Case Studies

Fortin Construction Inc.

Maine's premier turnkey custom homebuilder

Mainers have been choosing custom homebuilder Fortin Construction Inc. (Fortin), not only for a turnkey building experience, but also for the commitment to a tailor-fit solution that’s based in four generations of builders with family ownership.

“We don’t just build to suit, we build to delight,” promises Don Fortin, founder and president of the family-owned and -operated builder. “Our philosophy at Fortin begins with the accumulated wisdom of four generations of builders. We honor the commitment we make to our customers and promise to provide the highest quality materials, the highest level of workmanship, the utmost in professional service and complete satisfaction.”

A Fortin family tradition

That’s the standard Fortin has set since Don founded the company in 1990 after years of home remodeling. “He started to work his way up from remodeling into new homes and we’ve become one of the largest homebuilders in Maine,” shares Mark Fortin, Don’s son and vice president of Fortin. “I always had the desire to follow in my father’s footsteps. I’ve been working with him ever since I could pick up a hammer. I started in the field as a carpenter and I’ve now been in upper management for four years.”

Fortin Construction IncMark now manages the day-to-day aspects and meets with all potential clients. Mark’s two brothers are also involved in Fortin. “One of my brothers owns a marketing company that we work with for marketing and communications and my other brother is a draftsman who does a great deal of our design work.”

All under one roof

Based in Auburn, Fortin serves the expanse of the central Maine with an approximately 50- to 70-mile radius. “We have about 30 to 35 employees and generally, we don’t subcontract anything aside from specialty trades, such as Sheetrock, plumbing and electrical service,” details Mark. “We have our own in-house carpenters, designers, draftsmen and painters. We used to perform in-house excavation and foundation work, but we found we could offer a better value using trade partners.”

Fortin’s large-scale showroom offers a one-stop shop for potential buyers to easily build clients a custom dream home. “We offer a full showroom, from kitchens to flooring and lighting; it’s all under one roof,” says Mark.

Once the pieces of the homebuilding puzzle come together, Mark and his team can price an entire house in just hours during an interview meeting with each client. “We have price lists of all our standard homes and upgrades, so when I price out a house, we have the exact cost before we sign a proposal,” he explains. “We know exactly what we’re pricing, because we do all of our floor plans on-site at our office.” “We have completed over 1,000 new homes so we have a proven process that makes for an effective and efficient building experience.”

In addition to a full-service showroom, Mark says there are several sub companies under the Fortin umbrella. “We have CaMLaS, an interior design company that allows us to buy kitchen cabinets, flooring, lighting, appliances and so on direct from the manufacturers, eliminating the need for middleman mark-ups, to give our clients better value” he reveals.

Also under Fortin is a green building company, Alternative Energy and Solar Solutions. “We install solar panels and geothermal systems,” expands Mark. “So far we’ve completed five geothermal home systems. The upfront cost is more, but the return on investment down the road is huge.”

For the most part, Fortin delivers a range of residential construction. “The typical custom home project is anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000, but we have done million dollar homes on the coast, as well; no home is too big or too small,” says Mark. “We also do remodels, additions and light commercial work including windows, doors, roofing and siding replacements.”

Building the bigger picture

From capes to colonials, smaller ranches to modern and contemporary designs, Fortin runs the gamut in custom home design and construction. “A few years ago we completed a large contract for a custom home in Harpswell, Maine,” reveals Mark. “This job included special roof lines with metal, shingles and varied siding material and a custom turned stairway.”

However, Fortin understands the average buyer can’t afford such a significant upfront investment. “We also offer turnkey loans,” shares Mark. “We’ll finance the project all the way through completion and even purchase and own the land we’re building on before selling it back as one whole package. We’re able to operate with enough cash flow to provide this service to our clients, and that’s something few builders in this state can do.”

Also, few Maine builders were able to stay afloat during the recession, but Fortin remained strong and steady. “Business slowed down a bit, but we stayed consistent with only a couple of layoffs,” reveals Mark. “We were able to continue to pay everyone while others were going out of business. Things are starting to turn back around and there’s more building activity.”

Above all else, Mark and his team maintain a positive attitude. “The ability to positively impact people’s lives and make our clients’ dreams come true has kept Fortin moving forward all these years,” he continues. “The best part of my job is working with clients and being a part of the major life experience of building a home. It’s an incredible feeling.”

It’s a feeling that Fortin Construction Inc. has been generating throughout Maine since 1990 with trusted turnkey construction and family-owned integrity.

Published on: November 7, 2014

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