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 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 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 Design

Michael is a licensed architect and has 15 years of experience working on custom residential projects after receiving his Master of Architecture from Columbia University. He is an AIA and NOMA member, NCARB certified and accredited LEED AP B+C. He values creating unique spaces that reflect the client’s dreams and aspirations and has a plethora of experience designing projects from estates to pieces of furniture. He maintained his own New York City based practice for 12 years before joining Quartersawn.



A former tattoo artist and then middle school art teacher, Nate's artistry has served him well in learning fine finish carpentry.⁠ He is also a true problem solver. We are always impressed at how he can look at a carpentry problem and come up with five creative solutions. Nate has a passion for good communication and efficiency and always pushes other Qcrew staff to be and do better. ⁠ He is known for building great relationships with our homeowners.


Senior Carpenter

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.


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.


Architectural Assistant

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.



A former cabinet maker and furniture builder, Scott brings a high level of detail and precision to our carpentry team. While living in Korea and working as an English teacher, Scott honed his carpentry skills as a set builder for theatre productions. He is a carpenter that truly values the art of design. During construction it is just as important to Scott how something functions as how it looks. Smart, funny, and thoughtful, Scott is also by far the best dancer on any job site!



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.



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.



Dave joined the Qcrew in 2017 and is a meticulous framer and trim carpenter. He wins the award for most organized toolbox. Wanting to do all things the right way, Dave is not afraid to ask the hard questions, seek clarification, and investigate to find the correct answers. Deeply committed to our Qcrew culture, Dave’s wife Rachel is an honorary member of our team, as she never misses a happy hour.


Design Intern

Currently in his 5th and final year at Dunwoody College of Technology’s Bachelor of Architecture program, Crispin’s primary goal is to become a licensed architect. While he is new to the industry, he welcomes the idea of learning and exploring a different side of architecture while at Quartersawn. Crispin works with the design team on all facets of their current projects and says he has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate and absorb as much experience and knowledge as he can. Fun fact – Crispin used to breakdance! Although he doesn’t dance too often anymore, he can still bust a few moves when called on.


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.⁠


Senior 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.


Assistant Project Manager

With an MS degree in Project Management, a BA in Anthropology and experience in residential painting and general construction labor, Alex brings a variety of knowledge to Quartersawn. As Assistant Project Manager, he loves watching the transformation of a project from vision to reality. Alex is an avid traveler, citing discovering new places as his greatest passion. He has been to nearly 50 countries on six continents!


Apprentice Carpenter

Our most junior Qcrew member, Jonah demonstrates an eagerness to learn and maturity far beyond his years. He achieved the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout at only fourteen years old, which he says taught him his values of preparedness, perseverance, integrity and honesty. A self-taught woodworker, Jonah built his own wood working shop (with hand tools only!) at age sixteen. More recently he constructed a triple axel tiny home and has whittled countless beautiful wooden spoons.