods of Columbia Falls, and you can easily see your choices if you plan to purchase and renovate your next home. Many beautiful homes have for sale signs displayed in the lawn. Let’s talk about how the professional designers and builders here at Montana Heritage Home Builders in Columbia Falls can help with your decision.

Custom or Renovate?

Whether you choose a custom home build or to renovate a home, our process begins with us spending a lot of time together! Our design team will need to meet you and understand what you need from your (new) home. We will listen to your ideas and ask questions that will help us better understand your needs. We will assess the condition of your current home, or the home you’re considering renovating, and let you know what we feel that it would take to achieve your vision. We will learn what your lifestyle is and how to build a home around your lifestyle.


We will go with you to visit showrooms so you may select materials, fixtures, and finishes that you love. We do everything we can to make the process as painless as possible for you, because we understand how stressful it can be. To that end, we will help you choose the materials, fixtures, and paint colors to finish your project to perfection.

During Construction

The construction process will take some time, regardless of whether it is a custom home build or a total renovation. We will share our construction schedule with you so you may keep track of where the project should be at all times. We will provide updates regularly so we’re all on the same page.

Building or renovating a home is messy work. Our builders do everything they can to maintain a clean work area. We clean up at the end of every day to ensure a clean start for the following day and to protect your home from unnecessary dirt during the construction phase.

The Ultimate Decision

I hope that seeing a glimpse of our processes, which are admittedly very similar whether you’re building new or renovating, helps with your overall decision. New construction will, of course, mean additional costs, as the property and basic structure are already included in a purchase and remodel project. However, a remodel project requires the cost of changing things in a home already built. A custom home build requires the land to build on, foundation, and building of the basic home structure. You will have a fully custom home either way; it really just comes down to deciding which route to take.

Montana Heritage Home Builders is a Columbia Falls-based, locally owned company. We enjoy helping homeowners find new opportunities to improve their lives. We would be glad to help you build or renovate your dream home.

Picture of Custom Home
Custom Home
Picture of Remodeled Home
Remodeled Home

Pet Friendly Spaces and 7 More 2018 Kitchen Design Trends

The kitchen has become a focal point in the home unlike 50 years ago when it was situated toward the back of the home. It was the place to hide the cooking mess and dirty dishes when you had guests over in the formal dining room. Today’s homeowner invites friends and family into the kitchen while all the hustle and bustle is happening, so it’s imperative that we make the area as functional and stylish as possible. Take a look at these 8 kitchen trends for 2018.

1. Pet Friendly Spaces: We’ll start here because the majority of homeowners today own pets. We strive to create a child-friendly and pet-friendly atmosphere in every kitchen we design. Some pet-friendly places may include a pull-out drawer for their food and water or a built-in gate by the kitchen island to keep them away from the stove while you’re cooking.

2. Smart Appliances: Technological advances in the kitchen include a refrigerator that can help you keep track of the grocery list, a range that remembers your cooking style, a microwave with custom programmable buttons, and much more. Both small and large appliances may include smart technology.

3. Colors: Whites, grays, and dark or bold accents are here to stay. White has always been very popular in the kitchen because it gives a sense of cleanliness. Gray works well with white and creates an elegant appeal. Dark or bold colors offer amazing contrast for decorative purposes.

4. Streamlined Designs and Contrasting Textures: Decrease the clutter and open up the visual space. Use a variety of textures to bring attention to specific areas.

5. Quartz: Everyone still loves a quartz countertop. Don’t overlook quartz when you’re considering countertop materials. It’s practically maintenance-free and looks amazing for years.

6. Organized Storage Design: Spice drawers, boxes, baskets, and label-makers have found their way from the office and into the kitchen. Organized storage will help keep your kitchen looking amazing and keep everything where it needs to be.

7. Flooring: Ceramic tile and hardwood are still the most popular flooring types for the kitchen. Get creative with your flooring and consider patterns or designs. Herringbone or chevrons are excellent design options for hardwood flooring.

8. Single-Level Kitchen Islands: The kitchen island has grown and evolved over the years. Today’s kitchen islands are most commonly a single level and multi-purpose. We often add an eating area, oven, wine cooler, mini fridge, sink, and a few cabinets. And don’t forget the outlets for charging electronics.

Custom Home Design in Northwest Montana

Northwest Montana is an excellent place to get away from it all. We have amazing winters and hot summers. You’re sure to find activities to keep you occupied year-round. Give us a call if you’re considering buying property and building a custom home in northwest Montana. We’ll schedule a design appointment and get the ball rolling.


Want a Hassle Free Custom Home Design and Build Experience?

Indoor Pool in Custom Home

Traditionally when you build a custom home, you contact a designer or an architect who designs a home based on your ideas, needs, and wants. You will likely receive the plans and a 3D representation of the home to take to a builder. The builder views the plans and builds the home for you. Most of the time the builder contacts a plumber and electrician to take care of their respective areas, but sometimes you are responsible for that task.

This process flows flawlessly and there are never any problems… in a perfect fantasy world. Here at Montana Heritage Home Builders, we know that isn’t always the case in the real world. We’ve seen and heard horror stories that include issues that lead to structural instability and that lead the homeowner into serious financial troubles. Delays due to miscommunication between builder, plumber, electrician, and homeowner create serious problems between the entire building crew.

That’s why we designed our company in a way that would encapsulate the entire process from planning to completion. We don’t leave anything to chance. We assign a specific team to work with your project, and you have one single point of contact for the duration. Everyone on our team knows what everyone else is doing, but your point of contact will remain the same so there is no chance of miscommunication.


Our design team is amazing. We begin the project by visiting you to meet you at your home. We listen carefully to what you want and need out of your new custom home. We develop a project scope and budget and assess the current condition of your home if the project is a remodel.

Once we have the required information from you, our designers hit the drawing board. You’re presented with designs of your home; we establish a groundbreaking or beginning date, and help you select materials that will be used in your home.

Pre-Construction Paperwork

The construction agreement consists of a complete scope of the intended work to ensure that all of your selections are properly documented. We make sure that all of the required permits are obtained, surveys are completed, and documents are in order. We create a final construction document including drawings. Once all paperwork is taken care of and signed, construction will begin on schedule.

The Construction Process

Your project manager will be on site daily to oversee the project and update you regularly on progress. They will maintain site security and cleanliness as well as present invoices based on your pre-chosen payment plan.

Our Commitment

Our commitment to you doesn’t end when the keys are in your hand. We will remain available to you for any questions or concerns you have. We will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your home is functioning as intended, and that you don’t have any unexpected problems crop up. Our overall goal is your satisfaction, and we stay in touch to make sure your homeownership dreams are brought to reality by through the teamwork we’ve worked to perfect over time.

How to Choose a Faucet for Your Bathroom Based on Style and Functionality

The finishing touches are what really make a room look amazing… or not. We have helped many northwest Montana homeowners realize their dream of building and owning a custom home. Today we’re going to address bathroom sink faucets and how to choose the best type for your new bathroom.

Mounting the Faucet

You have many options when mounting the faucet and handles in your bathroom. You can use a variety of mounting methods as well as faucet styles. Here are a few options to consider:

* Single Hole Faucets: A single-hole mount only requires one hole for plumbing the hot and cold water. The on-off lever is generally on top or behind the faucet.

* Center Set Faucets: These are a single unit faucets that often require three holes in the sink deck to accommodate plumbing for hot and cold as well as mounting hardware.

* Wall Mounted Faucets: Wall mounted faucets allow you to hide all of the plumbing behind the wall and free up space on and below the sink.

* Widespread Mounted Faucets: Widespread faucets and handles can add a touch of elegance to your bathroom. This is very common in large bathrooms.

Consider the Sink Style

Your sink style and size have a lot to do with the type of faucet that they will accommodate. A pedestal sink, for example, is perfect for a center-mounted faucet or a single-hole faucet. A large sink and vanity in a his and hers bathroom is excellent for a wide-mounted faucet. So make sure you’re choosing a faucet style that will properly fit your sink.

High Tech Faucets

Technological advances in automotive design have shown us cars that run on electricity. Similarly, advances in bathroom technology have brought us motion activated faucets with flow control. Touchless faucets are an excellent addition to your bathroom because they help prevent the spread of germs.

Custom Home Builds and Bathroom Design in Northwest Montana

Unique design of every individual room in your custom home is what building custom is all about. You get to choose what goes into every square foot of your new home. That’s a truly liberating feeling for a homeowner, and we’re going to be right there to walk you through it. Give us a call to start planning your custom home building northwest Montana. We’ll schedule an appointment for a consultation and get things moving.

7 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Toilet for Your New Bathroom

Ten years ago choosing a toilet was as simple as going to the home improvement store and picking out a toilet that fit the style you wanted. Today we have so many more options that it can get almost obnoxious. So our focus today is on giving you 7 great tips that we hope will help you choose the perfect toilet for your new bathroom without the frustration.

1. The Rough-in: This is the measurement from the wall to the center of the flange bolts. This measurement is usually between 10 and 14 inches. If you’re remodeling your bathroom, this number is extremely important. But if you’re just building a bathroom and the plumbing isn’t installed yet, it’s much less important. We can let you know at which point in the building process it becomes an issue.

2. The Fit: An elongated toilet bowl is the most comfortable for most people, but that doesn’t mean it will fit in your bathroom. Round toilets aren’t as comfortable, but they fit into small bathrooms much more effectively. A standard elongated toilet requires three inches of space over a round toilet.

3. Style: One-piece toilets are much sleeker and easier to clean than the traditional two-piece toilet in which the tank sits on top of the bowl. Wall-mounted toilets are now an option for those who prefer no attachment to the floor. They add drama to the room and make the room look larger because we can see more of the flooring.

4. Bidet: A bidet adds resale value to your home and is great for people with mobility issues.

5. Water Efficiency: Toilets have really come a long way in terms of water efficiency. Today’s toilets use less than half the water required 20 years ago. Don’t worry; they still do the job. They just do it much more efficiently!

6. Comfort: Heated seats are pretty incredible in the car, so why not in the bathroom as well? Montana sees some pretty cold winters; it’s a bit of a luxury to add heated flooring and a heated toilet seat to your new bathroom. Cushion seats and a step stool are also often added for comfort.

7. Smart Toilet Functionality: Want to connect your Bluetooth to your toilet for some tunes while you’re there? How about automatic flush, deodorizer, and a nightlight?

Bathroom Design and New Home Builds in Northwest Montana

We hope that helps you choose the right toilet for your new bathroom. Building a new home is an exciting and oftentimes frustrating time because you really don’t know what to expect, especially if this is your first custom built home. Give us a call if you’re in northwest Montana and would like to discuss building your home with us.

5 Factors to Consider when Building Your Custom Home

Building a custom home requires a lot of careful planning and forethought. You can’t just decide to build and start digging the foundation within a week. You’ll likely spend several weeks with us planning the design, choosing materials, and getting permits. Don’t worry; we’ll take care of those pesky permits for you. But here are 5 major factors to consider when building a custom home.

1. Budget: Your budget will help dictate the size and type of home we build. You already know you can’t build a huge home on a small budget, so keep in mind that while we can help you stretch the budget, we can’t force it to perform miracles.

2. Quality Materials: The two places we always say don’t skimp – quality materials and quality workmanship. That’s why we put those two together in this list. You can’t go wrong when you choose someone who really knows what they’re doing and materials that will stand the test of time.

3. Quality Workmanship: A lot of home builders call northwest Montana home, but not all of them provide the same quality workmanship for custom homes. Some builders focus on track homes where similar homes are built throughout a subdivision and show very few design changes. Their workmanship may be excellent for that type of work, but they aren’t custom home builders.

4. Planning Time: Take your time! We can’t stress this one enough. Take your time and plan before you plan. You’ve heard builders use the phrase, “measure twice, cut once,” because you can always cut a little more, but you can’t always effectively splice a piece back together.

5. Plan for Delays: Delays happen. They may be weather related or due to illness, but sometimes they do happen. We will always strive to complete our work within the amount of time we quote you, but all we ask is for you to work with us if delays crop up.

Custom Home Builders in Northwest Montana

Building a custom home is an exciting adventure for everyone involved. We never really know what to expect from one build to the next because every homeowner has unique requests and needs. Call us if you’re planning to build a custom home in northwest Montana. We’ll help you make the tough decisions and show you the best places to splurge or save.

How to Keep Your Homes Safe From Wildfires

Much of the Western United States had fires with no sign of an end this past summer. Was a fire getting close to your home or would you just like to be prepared in case a fire starts up near your home? There are many precautionary measures that can be take that can help reduce the damage to your home if it comes face to face with a wildfire.

  1. Take a look at your roof and see if it has a Class “A” fire rating- if you cannot tell get a professional to take a look at your roof, you do not want to risk not having a high fire roof rating- because according to studies the roof is the greatest threat by wildfires.
  2. Next take a look at your siding and see if it has a high fire rating- if you are not able to tell get a professional to take a look at your siding. If a fire enters through the siding it can take over your entire house.
  3. Take a look at your soffits, eaves, attic, and crawlspace openings and check for 1/8″ screenings over vent openings- if you cannot tell get a professional to take a look at your roof. Embers are able to pass through 1/4″ and 1/8″ screens, however it can reduce the risk.
  4. Tile and other non-combustible roof coverings can help prevent against wildfires, however make sure that there are no gaps along the edges. If there are gaps along the edges, consult with a expert right away to see what your best option is.
  5. Make sure your gutters and roof are clear of all debris as it can make a fire burn.
  6. All of your windows should be Dual-pane windows, however many older buildings still have Single-pane windows in them. Take a look at your windows and check if they are tempered glass, if they are not they should be replaced. Replacing your windows with Dual-pane tempered glass windows will not only increase protection from a wildfire greatly but it will also increase energy performance.
  7. Have a professional take a look at your decks, porches and patios to see if there is anything that should be done to help prevent a wildfire taking your home or business such as a flashing strip. Make sure there are not combustibles under your decks, porches and patios.
  8. Fences can either help prevent heat exposure from a passing fire or cause the fire to come towards your home. Take a look around your fence for debris and clean it out and then consult with an expert about what they recommend. Steel and stucco, solid incombustible fences that are over six feet tall can serve as a barrier from fire heat.
  9. Take a look at your chimney. Does your chimney have a spark arrestor? If your home does not have a spark arrestor get one installed right away that has 1/2 inch mesh, helping protect you and the community.
  10. Create a defensible zone around your home or business by creating an area of 30 feet or to your property line which is the most important and needs cleared of debris, many trees, and combustibles. The next zone is 30 feet to 100 feet and should include thinning of trees, removal of combustibles, and cleared of debris.
  11. Plants may look nice but they can be the cause of a spread of a wildfire to your home. Remove all dead plants and think about putting down rock or other noncombustible materials.

Montana Heritage Home Builders Inc. is proud to help protect you from wildfires and make your home a safer place for you and your family with higher energy performance. Give Montana Heritage Home Builders a call today so we can help protect you and your business or home. Montana Heritage Home Builders is proud to have an expert team who is working on cutting edge technology to help protect your home. Do not wait until this summer comes and it is to late to protect you, your house, business, and family. Protect today!

How To Decide If You Should Remodel or Build?

Exclusive Custom Home in Columbia Falls, Montana

“We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.” – John Ruskin (1819 to 1901)

Making the decision to build new or remodel your current house can be a very difficult decision. When deciding to remodel or build one must first answer these questions:

1. How much money do I have to spend?

2. Do I want the same house but with an add on or a change in the plan and layout of the house?

3. Do I want to live somewhere else?

4. What will make me most happy?

5. What will cost more for what I want done? A remodel or a new build?

6. Do I want to keep my current house or would I like a new custom home?

When thinking about remodeling or building a wise thing to do is to think about is my house doing its practical duty and does it make me happy and look nice? When deciding to remodel or build it can be helpful to speak with an expert in the field and find what the builder feels is the best choice for helping you feel happy in your home, whether it be your newly remodeled home or your custom home. Montana Heritage Home Builders has a design team which works with the remodel team and build team to help you figure out what the best option for you is- remodeling or building.

Custom Home

Unique Dome Remodel

What Does It Mean To Build Green?

Certified Green Professional
A professional title given by NAHB.

“When we build let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for…”
-John Ruskin (1819 to 1901)

Many companies and builders claim to “build green,” however very few are building to the highest possible standards. When a builder says that they build green, you need to know what to look for to see if they are building to the highest possible standards.

Some questions to get answered are:

1. What are the builders credentials? Is the builder a Certified Green Professional?

Allen Ream CGB, CGP of Montana Heritage Home Builders Inc has gone through rigorous training and classes to become a Certified Green Professional through the National Association of Home Builders.

2. Who is the builder partnered to build green with?

Montana Heritage Home Builders Inc is a proud partner of both Energy Star and Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home.

3. Are advanced technologies and practices being used in the building and design of the home?

At Montana Heritage Home Builders Inc advanced technologies and practices are combined with solid building science to construct your home in a way that is cost-effective with a high performance package of energy savings, comfort, health and durability.

Montana Heritage Home Builders Inc is committed to reducing impact on the environment and lessening our carbon footprint through the use of cutting edge, emerging technologies, and green building. MHHB homes are designed and built for you to enjoy a healthful environment that minimizes dangerous pollutants, provides continuous fresh air, and effectively filters the air you breathe. MHHB’s homes are so ultra efficient that a small solar electric system can easily offset most, or all, of your annual energy consumption.

A few questions to ask yourself- Is the builder that I am hiring and spending my hard-earned money on truly going to build my home to the highest possible standards of green building? Is the builder that I am going to trust to build one of the biggest purchases of my life truly qualified to build to the standards that I want my home built to?

Looking To Build A New Kitchen?

“The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family.” -Mario Batali

Kitchens in households are one of the most important places when designing the interior of a house. When deciding what kind of a kitchen you want in your home you should write out what you want in a kitchen. Is that wide open spaces? An island? Granite counter tops? Plenty of cupboard space? Tile floors? Find an idea of what you want, what makes you feel at home and happy. There are many things to think about when building a kitchen in your new or current home. What are all the options? What does this look like? What does this cost? Does this work with the rest of the house? Does the kitchen have to be all figured out before building a new home? At Montana Heritage Home Builders Inc, we have the answer to those questions. Our design team is internationally renown. Our team will work through the entire process with you from start to finish- listening to your ideas and working on a plan, a design, and a theme that says, “This is my kitchen.” Our design team will then pass the idea to our build team, which will build the kitchen in your new or current home.

Open Kitchen With Plenty of Room

Hello world!

Montana Heritage Home Builders, Inc. is officially blogging! At Montana Heritage Home Builders we strive to help others. On this blog we will talk about building ultra-efficient, what it means to build Energy Zero Energy Ready Homes, contemporary and classic designs, quality and future performance, reducing our impact on the environment and lessening our carbon footprint, the current and past dreams we have helped people achieve, surveys, and how-to information. Hope everyone has a fantastic day!