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Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a question below to learn more 

  • How does this whole process work?
    The first step is to prepare a design. This is a stand-alone service and doesn’t obligate you to have me build the layout. After the design is done, I give you a written cost proposal. If you choose to proceed, we enter into a written contract (similar to those used by home contractors). An initial payment of twenty-five to thirty-three percent is obtained and construction starts. Progress payments are invoiced at previously agreed-upon milestones. As construction progresses, you will receive weekly progress reports via email. When the project is complete, I deliver it to your home and install it.
  • What degrees of completion do you offer?
    As the client you have total flexibility when it comes to project scope and the degree of completion you want to purchase. I handle mechanically complete layouts with no structures or scenery, finished layouts with scenery but no structures, and of course fully finished models with scenery and structures.
  • What areas of the country do you serve?
    I serve the entire continental U.S. Although I’m based in Maryland, I’ve done a large number of projects for west coast clients.
  • Is this your full time business?
    Yes. I’ve been in business 23 years.
  • What type of bench work arrangements to work with?
    All types from off the walls “islands” to shelf style layouts.
  • Will you come to my site and help me finish a layout I’ve already started.
    Sorry, that is not a service I offer.
  • What scales do you work in?
    HO and N only.
  • Do you furnish references?
    Yes, but to respect the privacy of previous customers and limit the number of inquiries they receive, references are furnished as the last step in the process.
  • How much does it cost to build a custom layout?
    Custom built layouts entail a significant financial commitment due to the hours involved in building them, as well as the degree of craftsmanship and skill that must be applied. Costs vary widely depending on degree of finish, theme, type of scenery, scale etc. As far as order of magnitude is concerned, costs are similar to a having a home renovation or home addition done. As a general rule, prices start at $25,000 on the very low end and often run into six figures for highly finished projects.
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