Our Story

Company founders, brothers Pete, and Wayne Peters, discovered their love for timber framing in the late 1980’s.  Their old family barn, built in 1885 was a curiosity.  How could it stand so straight and strong for over a century while newer farm buildings had fallen to pieces? The old barn was a timber frame, and it led them to learn everything they could about the timber frame craft, eventually starting Cornerstone Timberframes in 1991.

A Love for the Craft

In those early years, the Peters worked out of a small barn, unloaded timbers by hand and used a single sided planer to square up and surface timbers. The first joinery was cut by chisel, ship’s auger, and hand saw. Despite the hard work, it was a love of craft and grateful clients that kept them learning and improving. In 2002, following a successful tradeshow in Minneapolis, a larger shop with modern tooling replaced the little barn.

When the brothers were ready to retire in 2015, Pete’s daughter Tanya Bachmeier stepped up to lead the company.  Tanya had started at Cornerstone in 2001, helping to run the office, but she soon found herself giving customers advice on finishing options and before long was applying stain to client timber frames after hours.  In 2016, husband Nevin Bachmeier joined the team, bringing his planning and creative solutions mindset to Cornerstone.

Learning and openness to change have always been key to the company’s growth.  As owners, Tanya and Nevin realized that the same tools and skills we applied to homes and cottages could also be used for large commercial structures.  In 2016 we began working with glulam beams.  In 2018 we added our first of two CNC timber cutting machines.  And that same year we started offering cross-laminated timber panels (CLT’s) that can span long distances as either floors or walls. 

The old 1885 barn continues to inspire new generations, preserved at a nearby historic village.  The love for timber framing it set alight at Cornerstone Timberframes continues to burn brightly.  We invite you to be in touch about your timber frame project.  Let the dream begin!

Our Team

Tanya Bachmeier
Tanya Bachmeier
Chief Executive Officer

Tanya grew up in a family involved in almost every aspect of construction. In 2000, she graduated and went straight to work, helping her father and uncle run Cornerstone’s office. In her early years, she handled bookkeeping and gained mastery of 3D design software. As customers asked how they should best protect their timbers, Tanya started by providing advice, but soon found herself staining client frames in the shop after hours. And she hasn’t looked back, annually assisting scores of clients with colour choices and directing a large, professional finishing shop. Tanya along with husband Nevin, purchased Cornerstone in 2015. They have two children.

Personal notes:

  • Plays hockey for fun and fitness.
  • Enjoys splitting wood for her home’s fireplace.
  • Always has a furniture or finishing project on the go.
Jake Howe
Director of Commercial Sales

Jake was born and raised in Toronto where he first gained interest in construction, working for a residential General contracting company he was curious about many trades. He went to trades college and became certified as a Gas Technician. After exposure to large commercial construction projects, he went back to get his C.E.T. designation from Red River College. Jake worked for one of the largest General Contactors in North America where he was first introduced to Mass Timber and decided that this progressing construction methodology was the way of the future. He joined Cornerstone Timberframes in September of 2023 and was tasked with expanding the Commercial Construction portion of the business.

Personal notes:

  • Is an avid fisherman and has caught 49 species across 3 continents.
  • May be found talking to his TV during a hockey game.
  • He and his wife love the outdoors, whether its gardening or hiking they are often outside with their two dogs.

“I am honoured to carry the family tradition, creating beautiful timber frame structures, and building on a legacy of Integrity, honesty, and authenticity. We value relationships, respectfully acknowledging the value of collaboration while we strive to exceed our clients’ expectations.”

Michael Pankratz
Michael Pankratz
Design Leader

Michael grew up in Winnipeg and studied Architecture at the University of Manitoba. Following school, he spent two years in commercial and residential construction, gaining valuable insight into project management and effective problem solving. Michael’s favourite part of his job is creating personal connection with clients and helping them achieve their visions. Since joining Cornerstone in 2015, he has helped hundreds of clients complete projects big and small with custom timber designs and visualizations.

Personal notes:

  • Enjoys sports, both as a player and a fan (our March Madness expert).
  • Always ready for DIY work, especially home renovations and yard improvements.
  • Loves a Saturday morning coffee with a good read.
Michael Bergen
Michael Bergen

Michael studied Architectural Technology & Engineering at Red River College and received his diploma in 2019. One of his favorite job assignments is studying and creating excellent technical details that will satisfy engineers, architects, builders, and clients. He is also Cornerstone’s machine language expert, translating timber designs into files that can be read by our two CNC joinery machines.

Personal notes:

  • A movie critic and a certified night owl.
  • Enjoys keeping up with the latest tech news.
  • Always up for exploring new food / coffee places
Maison Smith

Maison is a Certified Engineering Technologist having graduated from Red River Polytech in 2020. Her work at Cornerstone covers the full spectrum of residential timber design including unique entryways, outdoor structures and full timber homes and cottages. An area of specialty: creating photo-realistic renders to help clients see how their home or cottage will look with furniture, lighting, and finishes.

Personal notes:

  • Can be found kayaking – year-round, wherever open water can be found.
  • Enjoys creating art in many forms, from murals to costumes.
  • Cornerstone’s green thumb, regularly rescuing office plants from certain death.
Candice Dyck
Sales Support

Candice grew up in Steinbach and has a large local network of friends and family.  She is happiest in her work when there’s an opportunity for personal connection and understanding. Both colleagues and clients appreciate her sense of fun, keen listening skills and gentle wit.  Her love of people, their experiences, and insights, made her a natural for working with clients. With over ten years experience in sales and customer support she’s a great addition to the Cornerstone Team. 

Personal notes:

  • Enjoys sports and avidly cheers on the Pistons hockey, Minnesota Vikings and volleyball teams in Manitoba.
  • Active and full of energy, Candice teaches spin classes (when many of us are still sleeping)
  • Loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her family and dog “Piper”.
Dennis Sullivan
US Sales Manager

Born and raised in southeast Michigan, Dennis ventured into the world of construction early on. Managing installed sales at a national building supply company honed his skills. Intrigued by traditional craftsmanship, he learned hand-cutting timber at a small company before embracing modern methods with CNC technology. Evolving into a project manager, he founded his own timber/ SIP installation company. unwinding by the lake, or exploring new destinations with his wife.

Personal notes:

  • Off-duty, you’ll find him cheering for baseball and football.
  • Dennis enjoys unwinding by the lake, or exploring new destinations with his wife.

Let's Start the Conversation

At Cornerstone, our top priority is always to ensure we are a good fit with each and every one of our clients. Book a consult to learn about the Cornerstone advantage today.