Modern Style with Old-Fashioned Integrity
Montana Contracting embraces contemporary architecture while retaining founding values
Montana Contracting, founded in 1984, is a champion of modern architecture. As demand grew for the clean, clear lines and contemporary use of glass and steel, Montana Contracting responded. “Ultramodern construction is one of our newer avenues of business that we have been involved in for about five years,” says company President Joe Montana.
Located in Congers, New York, the company is on the fast track to becoming a favored modern builder with the growth it has experienced. “We are starting to get a lot of work in Orange County, New York, and New York City is always a land of opportunity,” Joe says.
This modern style commands a unique set of construction skills and attention, and Montana Contracting has been able to dedicate the necessary resources, including engineers and architects. “We’ve done a lot of modern residential projects,” says Matt Nicosia, Director of Estimating and Project Management. “In the past couple of years, we have been able to learn that unique language of modern construction. The details are different from commercial and traditional residential construction.”
Though the modern style may be the company’s specialty, Joe wants potential clients to know that Montana Contracting is a full-service contracting, construction management and residential development firm with work in New York and New Jersey.
At the time of reporting, the company’s leadership was excited about Montana Contracting’s current work on the Piaule Landscaping Retreat in the Catskills area. The project includes one- and two-bedroom modern cabins that are being built in a factory by another company in Quebec, Canada. Montana Contracting is responsible for assisting and overseeing that process. After the cabins are built, Matt says, “We will accept delivery and set them on foundations that we pour.” The team is also constructing a two-story, 10,000-square-foot main house that includes a high-end kitchen with a dining area and a spa on the lower level with a pool and other amenities. The retreat will host weddings and other events.
Joe formed the company on a foundation of integrity and shared principles and values. The customer is the top priority, he says, while every employee is considered family. “It doesn’t matter whether we’re doing a $100,000 job or a $6 million job for that customer, we try to make them all our priority,” Joe says.
That core precept helps Montana Contracting remain a top-rated construction company among clients. The company’s online Google customer reviews range from four to five stars, speaking volumes about the success of this business. Most clients want to be involved in the projects, Joe says. “We try to make it a team that includes them as part of the whole building process,” he says. “They want to be involved in weekly meetings with us and the other professionals.”
Matt adds that the level of involvement from the owner facilitates “transparency and honesty from us to the owners, setting expectations as accurately as possible.”
The family-run business also includes Joe’s brother, Chris Montana, who serves as Vice President. The company was primarily a residential developer for the first 25 years. It would take on a special project or two each year, serving as general contractor, working for an owner and building off a set of drawings—sometimes commercial, sometimes residential. However, the company mostly focused on new developments and speculative homes. Now the residential work is all custom—high-end new homes and some renovations—with a mixture of large and small projects. The company finishes about 20-25 projects each year.
Wowing the customer remains a key focus. The team celebrates past projects such as Terrace on the Hudson, a popular restaurant in the Hudson Valley that features a waterfall and elegant banquet area, and The Chefs’ Warehouse in the Bronx. “[The Chefs’ Warehouse] was a very fun project,” Matt says, describing the 26,000-square-foot converted office space and test kitchen with decorative steel touches and creative paint finishes.
Montana Contracting supports three major community causes with the goal of staying connected to its surrounding neighborhood. These include United Hospice of Rockland, Jawonio, a summer educational camp for people with disabilities and special needs in the New York area, and Camp Ramah, a Jewish summer camp for children. The firm sponsors golf tournaments, donates funds and maintains the buildings of these groups pro bono. “We lend construction services to them, helping maintain their facilities, which we built,” Joe says.
All in the Family
Culture and family are important at Montana Contracting. “There’s a lot of friendships formed here,” Joe says. “While there’s always some sort of a chain of command, there’s not a lot of ‘I’m your senior, you’re my junior’ relationships.” Employees spend time together and enjoy company outings such as fishing trips and barbecues. Joe hosts outdoor celebrations, inviting everyone over for pizza from his outdoor wood-burning oven.
“We want people to do well, and we want people to succeed,” Matt says. The company offers bonus structures and maintains a high retention rate. The construction firm also wants employees to know that their families matter.
“If they have family issues they need to work out, we allow them to go deal with it. Their family is important to them and it’s important to us,” Joe says.
Facing Obstacles with Ease
The construction business features many obstacles, such as weather delays, supply arrivals and construction deadlines. At Montana Contracting, employees look at past patterns and build their processes around them, which helps them anticipate issues before they happen. “Sometimes obstacles exist in the estimating process. We’ll be bidding a set of drawings where we can see discrepancies,” Matt explains. “We like to make note of them in our proposals and our bids to the owners, then communicate that as far ahead of time as possible.”
If there is a hitch during a project, Matt says it’s all hands on deck. “The team likes to communicate any problems ahead of time, but if we reach a point where we face an obstacle during the project, it’s like a fire drill. We place all our attention on the challenge and allocate as much resources as possible to fix the issue,” he explains.
The team is known for coming together to pool talents and skills, which in turn solves problems. “We try to make everything as seamless and painless as possible,” Joe says. “We do everything with 100% integrity.”