The origin of Cornerstone Timberframes can be traced back to the quiet and inspiring witness provided by the family’s 1885 timber frame barn. As young men involved in residential and commercial construction, Pete and Wayne Peters marveled at the barn’s ability to shrug off years with little or no maintenance. Why was this old barn still standing when so many newer barns had fallen to pieces? The search for an answer brought them repeatedly back to the amazing joinery that connected a network of beams, posts, rafters and ridges.
“After 130 years of wind and storm, the place testified to the work of a skilled builder who knew how to lock each of the timbers together into an amazingly resilient and beautiful structure”, recalls Wayne.
When it came time to build homes for their own families, the brothers were naturally drawn towards timber framing. In 1990, after introductory and advanced joinery and layout training with timber frame master, Steve Chappell, Cornerstone Timberframes took flight. “We learned the craft, and made all of the novice mistakes on our own homes”, says Wayne with a chuckle, “and even though we might arrange the plans a little differently today, the frames we built for ourselves reflect our love for beautiful timber and authentic details.”
Today, after completing more than 300 unique projects, a second generation has taken over with Pete’s daughter Tanya at the helm.
Our Leadership Team
Tanya grew up with parents and uncles involved in almost every aspect of construction. In 2000, she graduated and went straight to work, helping her father and uncle run the office side of Cornerstone. 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 began by providing advice, but soon found herself staining client frames in the joinery shop after hours!
Tanya and husband Nevin, purchased Cornerstone in 2015. They also find time to run a farm, a busy finishing shop and have two energetic children, Chloe & Jace.
- Plays hockey for fun and fitness
- Enjoys helping at harvest-time, driving combines
- Golf-enthusiast, league play and holidays
Gary’s first contact with Cornerstone was as a client. The Steinbach windmill was destroyed by fire in 2001 and Gary’s board of directors tasked him with rebuilding it within the year. With Cornerstone’s help, the new windmill’s complex frame and cap was standing again, just nine months after the fire.
Looking for something new after his museum stint, and having a background in business, history and project management, Gary helped Cornerstone pursue market opportunities in the US and western Canada. Today, he supports clients with ideas and estimates as they consider the many options available in their timber frame designs.
- An avid year-round bike commuter
- Enjoys being outdoors, even in Manitoba winters
- Loves discussing history, planting trees, fixing things
Lyonel has been building and pursuing creative projects all his adult life. Growing up in a family obsessed with hockey and fine wood-working provided him with an appreciation for team work and thoughtful attention to details.
He’s been active in timber frame design and construction since 1991. Lyonel first worked with his older brothers, then for another company, returning to Cornerstone in 2001 to head up the shop for the windmill project. Few people have his depth of experience in raising timber frames. From hard to access lake-front sites to tight urban lots he assembles our frames with care.
- Runs a small coffee roasting business in his spare time
- Enjoys road trips, local hockey and of course, good coffee
- Finds joy and health in regular walks and bike rides
THE CORNERSTONE ADVANTAGE
The resurgence in timber framing has re-opened a world of great possibilities in home design, aesthetics and quality. One of the first steps on the journey is finding a company to work with that is experienced, and easy to work with – a team that will be responsive to your needs. When clients choose to work with us, they experience the difference that our core values make in how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. We call it the Cornerstone Advantage.
We encourage cooperation and professional input
We gladly work with your supplied designs and can also provide in-house working drawings or refer you to a professional designer. Ask us for referrals to architects, interior designers, decorators and a wide array of builders and trades.
We listen to your ideas and concerns
When you speak, we listen! Of course we do ask relevant questions and are always keen to understand your needs and preferences. Our in-house timber design work is based on 40+ years of home construction experience.
It’s about finding a fit, not making a sale
Our first priority is not making a sale but ensuring a good fit – for your lifestyle, your location and your budget. Cornerstone specializes in custom solutions and we won’t ask you to consider a “cookie cutter” design.
We’re humble and always learning
We are committed to continuously improving our skills, and regularly expand our awareness of traditional and new methods through travel, study and discussion.
We use the best materials and practices
We offer white pine, Douglas fir and oak; the gold standard framing materials available in the north central US and Canada. Our designs won’t overextend spans between posts or skimp on material.
We live by an operating philosophy that puts quality and frame integrity first.
We think long-term and encourage our clients to invest in energy efficient wall and roof panels, windows and HVAC systems that realize the full potential of a timber frame building.
We’re excited to share knowledge about timber framing
We enjoy helping our customers discover the rich variety and potential of timber frame construction. We readily suggest books and other resources to increase public awareness and knowledge of the timber frame craft.