High end luxury from High Country Builders

High end luxury at Iron Horse Golf Club in Whitefish

By Montana's Finest Homes

A ridge with beautiful views of the Whitefish Lake helped sculpture the design of this home, in the Whitefish Iron Horse golf course community.

The owners are a retired couple who were looking for a great location to build a home that they could feel comfortable in while accommodating family and friends visits, with lots of choices for outdoor activities.

“We enjoy all that the area has to offer in the way of recreation and pristine beauty, including the close proximity to Glacier Park,” says homeowner Susan Witt. “But what makes us feel so at home in Whitefish is the community of wonderful people who live here.” The Witts met with several of the areas most recommended builders and chose High Country Builders, owned by Walt Landi. “The final decision to hire him was based on great chemistry. He was so easy to work with and very creative,” says Susan Witt.

The home’s site on the ridge allowed Landi to create a design that had great views from almost every room in the house. The windows in the great room span from just a few feet above the floor to the ceiling and capture a view of the lake that feels like standing on top of a mountain.

The great beams framing these windows are finished tree trunks that retain their wide base as they meet rockwork that details window ledges and walls throughout the home. Other rooms in the house, including bedrooms, also have windows that span from the ceiling to floor level, bringing the outdoors inside at every opportunity.

Energy Star certified windows were used throughout the home. “With the substantial amount of glass used in this project,” says Landi. “It was imperative to use one of the industry’s best choices in terms of thermal performace.”
Landi, who was a cattle rancher in a previous career, has a special love for the craftsmanship and unique design of the old homesteads that shows in his projects. He specializes in using reclaimed wood, and throughout the home rustic log timbers are used for ceiling beams, framing windows, along ceiling trims, and as fireplace mantles. The design was a collaboration between Landi and owner John Witt. “This was our first log hybrid home,” says John. “We chose the natural materials of log, timber, and stone to work with because they blend into the home’s surroundings. By aslo using those materials on the interiors, we brought  the surrounding natural environment indoors.” The roof system uses locally harvested northwest Montana lodge pole, spruce, fir and larch. One of the home’s great building challenges was building steel frames into the log structures. “The part I enjoy the most about working with natural, irregular shaped materials,” says Landi, “is implementing them in precision building. Because of the large spans of glass used in this great room, we had to build a steel moment frame that is hidden within the log structure. The steel frame allows the house to resist lateral loads arising from winds or earthquakes. It’s a real challenge to hide this steel within the logwork.”
Every room in the home has custom cabinetry or woodwork. Ole Netteberg, owner of Old World Cabinets in Whitefish, has been building custom cabinets for over 45 years. “There has never been a project that compares to this in terms of the amount of woodworking details and cabinetry under one roof,” says Netteberg. In addition to the kitchen, interior storage closets, and dressing rooms, Old World Cabinets created special detail woodwork like a concealed television cabinet in the great room, where wall space was taken up by windows and a fireplace, and custom woodwork on the elevator walls and ceiling.
The unique wine bar, a collaboration between Netteberg and Susan Witt, was custom designed to feature a rustic combination of textures and materials.
All the quality, custom detail and attention to harmony with the natural surroundings put into this home will not only bring great joy and comfort to the couple who put so much into its design, but also be an important part of the legacy that they leave to future generations. •
High Country Builders
863-9511 • waltlandi@mac.com • highcountrybuilders.com

Montana Rockworks
752-7625 • montanarockworks.com tristan@montanarockworks.com

Old World Cabinet Co.
862-5324 • oldworldcabinets@montanasky.us

Montana Stone Fabricators
253-8080 • mtstone@centurytel.net

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