Domenic Mangano started the Jamaica Cottage Shop 14 years ago, building doghouses in his backyard with a circular saw, a hammer and a little start-up seed money.
After graduating from Green Mountain College in 1991 with a business degree, Mangano traveled for four years working as a carpenter all over the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast and Alaska.
“I learned all the regional building styles and techniques,” he said. “In Phoenix they build on a slab, in California they build to handle earthquakes. On the East Coast, builders take a project from frame to finish.”
That experience gave Mangano the background to create the Jamaica Cottage Shop, where he is not only the owner, but also the senior designer.
“We have 15 main do-it-yourself kits,” he said, “but with everything we sell here, we have over 100 designs, and thousands of combinations. I took our most popular ones and turned them into kits. We’ve shipped them to 36 states, Canada and the United Kingdom. We do most of our marketing now on the Internet.”
All the structures are made from locally cut, rough-sawn hemlock framing, and rough-sawn Eastern white pine for the siding and trim, and it’s all cut and built on site at Mangano’s new facility at an old lumber mill on Winhall Station Road in South Londonderry that he bought and moved into in 2004. He sells his buildings either fully assembled or in pre-cut kits, both of which are shipped wherever needed. The pre-cut cottage kit homes have each piece carefully marked, are shipped shrink-wrapped, and the kit includes very detailed assembly instructions with excellent graphics, cut lists and color-coded instructions. The easy to build cottage plans and buildings can be bought just by themselves as well, for more adventurous do-it-yourselfers.