In many years of architecture practice, I’ve had the good fortune to work with several talented building contractors, but it’s difficult to think of any others that can match the talent and expertise offered by Cold Mountain Builders.

From the beginning of a new project with Cold Mountain, it’s clear that this is no ordinary building contractor, and this will be no ordinary journey. Jay Fischer leads a subtle team-building process that integrates the client, architect and builder, forming a bond of shared aspirations that continue through the project. He is that rare combination of confident and open: one trusts his ability to solve problems and achieve goals, but his confidence never strays into a set way of doing things, instead always focused on the particular parameters and needs of the project.

The Cold Mountain team has a genuine curiosity about design and architecture. The entire crew seems to quickly understand the design narrative of the project almost as well as the architect. A site visit is an unusually stimulating event, where conversations range from budget and schedule (meticulously managed), to the aesthetic resolution of a challenging joint between two surfaces, or even on to the history of an unusual material specified for siding.

Cold Mountain’s long history in the area also means that they have a substantial knowledge base of local craftspeople, materials, and suppliers to ensure their projects will feel at home in Maine. Be prepared: on the trail of a perfect cache of beautifully weathered stone, one must expect road trips with Jay Fischer to obscure unnamed locations, but it will be a memorable adventure. Jay understands: a house is a collection of stories, and he’s there to help tell the first ones.

Bruce Norelius