Bespoke Renovation

To Whom it may interest:

IMG_2484.JPGWe found Cantilever Design from a web search, liked what we saw and read, and so arranged to meet with Chad at our home in northern Wisconsin. We knew after the first meeting with Chad that there was a good fit between us, so we started working with him on the design plans.  Chad was both creative and practical, steering us away from decisions we might come to regret, and making out of the box suggestions that we loved.  He also was open to accepting ideas from others, including some initial design for the renovation produced by my brother (also an architect.)  Throughout all our discussions, we felt that Chad listened very closely to what we said and subsequently incorporated our ideas and wishes into the project.  In addition to his creativity and instinct for classy design, he is an excellent project manager.  He not only managed me and my husband, but — in the best decision we ever made in hiring him — managed the overall project as well, bringing in very good contractors, keeping them on schedule, and ensuring that they did high quality work.  He was at the work site almost daily, sometimes pitching in himself since he has real hands on experience with all aspects of construction.  In the end, our project to completely renovate our north woods home took less time than it took to modestly improve our kitchen in Chicago!  And, we absolutely love our new home.  “Meeting expectations” does not begin to describe how we feel about Chad, the project management and the finished product — our expectations were vastly exceeded!  If you want great design, a fun collaborator, and a task master who gets the job done on time and on budget, hire Cantilever Design.

Sincererly,  Malcolm and Gwen




It is a pleasure for me to write about Mr. Chad Cornette, owner , operator of the Cantilever Studio. I hired Chad to build me an addition to my home. The structure is a screened in deck 18×16. Chad presented me with a Construction Management Contract , which included the preconstruction phase,my role and responsibilities, alone with a construction management fee schedule, reimbursable expenses, and the agreement to be signed. Alone with all of this he met with me regularly during the entire bldg. phase. He answered all my questions and kept me up to date on all phases of the construction as it was being built. His finished product was on time and professional.

The design he put together for me and the completed product could not be more beautiful. The high ceiling and beautiful screen work is outstanding and all who see it are in awe, as am I. Chad even came in under budget which I was very pleased with as well.
I have recommended Chad and his studio to all my friends and will continue to do so in the future. He is a winner. I highly recommend him.

Sincerely, Ruth.



June 8, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

Chad Cornette of Cantilever Design designed a home and managed the construction of the home for my wife, Judy, and I.  We met Chad on referral from a friend of Judy’s who was acquainted with Chad professionally.  Our project objective was to build a new home on an unimproved woodland site near a shoreline with minimal impact on the site.  Judy and I had already done a lot of thinking about features and characteristics of the home we wanted to be considered in the design process.  Also, since our new home site was more than 50 miles from where we lived and I knew that my work and travel schedule would not allow me to be closely involved in daily construction decision making, it was important to me to have a complete vision for the design before going out for bids, knowledgeable assistance identifying and selecting contractors and a construction project manager who we could be confident would respect our budget for the project.

In our first meeting with Chad, we were immediately impressed and pleased with his interest in our ideas concerning the property and the home.   We arranged to visit another home with Chad that he had designed and I was struck not only by design elements of the structure, but by the way the home related to natural features of the site.  We visited our building site with Chad and he again listened to our generally expressed ideas for the site and the project.  I don’t know how Chad was processing all that he heard and saw or how the information related to his training and experience as an architect.  I can only tell you that it wasn’t until much later in the construction process and even until after we moved into the home that I could fully appreciate Chad’s sensitivity to and interpretations of our ideas and his detailed visions of the home and the way the home fit to the site.  Chad’s design work displays exceptional sensitivity to the environment at both home sites I’m familiar with.

As Chad led us through the design process, choices of materials, colors and fixtures, he took into account the amount of input we wanted in the process.  When he needed our input we wanted some suggestions from him followed by some discussion among us to bring out the designers perspective and the homeowners perspective.  We found we were able to reach mutually agreeable decisions in this way.  The real attention grabber architectural elements that we find throughout our home, though, are Chad’s gift.

We have been delighted with the results of the collaboration and we were fortunate that Chad agreed to be closely involved through completion.  The feeling I have in the home Chad built for us is like the total is more than the sum of the individual elements that could be documented in plans and specifications.  We are very happy with our home both artistically and functionally.


Ward and Judy


2My wife and I wanted to build our dream home on waterside property. We used a builder that had an in house design service. Its design ,however, had several compromises that we could not live with — so we turned to Chad to redesign and rework the building plans. Chad listened to our concerns, asked many questions and developed an architectural design that was not only great but stayed within the original budget. The outside design, the uniqueness of each room, the blend of comfort and utility all elicit one word that describes Chad’s work from visitors to our home: WOW!

Sincerely, Dan and Sherry

Business Response from Chad: A client I never personally met! Communication and design via email. He had worked with other designers who could not make this difficult building site work. This design took full advantage of the building site with Lake views from every space. The home also incorporates universal design for wheelchair access through-out the main floor living area.

J. Olsen, Architect

W-A CORNER-rI have worked with Chad on a number of challenging and very creative housing projects in the last 5 years. His design expertise and commitment to a fully realized final product has been a collaborative delight. Developing design within strong green principles has progressed quickly from fad to fundamental………and Chad is ahead of this in all of his work. You couldn’t have a finer architect working for you.

Sincerely, Jim

Business Response from Chad:  As a team, Jim and I secured the contract for a low-income green built sub-division for the city of Menasha, WI. Among other projects, such as the accompanied Adaptive Re-use image shown here, this federally subsidized project touched the lives of hard-working people who needed a boost and appreciated Green Building. All the homes sold before construction began!!!!!!


boulder2_big.jpgChad didn’t just design a house for me, he created a lifestyle. I have been motivated to live more simply because this is a house that inspires simplicity. In a complicated world with too many demands, my Cantilever home has become a refuge . . . it is all I asked for and more. The inside space is functional art with its angles and ceiling heights, walls that aren’t walls, and windows at every turn. Chad combines his knowledge of the latest in green building technology with an eye for beauty and function.

Another testimonial by Boulder Ridge:  Chad designed my house to fit the site, resulting in a structure which appears to have risen from the surrounding prairie. My wish was for a small (by current standards) house of 1700 sf, which I have discovered is still more than I really need, thanks to Chad’s ability to design an exquisitely simple floor plan that charms one’s senses by continually revealing wonderful views; either of nature or an exceptional architectural element. Feng shui principles used in the design contribute to a feeling of peace and harmony. A pivoting bookshelf in lieu of a door provides privacy in the office when necessary. Pivoting doors in other areas allow the ceiling to flow, uninterrupted by traditional doorway framing. These features typify Cantilever’s philosophy of creating beautiful and functional spaces. Cantilever’s expertise is also evident in the renovation/remodel projects they have completed.

Sincerely, Barb

Business Response from chad:  The very first  “Green Built Certified” home in the Brown County Parade of Homes. Home also published in Natural Home Magazine and on Channel 11 Morning TV Show. This home was also on the Solar Tour of Homes. This design still brings clients to my door!!


retirement home with walkout basement, corner windows, praire style, built-in woodwork, modern architecture, small home design, cantilever studio, cantilever design, cantilever, chad cornetteMy wife and I contracted with Chad to design a home that will be built on an unimproved, wooded lot in a new subdivision in the city of Wausau WI. It was important that the home’s design fit with the natural setting of the subdivision and that the home be attractive yet practical. Because we plan to live in the home during our retirement years it was also important that the home be efficient, easy to live in and not too big.

Chad did a wonderful job of taking our thoughts and turning them into a home design that exceeded our expectations. We were impressed with his creativity and his patience…especially his patience. He understood what we wanted even when we didn’t explain ourselves very well. We really felt like we were working together, as a team, as the home was being designed.

We understood that details are very important in a well designed home. This is where Chad really excelled. Every builder we’ve shown the plan to has been impressed with both the aesthetic design detail and Chad’s attention to construction detail.

Our lot is an up-sloping wooded lot that needed a house designed to fit that specific lot. One of the builders, after looking at the lot and the plan, said Chad’s design “fit the lot like a glove”. When Chad submitted our house plan to the subdivision’s architectural committee, the chairman, himself a home designer, included the following comment along with the committee’s approval: “Nice work by the way. I like your style”.

We are very happy with our home design and we are pleased to recommend Chad Cornette as an architect.

Sincerely, Dave and Carol