The Quartersawn Story

Quartersawn founder Jeff Nicholson has always loved solving problems and building things. He began with Legos and Play-Doh, found a love of math and physics, and finally found his calling as an architectural designer and home builder.

Jeff earned a degree in Architecture from The University of Minnesota and began his career at a nationally recognized architecture firm. He then joined a design build firm but found that the lack of communication between the designers and the production was a huge problem. Plans were handed down the hallway to be built and were never seen again by the designer—often ending up in conference room meetings with homeowners in tears.

Passionate about providing a more professional, creative and joyful remodeling experience, he established Quartersawn Design Build in 2005. From humble beginnings out of Jeff’s home garage, over the last fifteen years Quartersawn has grown into a team of artisans, architects, designers, supervisors, and project managers.

What We Do

Quartersawn is a Minneapolis design/build firm that takes a holistic approach to remodeling homes. As designers and builders we provide our homeowners with creativity and certainty.

Working with architects, project management, and carpentry staff under one roof, we ensure clear communication from project conception to move-in day.

We seek to understand your values, so we can provide a customized remodel that we believe will better your life. We share our infinite knowledge and resources to restore, improve, and add value to the place you call home.

An expert in remodeling older homes, we are happy to offer advice and consultation when it comes time to decide between a remodel, a rebuild or a move.

What is Quartersawn?

Quartersawn wood is a premium cut. It is more stable and more consistent. We provide our homeowners that premium level of service and internal stability.

The Quartersawn Design Build Process

Holistic Alignment

Let’s start by discussing your project ideas and dreams over the phone. We then schedule a complimentary in-home meeting to learn more about your home and the improvements you are seeking. You will learn more about Quartersawn, our people, our processes, and what we think it will take to transform your home.

Design & Refine

Through drawings and sketches, our design department will work collaboratively with you to turn your ideas into options of what is possible for your space. Working with our incredibly knowledgeable construction staff from day one, we maintain alignment on costs while refining and developing your design.


Your field superintendent becomes your main point of contact as the build phase starts. Throughout this phase you will have weekly meetings with your expert team, including your designer and project manager. Stay informed through our online homeowner portal that provides updates on schedule, progress photos, and spending.


Our service to you does not end when construction is complete. One year after your move-in day, we will follow-up on any warranty items that may have occurred as your new spaces have settled. Our goal is to create a joyful experience and create relationships that last a lifetime.

Meet The QCrew

Quartersawn Design Build is a carefully curated team of artisans, architects, designers, supervisors, project managers, and administrative professionals.

We are passionate about creatively solving problems to make your life better through high quality, design-driven and tailor-made residential building and remodeling.

Our Foundational Values: Relationships, Professionalism, Joy, Creativity.

Jeff Nicholson


Jeff has always enjoyed building things and solving problems. After graduating with a degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota, he went to work for a nationally recognized architecture firm in Minneapolis. Interested in how the designs he created could be more accurately realized in the building process, he spent the next 6 years at a design/build firm learning that business model. In 2005, Jeff’s passion for unique solutions and the homeowner experience inspired him to establish Quartersawn Design Build. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys building his own designs and is an avid Gopher sports fan.

Leslie Nicholson

Director Of Finance

As Accounts Manager, Leslie handles all things financial for Quartersawn. She works behind the scenes to ensure all operations are running smoothly and the company is on a positive path. Bringing her strengths of consistency and empathy, she has been invaluable in the growth of Quartersawn since its beginning. Now that Jeff and Leslie’s three children have left the nest, it leaves more time for her love of playing tennis.


Director Of Construction

Adam first discovered a love of architecture while growing up in the Southern Minnesota town of Owatonna. While working for a regional architecture firm after graduating from the U of M with an architecture degree, Adam found that he preferred residential architecture for the more immediate relationships it affords. From there, he went to work for a residential design build firm, eventually transitioning to a Project Management position. When asked what he likes most about his work, Adam says he enjoys collaborating with homeowners, coworkers and trade partners to make great homes together as a team.


Director Of Experiences

Todd arrived at Quartersawn with 14 years of experience as Director of Programs and Experiences for a youth non-profit and a former life as a theatre and commercial actor. This experience, combined with his relentless passion for learning and growth, equipped him well to step into the role of Director of Experiences. Todd works diligently to provide excellent experiences for all of our homeowners, trade partners, and our beloved Qcrew. A fun fact about Todd is that he began his relationship with QDB as a client when he hired us to do an addition on his 1957 rambler.


Director Of Design

Ali wanted to be an architect since the age of 12. He fulfilled his dream by graduating from the U of M and becoming a licensed architect. At the start of his career, he worked at firms designing libraries, courthouses and other institutional buildings. For 25 years, Ali owned his own Design Build firm and he loves collaborating with Homeowners, Designers and Field Staff. He gets tremendous satisfaction in creating spaces that help improve people’s lives. When Ali’s not designing, he enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and music.



In his role as Senior Carpenter at Quartersawn, Travis cultivates an environment of joy and teamwork. While being extremely disciplined and efficient, he is able to keep our carpentry team moving with strong morale and good energy. Travis is passionate about realizing the designer’s vision through careful craftsmanship. He has a strong interest in science and critical thinking and is a founding member of the Minnesota Skeptics group.



As Architect Assistant, Jordan is the newest member of the design department and we are thrilled to have her on board. Jordan holds an Associate in Arts in General Education as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Technology. She is exceptionally detail-oriented, as well as quality and homeowner focused. Jordan has specialized in high end residential design, including custom homes and detailed interior design. One of Jordan’s favorite projects was turning two separate condos into one home after a pair of retirees fell in love.


Field Superintendent

Chauncey brings over 20 years of construction experience to his role as Field Superintendent. Chauncey is a detail-oriented, powerhouse of positive energy who brings joy, laughter, and a wealth of carpentry wisdom to every project. As Field Sup, Chauncey manages the schedule, monitors the quality of work, and is the on-site contact for our homeowners. Having spent many years as a camp counselor and Ultimate Frisbee coach, his natural role of mentor is apparent as he leads our carpentry team. In 2019, Chauncey was awarded the Steven Craig Miller Award by Minnesota Ultimate for his dedication and service to youth sports.



While earning his Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the University of Minnesota, Austin spent his summers and winter breaks working at Quartersawn as a construction assistant. He knew understanding the trades and gaining field experience would serve him well as a designer. Austin enjoys working with homeowners throughout the design process as they collaborate and find solutions to improve the homes they love. Outside of work, Austin enjoys staying active through running, tennis, golf, and participating in year-round Twin Cities soccer leagues.


Project Manager

Peter has over 20 years of project management experience. He loves making homeowners happy by transforming their houses into more functional spaces while also preserving and enhancing the details that make them notable. For Peter, the most rewarding part of a project is seeing the new and old seamlessly come together. Peter and his wife are avid trivia players and have two pet dachshunds that keep them very busy.


Construction Apprentice

Erich graduated with a major in Studio Arts (Printmaking) and a minor in Architecture from the University of Minnesota, where he was also a Division I swimmer. He coached for several competitive swimming programs for 14 years and is excited to bring his history and knowledge from multiple home renovation projects to our design build world. Erich values establishing a process and working a plan to achieve top-notch results. He loves making personal connections with others and working on a team to create something special. He is doing the same with his wife and their 3 young children – his biggest project to date.


Field Superintendent

Chad comes to us from Denver CO, with over 15 years of experience in residential construction. He grew up in a construction family and attended Ball State University for Construction Management. This experience has allowed him to hone his skills in all aspects of construction. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife and daughter, riding motorcycles and getting back out to the mountains to snowboard.



Kayla has wanted to be a designer since the age of 12. She worked tirelessly for three years to complete her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design. For Kayla, design is about creating a place that people can escape stress, breathe, relax and enjoy family. She takes great pride in guiding her homeowners through a design process that is as rewarding and enjoyable for them as it is for her. For Kayla, getting to know and understanding her clients is the true key to creating a home that they love. Many of these relationships last long after the project is complete.


Carpenter Apprentice

All his life, LaVonte has been the go to handyman. After attending Summit Academy’s Carpentry Accelerated course, he was able to shape his skills and make an official entry into the field. He is now doing the work that everyone has always counted on him to do. LaVonte is a die hard Chicago Bulls fan and enjoys photography—both behind and in front of the camera.



Katy has always had a passion for design and building, frequently getting her hands dirty remodeling her own projects. She has been working in the architecture field since 2002 and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the U of M. Katy has worked on a range of project types and has found that breathing new life into older homes is the most rewarding. She enjoys the complexity of fitting modern functionality into small footprints. Her design philosophy strives to understand client needs and develop solutions that consider context, efficiency, and craft to achieve timeless designs. In her free time, Katy enjoys working on her own home, cooking, and playing with her two little kiddos.


Senior Project Manager

With over 35 years of residential remodeling experience, Erik is a Senior Project Manager with a history of excellence. Erik facilitates collaboration and coordination between the Quartersawn design department, trade partners and homeowners to ensure each project is completed on schedule and within budget. Passionate about process and detail, Erik ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining a joyful homeowner experience. Erik loves hiking, camping, and sharing his adventures with his wife & two Australian Labradoodles.⁠



Jennifer originally went to school to study biology. While applying to medical schools, she realized interior design was her passion. She changed course and got an associate degree in interior design. With five years of commercial design experience, she became a certified interior designer. She has a passion for thoughtful design, clean spaces, and enjoys taking homeowners through the design process. In her free time, Jenny is busy with her young child, enjoys staying active, and spending time outside.


Field Superintendent

Rimhel can be found between the office and multiple job sites managing daily operations including scheduling, trade partner coordination, materials delivery, jobsite safety, and overseeing quality of work. After 25 years in the industry, including a former career as a licensed home inspector, Rimhel has a depth of knowledge and experience. Rimhel’s integrity, thoughtfulness, and passion for professionalism builds lasting relationships with homeowners as he guides them through the construction process.


Project Manager

Jessica started out as an architect before following the path into project management. She wanted to be an architect since a very young age, and later received her bachelor’s degree in architecture from NDSU. While working as an architect, Jessica found herself frustrated with the elements of her designs that were altered during construction. Now that she is in Project Management, she loves being able to solve the design challenges that come up during construction. In her free time, Jessica enjoys doing projects at her house and has three kids and a dog that keep her busy.


Construction Coordinator

Liz has a passion for good design and loves seeing how homeowner’s visions get designed and built. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design, Liz’s career evolved over to the construction industry after two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer. With over 12 years of experience in residential construction, Liz brings organization and efficiency to the coordination between the design and construction departments. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, gardening and hiking with her family.


Design Apprentice

Growing up, Nick was always taking things apart and putting them back together (most of the time). He has a fascination with how things are made and how they work. After almost becoming an engineer, he turned his focus to architectural design and quickly became hooked on learning how people experience spaces and how to creatively solve problems in design. Nick was guided into the residential design and build world while working carpentry for a handful of different places. He is early in his career, yet he will forever be seeking to learn and grow. In his free time, Nick enjoys spending time outdoors year round.


Office Administrator

Kennedy is passionate about finding answers and creating solutions to problems. She previously gained experience in this realm while working in customer service. She recently spent a year living and teaching in France, and was able to visit 10 countries during that time.