Cost to Build a House in Montana: Complete Percept for 2024

In Montana, building a house on average cost approximately $149 per square foot, meaning a 2,000 square foot home would cost around $298,000. Total expenses range from $240,000 to $300,000, varying depending on location, property type, labour, materials, etc. Construction typically spans 9-12 months across the state.

Key Takeaways

  • Average per square foot building cost in Montana is $149
  • Cost per square foot approximately ranges from $100 to $200
  • A 2,000 sq ft home costs $298,000 to build on average
  • Total costs range from $240,000 to $300,000
  • Location, property type, materials, labor influence final price tag
  • Careful budgeting for design, permits, contractor fees essential

Can I Build My Own House in Montana?

You must apply for an Owner-Builder exemption to pull permits yourself. This requires demonstrating detailed construction knowledge and project management skills. Financing usually mandates partial involvement from licensed electricians and plumbers. You act as a general contractor subcontracting specialised work, saving money but increasing demands on your time. Rigorous building codes and inspections still apply. Failure to adhere results in fines or rework. Overall this path allows freedom and cost control but also higher effort and risk. Ensure you have the technical abilities, bandwidth and financial cushion before committing.

The Average Home Building Cost in Montana

The average cost of building a new house in Montana is approximately $149.48 per square foot. This means constructing a 2,000 square foot home would cost around $298,960. The total expenses involved in building a house range from $240,000 on the low end to as high as $460,000 depending on factors like location, property type, labor costs, materials used, etc. The full custom home construction process typically takes between 9-12 months to complete across the state of Montana.

Also read: Cost to Build a House in Nebraska: Total Calculation

Average Cost Based On Square Footage in Montana

Square FootageAverage Cost Ranges
500 sq ft$74,500 – $100,000
1000 sq ft$149,000 – $200,000
1500 sq ft$223,500 – $300,000
2000 sq ft$298,000 – $400,000
2500 sq ft$372,500 – $500,000
3000 sq ft$447,000 – $600,000
3500 sq ft$521,500 – $700,000
4000 sq ft$596,000 – $800,000
4500 sq ft$670,500 – $900,000
5000 sq ft$745,000 – $1,000,000

Average Cost to Build a House in Montana by City (Estimate)

CityAverage Cost per Square FootExample Cost for 2,000 sq ft Home
Bozeman$180 – $200$360,000 – $400,000
Butte$140 – $160$280,000 – $320,000
Helena$142 – $162$284,000 – $324,000
Missoula$150 – $170$300,000 – $340,000
Billings$130 – $150$260,000 – $300,000
Great Falls$120 – $140$240,000 – $280,000
Kalispell$145 – $165$290,000 – $330,000
Havre$110 – $130$220,000 – $260,000

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in Montana by Number of Bedrooms

Number of BedroomsTypical Square Footage RangeAverage Cost Range
1 Bedroom500 – 1,000 sq ft$75,000 – $150,000
2 Bedrooms1,000 – 1,500 sq ft$150,000 – $225,000
3 Bedrooms1,500 – 2,000 sq ft$225,000 – $300,000
4 Bedrooms2,000 – 2,500 sq ft$300,000 – $375,000
5 Bedrooms2,500 – 3,000 sq ft$375,000 – $450,000

Estimated Cost to Build a Home in Montana by Number of Stories 

Square FootageSingle StoryTwo StorySplit-Level
1,000 sq ft$120,000 – $175,000$140,000 – $190,000$130,000 – $180,000
2,000 sq ft$240,000 – $350,000$280,000 – $380,000$260,000 – $360,000
3,000 sq ft$360,000 – $525,000$420,000 – $560,000$400,000 – $540,000
4,000 sq ft$480,000 – $700,000$560,000 – $740,000$540,000 – $720,000
5,000 sq ft$600,000 – $875,000$700,000 – $880,000$680,000 – $860,000

Exploring Diverse House Building Costs Across US

StateAverage Amount
New York$360,180
North Carolina$301,500

Breakdown of New House Construction Costs

Building a brand new house in Montana entails a series of different expenses, from land acquisition all the way to closing costs. Here is a general overview of the key costs involved:

Upfront Hard Costs

  • Land purchase – This will likely be one of your biggest upfront expenditures when constructing a house. Land prices vary substantially based on location and desirability in Montana, typically ranging from around $15,000 an acre on the low end to over $100,000 an acre for premium lots.
  • Site preparation – Once you have land, the lot must be prepped for building. This involves surveying, clearing vegetation, removing existing structures/foundations if necessary, grading, trenching for utilities, installing septic tanks, etc. These site development costs often total $15,000 to $30,000.
  • Foundation & Framing – Constructing the home’s foundation and structural framework comes next, costing around $25 per square foot for materials and labor.

Ongoing Hard Costs

  • Roofing – Quality asphalt shingles or metal roofing in Montana runs $5 to $10 per square foot including installation.
  • Siding – Popular horizontal vinyl, engineered wood or fiber cement siding options cost $4 to $7 per square foot installed. Custom materials like brick, stone or stucco are pricier.
  • Windows & exterior doors – Midrange, energy efficient windows and doors suited to Montana’s climate average about $35 per square foot for the home.
  • Plumbing system – Installing drain, vent and water supply lines plus sewer/septic hookups costs approximately $40 per square foot. Fixtures and appliances are extra.
  • HVAC system – Heating and air conditioning equipment paired with ductwork typically adds $30 per square foot.
  • Electrical system – Having an electrician wire your new home and install lighting, fans and outlets runs around $25 per square foot.
  • Insulation – Essential for energy efficiency in Montana’s climate, insulation averages $3 per square foot across walls, ceilings and floors.
  • Drywall – Hanging, taping and finishing drywall throughout the interior costs approximately $10 per square foot.
  • Flooring – Mid-grade hardwood, tile and carpeting range from $7 – $15 per square foot purchase and installation costs.
  • Interior doors & trim – Pre-hung interior doors cost around $200 each. Trim, cabinets, railings and hardware average $15 per square foot combined.

Soft Costs

  • Architectural designs & permits – For a custom home, architectural drawings/drafting, engineering advice and permitting fees can total $30,000 or more.
  • Loan fees & interest – Construction loans average around 5-7% interest. Closing costs and loan origination fees often reach $20,000+.
  • Contingency reserve – It is smart to add an extra 10%+ buffer to your building budget for unexpected overages or changes. This provides flexibility if construction issues occur or you decide to upgrade features later.

Also read: Cost to Build a House in Missouri: A Complete Guide

Key Factors Impacting Cost

Several important factors influence the overall cost to build a custom house in Montana, including:

  • Location: Property values and construction costs can vary dramatically between different cities and rural areas in Montana. Building in a hot real estate market area typically costs more.
  • House size: The square footage of your home directly impacts building costs. Larger houses require more materials and labor.
  • Design choices: Luxury finishes, complex architectural details, and energy-efficient upgrades add to construction expenses.
  • Property type: It is often cheaper to build on vacant land than to demolish and rebuild on an existing property.

Cost Saving Tips

Building in Montana gives you flexibility. With some smart design and material decisions, you can create an affordable custom home without sacrificing quality finishes.

Top ways to reduce pricing:

  • Opt for simple dimensions and roof lines
  • Build ranch or 1.5 story instead of 2 story
  • Use structural insulated panels (SIPs)
  • Install mid-grade appliances & bathroom fixtures
  • Use durable laminate & tile instead of hardwoods
  • Include energy efficient windows, insulation & HVAC
  • Locate utilities together to simplify connections
  • Hire local subcontractors for best rates

How Long Does It Take to Build a House in Montana?

While constructing a new single-family residence takes significant coordination, the typical custom home building timeline in Montana spans just 9-12 months from breaking ground to closing and move-in.

Here is an overview of the general sequences and durations for key phases:

  • Planning & Design: Finalise blueprints, pick finishes, permit approval – 2 to 6 months
  • Site Preparation: Surveying, clearing, excavation, utility connections – 2 to 4 weeks
  • Foundation: Digging, pouring concrete, backfilling – 1 to 3 weeks
  • Framing: Structural walls, floors, roof – 1 to 2 months
  • Exterior Finishing: Windows, doors, siding, roofing – 1 to 2 months
  • Interior Finishing: Drywall, paint, trim, flooring, cabinets, fixtures – 2 to 5 months
  • Inspections & Landscaping: Final reviews, grading, driveway, walkways – 2 to 4 weeks

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Kansas

Step-by-Step Process to Build a House in Montana

  1. Secure land that fits zoning, soil, and utility access.
  2. Plan & design: consider climate, regulations, architect vs pre-designed.
  3. Hire builder, architect (if needed), engineers, surveyors.
  4. Secure financing to cover costs and unexpected expenses.
  5. Obtain permits for septic, building, electrical, etc.
  6. Prepare land, clear vegetation, lay foundation.
  7. Construct frame, install roof, ensure ventilation and weatherproofing.
  8. Install plumbing, electrical, HVAC, windows, doors, siding.
  9. Complete drywall, flooring, cabinetry, painting, interior elements.
  10. Pass final inspections, celebrate your dream home!

House Building Financing Options for Montana

  • Construction Loans – Offered by banks and credit unions specifically for funding new home construction projects. Only pay interest during the building phase before converting to a traditional mortgage.
  • Personal Loans – Can use money borrowed against your other assets for construction costs. Usually have higher rates and require strong finances.
  • Home Equity Loans – Leverage available equity if you have substantial value established in an already owned property. Depends on loan-to-value ratios.
  • USDA and VA Loans – For those meeting eligibility requirements, these two specialised mortgage programs can help finance rural properties or for veterans at competitive rates.
  • Custom Home Developer Financing – As an alternative route, some developers offer their own in-house lending for buyers building one of their pre-designed model homes.
  • Owner-Builder Savings – Finally, those with enough existing cash savings may opt to self-finance their custom home, avoiding interest costs. But this route can be riskier.

Benefits of Building Your Own Home in Montana

  • Customization – Design home tailored to your family’s preferences with exact layouts and finishes desired
  • Cost Savings – Building is often less expensive than buying existing home of same size and quality
  • Energy Efficient – Incorporate latest insulation, windows, appliances to maximize efficiency
  • Equity & Value – As owner-builder, all home improvement investments directly build your equity
  • Personal Satisfaction – Sense of accomplishment and pride from overseeing entire construction process

Working With the Right Montana Home Builder

  • Define your needs: Budget, size, style, location, custom vs. spec home.
  • Research local builders: Look for experience, reputation, licensing, and insurance.
  • Check online reviews and references: Talk to past clients about their experience.
  • Get multiple bids: Compare apples-to-apples estimates and project timelines.
  • Ask detailed questions: Communication style, payment schedule, warranty, change orders.
  • Ensure the builder understands your vision: Share plans, discuss materials, and ask about expertise.
  • Consider builder’s involvement: On-site supervision, subcontractor management, quality control.
  • Look for transparency: Open communication, clear contracts, written guarantees.
  • Trust your gut: Choose a builder you feel comfortable and confident with.
  • Enjoy the process!: Building your dream home can be exciting and rewarding.

Is It Cheaper to Build a House in Montana

Yes, building a house in Montana can be cheaper than other states for a few key reasons:

  • Land prices are lower, especially in rural areas away from the mountains and resort towns. You can purchase property for as little as $30,000 compared to $100,000+ in cities and prime recreational areas.
  • Wages tend to run 15%-20% less for construction workers in Montana’s non-urban regions. This leads to lower labor costs.
  • Material expenses may also be cheaper depending on proximity to suppliers. Building in remote rural locations can add 5%-10% in transport fees.

Overall build cost per square foot averages around $149 across the state. This compares favourably to expenses exceeding $200 per square foot in states like California or New York.

So if keeping your budget in check is a priority, Montana represents an affordable option for building a custom residence thanks to lower property values, wages and regional pricing differences.

Building vs. Buying a House: Key Differences

Building a House


  • Design home to your exact preferences
  • Personalise layout, finishes, features
  • Create ideal storage, flow, functionality

Cost Control

  • Weigh tradeoffs of size, materials, complexity
  • Balance splurges and budget selections
  • Stage construction over months/years

Brand New Condition

  • Everything from roof to paint warranty intact
  • No previous wear, defects, or repairs needed
  • Latest energy efficiency, technology included

Delayed Satisfaction

  • 9-18 months from design to move-in
  • Significant hands-on involvement
  • Numerous complex decisions required

Buying an Existing House

Immediate Move-In Ready

  • Skip lengthy design & construction process
  • Furnish and settle right into your home

Limited Customization

  • Must compromise on layout, finishes
  • Renovations add significant cost


  • No control over previous owners
  • Could inherit defects, repairs, damage
  • Dated layouts, materials need updating

Simplified Process

  • Navigate inspection, mortgage, closing
  • Maisng process handled by real estate agents

In summary, new construction takes more effort upfront but delivers long-term fulfilment from a home tailored specifically for you. Purchasing can provide faster gratification but includes inheriting an older property’s existing positives and negatives. Assess your priorities, timeline and budget when deciding between these two paths.

The Bottom Line

Building a 2,000 square foot house in Montana costs around $300,000 on average. Total prices range from $240,000 on the low end up to $500,000 for larger luxury homes. Final expenses depend on the location, property type chosen, amount of customizations, contractor fees and various other variable expenses. Once permitting and design are completed, construction itself typically spans 9-12 months.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the average house cost in Montana?

The average cost to build a house in Montana is about $149 per square foot. So a 2,000 square foot home would cost around $298,000 to construct.

How much does it cost to build a 2000 sq ft house in Montana

Building costs in Montana typically run $149 per square foot, according to 2021 construction data. This equates to approximately $298,000 to construct a high-quality 2,000 square foot home. With smaller starter homes averaging around 1,500 square feet and larger luxury custom homes sometimes exceeding 5,000 square feet, total costs to build a house in Montana commonly range from $240,000 to $300,000.

What is the most expensive part of building a house?

The land purchase is often one of the most expensive components. Prepping the site with grading, utilities, excavation etc also adds significantly to costs. Finishes like flooring, cabinets and lighting fixtures can vary widely as well.

How much does it cost to build a shop in Montana?

On average, basic pole barns in Montana run $20-$50 per square foot including concrete and basic electric. More finished shops with insulation, heating and plumbing average $100-$200 per square foot.

How to build a home in Montana?

The typical process includes purchasing land, designing plans, permitting, site work, foundation/framing, roofing/siding, utilities, insulation, drywall and finishes before final inspection.

Is Montana expensive to live?

Montana has one of the lowest costs of living in the US. Housing, utilities, transportation and taxes are very affordable compared to most states. However, urban Bozeman and Missoula can be pricier than rural parts.


Razib is a skilled writer with 5 years of experience specializing in technology, finance, automotive and real estate. A BBA graduate from 2014, Razib's passion for these industries shines through in his informative and engaging content. His ability to break down complex topics and stay current on the latest trends makes him a valuable resource for readers seeking to understand these dynamic fields.

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