February 18, 2021
I started flipping houses before there were TV shows about it. Then my parents decided that they wanted to move to Maine. They looked at condos and didn’t really like anything so I built them a subdivision in Saco, now known as Ferry Landing.
That subdivision set me up for a 22 year career building custom homes. I’ve built houses all over Southern Maine. Recently, I have shifted my focus to Ocean Park, Saco and Biddeford. Currently I have four houses under construction with many more in the pipeline.
When I started, I didn't know much about building houses but it’s really about organization and relationships. It’s like a puzzle, and you have to put all the pieces together: contractors and customers, budgets, permitting, zoning - there are many steps. Building the house is the easy part. The challenge is all you have to do leading up to it.
When people are considering building a house, I tell them how to work on the "puzzle". You do the corners first: what do you want the house to look like, and where do you want it to be. Then you do the outside edges: how many bedrooms and bathrooms, what type of heating, insulation, flooring etc, the major components. Then, pop the rest of the pieces in the middle as you go. Those are things like wall colors, knobs or pulls in the kitchen, location of light switches and where to put a hose. A lot of the time, people try to dump the whole box out and put all the pieces together at once which can be overwhelming. I always reiterate that slowing down and concentrating on one thing, one piece at a time is the best practice.
I help people achieve their dreams, but I know I won’t be doing this forever. I'm looking forward to traveling more, and helping children achieve their educational dreams. It’s my goal to go back to Ethiopia and work at a school there. It’s been my favorite country to experience. The Simien Mountains are magical. The people have nothing, but they're happy. That country and those people know what’s really important in life and it's not “stuff”. Being there with those people is good for my soul.
I was 33 when I started my business. I found my skill was relating to all kinds of people and I applied it to my business. I’ve learned a lot along the way.
- Diane Doyle, Doyle Enterprises