Jay Fischer was the key to our project’s success. He was the first person we talked to about the suitability of the site, which was tight and steep, before we even started looking for an architect. Jay’s knowledge of construction and design, his common sense and his ability to anticipate problems and find solutions—and his ability to communicate—ensured that the house embodied our dream and the process of building it was a pleasure. The house is small, with complicated rooflines and intricate finishes, and thanks to Cold Mountain Builders’ high standards, it is as elegant and sturdy as a wooden boat. Jay solved every detail, from engineering a narrow spiral stairway to something as small as figuring out a way to fit a screen door under a low overhang. The house is beautiful, and it sits on the land as if it has always been there. It was completed over ten years ago, and as the house settled one or two things eventually needed some fixing; the same crew that worked on it came and made the repairs. Jay works for the long term; he builds houses, and he also builds relationships.

Deborah Weisgall