Please describe what you do and where you work.
We primarily build single-family custom homes, but we also build some light commercial and office buildings too. We work from Eureka to Polson, though the majority of our projects are in the Whitefish area. About 15 years ago, we started to specifically focus on building high-performance homes and have steadily raised the energy efficiency bar in our company. We built a 2,000 square-foot home in Whitefish two years ago that has an annual heating and cooling cost of $70. That is very gratifying for us and the owner.
Tell us about a project you are particularly proud of.
We are just now finishing a complete renovation of a 70-year-old 10,000-square-foot two-story office building in Kalispell for a group of environmental attorneys. We upgraded the building structurally to meet current engineering codes, then insulated and air-sealed it extremely well for energy conservation. It is lighted by LED fixtures throughout and has an extensive solar panel (photovoltaic) array on the roof. This building is now ready for the future.
What’s the difference between a good house and a great house?
A great house is one that simply works in every single aspect. It’s a given that it has to look good and be structurally sound—that’s the base line. Beyond that, it has to manage rain and interior vapor well so that the house has longevity—our goal is 500 years. It must be healthy indoors, which means well-ventilated and no toxic products inside. And it must have low operating cost and be very comfortable for occupants in every square foot of interior space.
What is one misconception about your field?
In general, most folks don’t realize just how complicated comprehensive homebuilding truly is. Anybody that tells you that it’s a slam dunk is just skimming the surface.
What do you love most about your job?
Custom home building is a very personal business; we really enjoy getting to know our customers, finding out what is most important to them, then giving them more than they ever expected.
What do you prioritize as a company?
Leaving a legacy of consistently good homes for our customers is a powerful theme in our company culture; we never compromise on our core beliefs. Our homes are known for being highly custom, thoughtfully planned, and tastefully detailed—all for extraordinary values. Several of our past customers have advertised their homes as ‘built by Ford Custom Homes’ when they decided to sell them—flattering, yet exactly the sort of legacy that we hope for.just observe. Hunting is the thing that keeps me going year-round; hiking, shooting, camping, fishing, cycling are all ancillary.
Since our founding in 1987, our journey here in northwest Montana has been to build intentionally excellent homes that are long term assets for their owners and the community at large. We are a relatively small company and have no plans to be anything other than that. Our core group of people comes from diverse backgrounds that have melded and grown over the decades into a high-functioning organization committed to daily excellence in all that we do. Life is short, so we strive to make our moves count.