- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Fortin Construction has remained a family business since its inception 26 years ago. As a household name in the central Maine area, Fortin Construction provides a turnkey building experience in the custom home and residential development market, completing approximately 30 homes per year. The company’s expertise stems from the accumulated wisdom of four generations of builders who are committed to providing the highest quality materials, workmanship, professional service and satisfaction possible.
Don Fortin, a third-generation builder and his wife, Cindy, founded Fortin Construction in 1990 and operated out of their basement. Due to the couple’s dedication to quality and customer service, the company experienced quick success and steady growth, adding employees and increasing volume annually. “Our focus toward our customers is to make the process of building a new home as smooth and easy as possible,” says Don. This philosophy has helped establish Fortin Construction as the largest home construction company in Maine.
Don is proud to have the opportunity to work with his three sons. In 2013, Mark Fortin was named vice president of Fortin Construction and now operates the day-to-day functions of the company. His brother, Craig, is a draftsman with the company while Luke owns a marketing company that often works with Fortin Construction. “I’ve been involved in the family business ever since I could pick up a hammer,” says Mark. “I started with the company in the field on framing and roofing crews.” Mark graduated from the University of Southern Maine, receiving a bachelor’s degree in construction management and is recognized as an associate constructor by the American Institute of Constructors (AIC).
In 2015, Fortin Construction was awarded a five-property bid job in Farmington, Maine. The remodel job was for a senior housing complex and consisted of approximately 600 window unit replacements, 100 entry doors and new vinyl siding. Fortin Construction was also charged with bringing the complex’s accessibility up to code, which involved building new stairways, elevator shafts, bathrooms and kitchens. “We also did the electrical plumbing, paving, finish flooring and even some site work,” says Mark.
Extending further into the commercial sector
A recognized commercial contractor and remodeler for more than 20 years, Fortin Construction has put forth an effort to expand its market share in the commercial sector, while still maintaining its residential construction workload of approximately 30 homes per year. The market that the company targets on the commercial side often consists of large-scale residential complexes, such as government and private housing units. “The bulk of these projects usually consists of roofing, siding, windows and doors,” shares Mark. “Every now and then we’ll run into some interior finishing or remodeling on those same projects.”
When it comes to new construction, Fortin Construction retains a niche in the market by performing its own in-house drafting. “This allows us to work with our customer directly,” says Mark. “We are open and willing to work with outside architects as well.”
While Fortin Construction maintains the ability to self-perform a majority of its own work, the company will turn to its highly-qualified subcontractors for specialty trades such as plumbing, electrical and concrete work. “We have a strong network of subs that we have used for a long time,” shares Mark. “As long as they continue to perform up to our standards of quality we will continue to work with them, which enables us to keep our pricing consistent, as well.”
In maintaining quality and customer satisfaction, Fortin Construction follows up with each client by way of sending out a survey, which encourages the customer to review the company on several criteria of their homebuilding experience. “With those new homes, we have a one-year touch-up plan that we incorporate,” says Mark. “At the end of that year our customer service manager goes back to the job and deals with any warranty issues or anything else the customer would like to discuss.”
A recent commercial project that Fortin Construction completed was an office/warehouse space for one of its suppliers in Augusta, Maine. “With a tight turnaround, we had to gut the office space, install new floors, ceilings, openings, wall space,” shares Mark. “We also renovated the bathrooms, as well as installed new heating and air conditioning systems. We completed the job in time for them to have their grand reopening.”
Due to Fortin Construction’s commitment to providing a high-quality product and delivering exceptional customer service, the company has established a strong reputation in the central and southern Maine area. This reputation has enabled Fortin Construction to establish working relationships with numerous developers, who provide the company with repeat business. “Approximately half of the commercial work we do is with organizations that we have worked with in the past,” details Mark. “They appreciate the way we treat them and the work that we do. Our pricing is usually right on track with or below the industry average.”
While looking to expand its commercial operation, Mark says that Fortin Construction will remain highly focused on residential projects. “In the future, we may look to form a separate branch of the company that focuses solely on commercial projects,” explains Mark. “Fortunately, with our reputation we’ve established on the residential side we can extend that into new markets.”
Concerning itself with its impact on the environment, Fortin Construction is a green building company. As a parent company to Alternative Energy and Solar Solutions, the firm installs solar panels and geothermal systems. Fortin Construction has recently partnered with a local solar supplier to grow its sustainability operation. “We’re really looking to push that side of the business,” says Mark. “We’re still in the early stages of establishing that division, but we do have a few geothermal and solar projects currently in the works.”
With cautious optimism about the economy and future of the industry, Mark is excited for the direction of Fortin Construction. After a strong winter in regard to sales figures, Mark predicts a steady ascent in the market. “Typically we rely on spring sales to keep our people busy throughout the year,” he says. “This year we are fortunate to have a strong backlog of work that will keep us consistent.” After being in business for 26 years and completing more than 1,000 new homes, Fortin Construction possesses the experience and ability to make the homebuilding experience as stress free as possible for its clients.
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