Our Process

We’ve built all of our processes around simplicity, transparency and common sense. To that end we:

  • Price our homes on a cost-plus fee basis, fully disclosed to our clients
  • Competitively bid every every aspect of our projects with time tested contractors that have proven their quality and expertise. Many have worked for us for nearly 30 years.
  • Operate on a fully open book basis – all bids and invoices are open to client review.
  • Bill monthly, only for work done, materials delivered & invoiced to us. We don’t take large deposits. We’re paid as work is completed.
  • Manage payments & lien releases through a 3rd party title company. Your payments are disbursed direct to those that have invoiced and done the work.
  • Employ forward-thinking application of technology – we’ve developed an online system that allows every member of the team to access project information, 24-7. Plans, specifications, budget, finish selections, change orders, schedule, and all project communication are accessible to the entire team at any time.
  • We don’t ask our clients to sign a construction contract until we have a final home design, material selections, and a budget that meet our client’s expectations.

Assembling the Team

Assembling the Team

Selection of the Team

Rather than be pigeon-holed to one architectural style, 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.

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

  • Design aesthetic / portfolio of past project. 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 range with the scope of work that is expected from the designer.
  • The architect’s rapport / personality. Clients often comment after making their selection that the chosen architect “just seemed to get it” or “understood how we live.”

Sven is involved in the interviews with architects & in all design meetings to help keep your project on track, and on budget.

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.

Design Development

Design Development


    Once design is under way we’ll meet every couple of weeks to review and discuss the design of your home. Typically, 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.”


    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 scrapbook 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.


    These hand-done, sketchy, 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.


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


    After perfecting the conceptual design, the architect will proceed into CAD drawings. 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, make sure we’re on track with your budget expectations.

Interior Design, Detailing

Interior Design, Detailing

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 as you come up to it as well as a floor plan for each floor to be finished.

Listening to craftmen

While most builders wait for final plans, we have subcontractors review plans earlier and 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 desired results.

Managing your budget

We competitively bid every aspect of the budget. We enlist the best contractors available, competing against peers. Bidding keeps them on track and competitive. We take our fiduciary responsibility of our clients’ funds very seriously and ensure the cost effectiveness of the entire project.

Fine Tunning Selections

The Selection/Design Process is a detailed yet fun time during the home building experience. It is very important the majority of selections are made prior to framing to truly customize the house to fit all of the details our client’s dream of, therefore, clients begin working with the Interior Design team immediately following the budget review. Selections include interior and exterior materials and finishes, lighting, furniture, window coverings, furnishings etc. There are so many elements that go into our homes and we pride ourselves on working with designers that can successfully manage the process while also making it fun for our clients!

Interior Designers Annie Graunke, Kristen McCormick and Melissa Musgjerd from Studio M Interiors.

“Our goal is to always create a space that reflects our clients’ lifestyle and fulfills their vision.” -Studio M

Interior Designers Annie Graunke, Kristen McCormick and Melissa Musgjerd from Studio M Interiors.

Bidding, Budgeting

Bidding, Budgeting

Up front Budget review

Stonewood 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 on 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 work on 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.

Construction Management

Construction Management


    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.


    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.

    We use tools like moisture meters to verify the moisture content of sub floors prior to installing hardwood flooring. High-accuracy humidity meters are used to keep a check on the indoor humidity levels throughout construction; installing equipment as necessary to add or remove humidity. We use blower door units to de-pressurize the home, and infrared cameras to locate penetrations in the insulation as well as air barriers.


    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 and welcome you to your new home.


    As a new home settles over the first year, as well as 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.