Building a home in Kalispell MT

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with 406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty RRE-BRO-LIC-75443

A little more than six weeks ago we arrived in the beautiful state of Montana. Specifically, we landed in the Flathead Valley which is in the northwestern part of the state. It's a beautiful place with mountains to the west, north and east, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi, and rivers, streams and gorgeous vistas as far as the eye can see. This is also the area where our 25+ acres of land sit, awaiting our future home. When we arrived, we lived in our camping trailer for a week or so, then found a rental home which will keep us safe and warm until our home is ready. Never having built a home before, this is an enlightening experience. Here are some of my a-ha's.

 
Permits

Building a home in Kalispell MT

First, when you move to an area where you're planning to build a home, you need to check the local rules regarding permits. In my area, if you live in the city of Kalispell, you need permits for everything. For example, you need to submit a site plan, foundation plan, floor plans, elevations, framing plans, elevations, and the like for review. You need a permit for a deck, detached garage, electricity, mechanicals and plumbing. This is a partial list! If you live outside the city area, you need a permit for your septic system and .... that's it! So one thing to know is what you'll need to do in terms of getting approval for your proposed home.

 

Zoning/Building Requirements

Building a home in Kalispell MT

The other thing to confirm before you even select a property to purchase is whether there are any kind of regulations regarding what you can build or how you can use your property. In some places that means making sure you are aware of the village, town, city or state building ordinances. There could be rules about the number of floors you can have, minimum or maximum square footage, number of bedrooms, amount of setback space between property lines and your home and so on. If you are considering moving into a development, there also may be rules about the number of cats or dogs you could have, or whether you are even allowed to have pets. In the area I moved to, each parcel for sale has (or does not have) CCRs which are Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. There are also town or city guidelines. So make sure any land you purchase is going to be perfect for the way you want to live your life.

 

Costs

Building a home in Kalispell MT

Another interesting thing about the building process are all the costs that go into getting property ready to build the home. Let's say you are planning to put up a home that is expected to cost (for the actual house) $250K. Well, the house cost does not include any of the site work. That refers to things such as removing trees, blasting, excavating, clearing the build site, trenching and hooking up utilities, installing a septic system, drilling a well, putting in a driveway, hauling gravel, providing temporary electric, heat or portable toilets to the site, and on and on. Your $250K expectation could wind up to be $350K. So make sure you know what additional costs might be part of your build. You don't want to find out after you get started.

 

Timeframes

Then there are the timeframes! You would hope you sign the contract to get started and a week later you'd have a house! Time to complete a home is dependent upon so many factors. The weather. The reliability of the different crews needed to do the site preparation and the build. The availability of materials. The skill of the contractor/builder overseeing the project. The changes you might need to make along the way (try not to do that!). Time for any required municipality or bank inspections. And on and on. I can't tell you how long a well-oiled process might take because our home build is still in process. But even if everything goes smoothly for your home build I'd say plan on at least six months. Or more. Or maybe less.

 
Our progress

So what's the status of our new home?

 

The site was cleared and ready to go earlier this year. In mid-August we gave the thumbs up for work to start. In the almost two months since then, our well was drilled (30 gallons per minute which I understand is a healthy rate) and the septic system was installed. Our footings were set, concrete poured, house was framed, trusses installed and wood was placed on the roof. Sheathing was placed on the outside of the home and now it's being covered with the house wrap. There is a tub/shower standing in the middle of one of the bathrooms. Windows were placed in the garage and are waiting to be installed. In the photo above plywood is on roof and house wrap is starting. So the home is progressing.

 
Patience

For me, the most exciting part of the build so far was when all the rooms were framed. I was able to walk through each room and finally see how big each would be. My imagination started placing furniture. I looked out the spaces where windows will be to see what my view will look like out of each. Up until that moment, I was patience personified. I knew this would take months and months. But now I want to be in! We are still quite a way from having a completed house so I must stay busy with other things and try to forget my home on the hill. Patience is a virtue (repeat multiple times a day to myself).

 

I will share more as time goes on. Thank you for reading this far, and let me know if you have any questions. I can be reached at 406-270-3667. And now I go wait some more.

 

Originally posted at thehousekat.com.

Posted by

 

Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Broker, CBR®

Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp

P.O. Box 10458

Kalispell, MT 59904

 

email: kat@thehousekat.com

www.thehousekat.com

 

406-270-3667 (MT) and 914-419-0270 (NY)*

*Still licensed in NY

 

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Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Thanks Kathy Streib !

Oct 13, 2019 05:35 AM #26
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

So exciting Kat and I can well share your lack of patience. It can be so hard to wait and building does take time. Do you have a finish date yet?

Oct 13, 2019 07:24 AM #27
Rainmaker
194,244
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Hi Kat, very interesting points to be made here that are well to be forwarded to anyone interested in building a house from scratch.  There is a reason why people are shy to do a custom design because of so many variables.  Theoretically you save money by doing it this way, but there are so many issues to consider it almost requires a full administrative staff to keep things in order.  And of course, contractors have to do this.  The decision making seems endless.  The first point about site prep can be devastating.  Houses built on sloping lots and close to water bodies especially have to have special foundations based on soils conditions, underlying stone, etc.  I have seen pile foundations close to water costing $150-250,000 depending on the size of the house.   Weather, availability of subs, drastic national or regional economic issues all can create extreme stress.  I congratulate anyone who believes in themselves to get exactly what they want and go all the way.  In the end, you will be rewarded.

Oct 13, 2019 07:58 AM #28
Rainmaker
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Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

We built a custom home many years ago and I LOVED the experience. The builder was a friend who we trusted so it made it much easier.

The advice I always give to people building a home is to visit the site every single day, if possible.

We did and many times we caught things that were easily changed at the moment, but would not have been easily changed had we not caught it then.

 

Oct 13, 2019 08:56 AM #29
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

Hi Kat Palmiotti I've often said building a new home from the ground up takes a boat load of patience and moola that you never thought was needed. And oh - let's not forget hire the best architect and builder too.  It's fun to hear your story and the details of the build.  I'm looking foward to seeing it all completed and your happily in your new home.

Oct 13, 2019 12:19 PM #30
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kat:

It has been great fun reading about your adventure. This is terrific education for anyone considering building a new home...a complex process indeed! I'm looking forward to the finished product, as you no doubt are as well. Hope you beat the bad winter weather!

Jeff

Oct 13, 2019 12:29 PM #31
Rainmaker
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Kat Palmiotti - this is exciting to me just hearing about this process.  I will look forward to each update.

Oct 13, 2019 12:30 PM #32
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Just think of the knowledge you'll have to pass along to clients in the future!

Oct 13, 2019 01:49 PM #33
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - the commitment was February but I'm hoping it's sooner than that. We had some friends to the house for coffee yesterday - of course, there's no kitchen so we brought it with us. It made me want to be in the house even more!

Oct 14, 2019 05:50 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,461,508
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Thank you John Henry for your well-experienced insight! So far everything has gone pretty well. We spent more than we hoped on the driveway (it's 1/2 mile long) but everything else at the moment is on track. Hopefully it will stay that way. :-)

Oct 14, 2019 05:53 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,461,508
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Sharon Tara - you are absolutely right about visiting every day, which we are. We found a few minor issues so far, which were corrected. You get what you inspect, not what you expect!!

Oct 14, 2019 05:55 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,461,508
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales - me too! I can't wait to see the finished product .... and be in it !

Jeff Dowler, CRS - I think in terms of timing, the house will be ready for us after the snow starts falling. But that's okay - it's enclosed now so they can still do what they have to do.

 

Oct 14, 2019 05:56 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,461,508
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Thank you Grant Schneider - more updates will be coming!

Marte Cliff - You are absolutely right. I'm experiencing a lot so will have first-hand knowledge.

Oct 14, 2019 05:57 AM #38
Rainmaker
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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Kat Palmiotti ,

What an awesome experience! You have really undertaken an adventure and I love you keeping us updated. Thank you also for your concern and prayers on my Geno..most appreciated.

Oct 14, 2019 05:43 PM #39
Rainmaker
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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So great seeing your updates.  I appreciate your patience level, having built a couple homes.  It takes great patience to move forward!   Looking forward to more updates!

Oct 14, 2019 08:37 PM #40
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Good morning Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR - Thank you for your comment, and sending you hugs.

Jan Green - Patience has never been my strong suit, but I'm trying! 

Oct 15, 2019 05:46 AM #41
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh my gosh, I love seeing your updates, Kat! You know we did the same thing and a year later, we were through. With the issues that arose (including the additional $30K for 82, 25-foot piers having to be drilled for the discovery of a dried creekbed), I worried some days if we would ever finish.

Now, I can't believe it's been 5 years!

You're in your dream location with the man of your dreams - ENJOY and when the house is finished, you'll start, yet another, new chapter in your lives!

Oct 16, 2019 08:48 PM #42
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Ugh, Debe Maxwell, CRS - that $30K additional issue must have been frustrating! So far we haven't had any unexpected news but we're not done yet!

Oct 17, 2019 05:41 AM #43
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

That's great news - it happens and I have learned to expect it, Kat! LOL

Hope all is going well with your home build and building your business in MT too! 

Oct 28, 2019 04:40 PM #44
Rainmaker
1,461,508
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Hello Debe Maxwell, CRS - All is going well! Siding is almost all up, some of it painted, electric is in, plumbing is in, windows/glass doors are on, insulation is up and next on the list is sheetrock. I'm so excited to see the final product, and to be living in it!

Oct 29, 2019 06:26 AM #45
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