Featured Projects

JT McMilion Home Owner Interview

What type of project:

Custom design-build of house in the wilderness. An architectural fine-tuning of the design. Keywords: remodel, custom build, addition, interior, exterior, tiny house

Project Site Description:

The house is on a very difficult build site where there is a narrow building footprint all on granite rock. The side of the house is built entirely over 1 large granite rock in a remote area with harsh winter weather! 

The house is a 2 story high pitched roof long and narrow large deck view of the lake with a bump-out entry room. The only home on Seagull Lake. The other lakeside inhabitants are a pack of wolves! 

Arno at Builders Commonwealth was able to build where other contractors wouldn’t. 

Interior Features:

The Kitchen cabinetery work is beautiful. Birch cabinetry and trim throughout the house. Custom-built tv stand and will hire Builders to make a custom computer desk to match!

There is a small office and utility room, guest bathroom and laundry room, a big and beautiful master bedroom with 2 big closets. A larger, handicapped accessible bathroom downstairs. 

Lofted upstairs bunkbed with a view of the lake.

What was the goal of the project:

To build a rustic-feeling home on a difficult build site adding to a floorplan already begun. This was a pre-retirement home project.

How did Builders Commonwealth achieve this goal:

The project timeline was 9 months. Builders Commonwealth is not afraid to do anything, as though they enjoy the challenge!

Arno was really really good at figuring out what my tastes are. I entrusted him with choosing finishing details of project because of his sensitivity to style.

What was your favorite aspect of working with Builders Commonwealth:

Arno has GREAT attention to details. For example, how the doors open. A good attic that was a waste of space was instead built out as storage rooms. Arno is sensitive to clients preferences and style. They have been really good about coming back to make additional changes—but not a lot needed to be done! 


Builders Commonwealth is a design/build firm, with in-house architecture and a large custom cabinet facility. Our general construction work includes commercial and residential buildings. Recent commercial projects include the new Whole Foods Coop in Grand Marais, Minn and the renovation of the Duluth Whole Foods Coop. Our residential work includes both renovation/restoration projects, as well as new construction. We encourage our customers to incorporate energy conservation and solar options. In 1981 we received one of five national awards to build a passive solar demonstration project. Recently, we constructed an Extreme Makeover residence in South Range, Wisconsin that incorporated energy conservation, active solar and green building practices.