Four Generations of Handcrafted Homes

Since 1947, Stonewood has been the custom home builder for countless families. We invite you to explore and take in what makes Stonewood truly unique with a rich history in homebuilding.

Sven Gustafson

Featured in the 2024 Artisan Home Tour

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this home stands as a testament to the aspirations of its dynamic homeowners — a family with grown children seeking a multifaceted retreat that harmonizes entertainment with relaxation.

Recent Work

Our Process

Each nuance of our process is a promise kept. Built on
the foundation of transparency and simplicity, each
step is designed to inspire confidence, so you feel as
secure in our management of timelines and budgets as
you do in the quality of your custom home.

Each nuance of our process is a promise
kept. Built on the foundation of
transparency and simplicity, each step is
designed to inspire confidence, so you feel
as secure in our management of timelines
and budgets as you do in the quality of your
custom home.

Phase 1: Selection of an Architect

Selection of an Architect

We assist our clients in interviewing several local architects that we feel are the best in the business. While we’ll work with whoever you feel is the best fit for your project, there are several architects with whom we’ve developed trust & strong relationships. We’ll help you interview architects to determine who is the best fit for your project. Sven is involved in the interviews with architects and in all design meetings to help keep your project on track and on budget.

We’ve found that the selection of the architect generally comes down to three factors:

  • Design aesthetic/portfolio of past projects. While the architects we recommend are able to conform to any particular architectural style, it’ll be clear after looking at their portfolio that they have a passion & skill within a specific field.
  • Fee structure – fees are based on the project’s scope and vary, to a degree, based on the chosen architect.
  • The architect’s rapport/personality. Clients often comment that the chosen architect “seemed to get it” or “understood how we live.”

Once the architect is selected, our clients contract directly with the architect – keeping you in control of the process and in ownership of the work that is done.

Phase 2: Design Development

Design Development

1. Design Schedule

Once the design is underway we’ll meet every couple of weeks to review and discuss the design of your home. Typically, the design will take 3-4 months but this process can be drawn out over as many months as you have available. We encourage our clients to begin design early and spend plenty of time in between design meetings to consider the concepts – to “live in the design”.

2. Design Preparation

Contemporary, cottage, craftsman, French provincial – these terms may mean different things to you than to your architect. The best way to communicate is with photographs. We encourage you to create a collection of photos that appeal to you. Organize it by room – exterior, kitchen, master bathroom, etc… The more prepared and organized you are, the better your architect will understand your goals for your new home. Create a wishlist, room by room. Include features, your plans for using the room, special pieces of furniture you intend to bring, and anything else that will help the team understand your vision.

3. Conceptual Design

These hand-drawn, artistic translations are fun to look at and even more, fun to play with. They capture the initial statement of a lifestyle quickly and inexpensively. Every architect has their own process, but most will present hand-drawn, loose concepts at the first design review.

4. Preliminary Budget

At this early stage, it’s too early to solicit actual bids from subcontractors. Instead, we’ll target the budget by identifying an expected cost per square foot. We’ll determine this cost based on our experience and our conversations regarding your home’s amenities, finishes & features.

5. Design Development

After perfecting the conceptual design, the architect will proceed with CAD drawings. The design will proceed to a set of drawings that can be bid by subcontractors – the ‘bid set’. Once we reach this point, we’ll pause the design process to prepare a formal budget to make sure we’re on track with your budget expectations.

Phase 3:

Interior Design

REFINING THE DRAWINGS

At this level, the concept sketches go to a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) system in the next step toward final, refined construction blueprints. We also draw a front elevation to see how the home will look on the exterior, as well as a floor plan for each floor.

LISTENING TO CRAFTSMAN

While most builders wait for final plans, we have subcontractors review plans early on in the process to provide an early opinion. It gives mechanics and carpenters an early look at the feasibility of the design to identify challenges or better ways to achieve the desired results.

MANAGING YOUR BUDGET

We enlist the best contractors available, competing against peers. Bidding keeps them on track and competitive. We take our fiduciary responsibility for our clients’ funds very seriously and ensure the entire project is cost-effective.

FINE TUNING SELECTIONS

Our clients begin working with the Interior Design team immediately following the budget review. Selections include interior/exterior materials and finishes, lighting, furniture, window coverings, paint colors, and more. We partner with designers who efficiently manage the process while ensuring an enjoyable experience for our clients.

Phase 4: Budget Review

Budget Review

Stonewood, LLC is known for exceptionally detailed specifications and budgets. Once we’ve developed the Bid Set of drawings, we’ll develop specifications for the project – a description of the finishing of the home that is not yet included in the drawings. We’ll compile the drawings and the specifications to solicit competitive bids for every aspect of your project. With preliminary bids returned from contractors, our clients have an early look at real pricing and can go forward confident about the cost of the project. At this stage of design, we’re able to make changes to the design without significant expense. Once we’ve refined the preliminary budget, the architect will begin the working drawings.

This stage of design typically takes 1-3 months, depending on the size and design of the home. While this final design work is being done, we’ll work on interior design and materials selections. Once the working drawings are complete and your selections have been finalized, we’ll repeat the budgeting process. The final budget will be based upon your final plans & selections. Our final budget will largely be composed of firm bids – all from competitive bidders. Stonewood is known for our comprehensive budgeting & accuracy. Our competitive process delivers a lower cost per square foot than our competitors and can save hundreds of thousands of dollars for our clients.

Phase 5: Construction Management

Construction Management

1. Quality Assurance

Throughout the project, we oversee the quality assurance of your home every step of the way. Our project managers pride themselves on keeping an open line of communication throughout the process with not only subcontractors but also the homeowners, keeping them informed and answering any questions that may arise.

2. Performance Testing

Well-developed building practices are only the first step in building a quality home. No matter how well a project is managed, things can slip through the cracks. To minimize this, we performance test all of our homes throughout construction to verify that procedures have been followed and the details have been attended to.

3. Walkthroughs and Occupancy

The project manager will perform several walkthroughs prior to occupancy marking concerns that need to be addressed prior to moving in- we call this the “Punch List”. A final walkthrough is then conducted with the clients to make sure the home is as close to perfect as man and nature can provide. We follow this with a white glove cleaning before we welcome you into your new home.

4. After Completion

As a new home settles over the first year, along with daily use of fixtures and finishes, concerns can arise. We provide our clients with extensive warranty coverage on the workmanship and material quality. To ensure the quality of your new home, we will provide a thorough inspection at 1 year, addressing any issues our clients may have.

A Word From Our Clients

My wife and I have had several houses built in the past and nothing compares with our experience at Stonewood. Sven and his team are a pleasure to work with. Their ultimate goal is that the home owner is completely satisfied with the end product. I would highly recommend Stonewood. – Russell K.
Sven Gustafson and his team provide an efficient, creative, design conscious, client friendly experience. We love the software they developed that provides minute detail on all aspects of the project and which keeps the project on budget and on time! And yet, they remain flexible and willing to work with clients to gain optimum satisfaction. We would work with them on any project! – Linda C.
Our home construction project with Stonewood was a partnership that couldn’t have been more enjoyable. From design through construction, they kept us informed with meetings and emails as well as advising us through the entire selection process. The organization and attention to detail were incredible and a big reason why we came in under budget and on time! If quality craftsmanship combined with honesty and integrity our important to you, then you may want to consider Stonewood! – Rich G.
I hired Sven to build my “Dream Home” on Lake Minnetonka. He was honest, delivered as promised and produced a high quality product. He and his team were also very supportive after we closed taking care of the little adjustments you would expect with any new home. If I built another home, Sven would be at the top of my list for quality builders. – Dick C.
Sven is a person of high character and integrity, and i would highly recommend him as a great builder to anyone considering building a high end home. – Gus R.
It was such a positive experience from start to finish building a custom home with Sven and his entire team at Stonewood. They delivered a beautiful home along with an ongoing partnership far beyond handing the keys to the front door over. Highly recommend!” – B. Sinclair
Having been in our home for roughly 9 months, I can say we’re incredibly pleased with the quality of the home that Stonewood builds. It’s easy to see how they have a reputation for being a premier custom home builder in the Twin Cities. With years of experience behind them, the Stonewood team works hard to ensure that your home fits your lifestyle and budget. Their attention to detail is unmatched in the industry, which is what initially led us to consider them. We enjoyed the building process from start to finish, and we appreciate the honest, ethical company that they are. We’d build again with them in a heartbeat, if the need arose. – Megan W.
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