What we’re all about

Loren Wood Builders is a family-owned business that works hard to uphold a reputation for quality, client experience, and commitment to our community. We want to help our clients realize their vision for a dream home, updated office space, or renovated and restored structure. Good design and quality craftsmanship are the values that we apply to every project. We place the same importance on each of our team members, creating a positive and engaging workplace that translates to high-quality work.

Every project – whether it’s a large new build or a small remodel – is given the same amount of care and the highest expectations for quality. We take responsibility for every step in the process, from planning and permits to build-out and finishes, making the experience as low-stress as possible for our clients. We work with clients to determine the right design details and materials to fit their values and their budget.

We value our employees as a critical part of our success as a business. We recruit and hire the best, and we do our best to treat our team well. We are committed to paying a living wage, providing a competitive benefits package, and offering profit sharing. Our team members are highly skilled and dedicated, and we are fortunate to have them putting their skills to work for LWB.

Our clients and team are part of our community, and we are dedicated to them all.

Our clients and team are part of our community, and we are dedicated to all of them. We support the efforts of many non-profits in the Bloomington area through sponsorships, donated materials, and services. Quality and care extend beyond our business values, they are also our personal values.

The LWB Team

Loren Wood Builders creates beautiful homes and commercial spaces through the hard work and talents of our team. We hire great people with quality skills and experience, and treat them like family (and sometimes they are family). We’re just as proud of the team we work with as we are of the buildings we create.

Loren Wood

Owner, Project Manager, Carpenter

After moving to Bloomington in the mid-90's, Loren spent 10 years teaching high school before switching full-time to building and renovating houses with his wife Lindsay. Besides continuing to nurture his passion for building, Loren spends his time with his wife, their three kids, and three dogs, hiking, climbing, riding bikes and enjoying life in Bloomington.

Joel Keefer

Project Manager, Carpenter

Joel Keefer has lived in Bloomington since 1993. He has two children and a beautiful wife. He enjoys hiking, boating and fishing around Monroe County with his family. A love for building began with the purchase of his first house and the remodeling that followed. An interest in houses and real estate spurred him to acquire his Real Estate Broker's license. A one-time educator, Joel worked as a summer painting contractor when he wasn't working on his own projects. Continually inspired by the diligence, craftsmanship and ingenuity of his colleagues, Joel considers his work at Loren Wood Builders to be his dream job.

Dylan Grigar

Project Manager, Carpenter

Dylan S. Grigar is a Project Manager and Lead Carpenter and started at Loren Wood Builders in 2015. Dylan moved to Bloomington in 2003 and worked at Bloomingfoods as a chef for 8 years while achieving a Bachelor's Degree in Folklore and Ethnomusicology. He currently lives on the near west side with his beautiful family and regularly enjoys the region's many outdoor offerings from state parks to local trails. Dylan learned carpentry from his father and specializes in remodels.

Bob Stright

Finish Manager, Carpenter

Bob left the construction business for a quarter century or so to study and teach music, from Kuwait to IU with many stops in between. The smell of fresh sawdust lured him back in 2012, and he has been a master trim carpenter with Loren Wood Builders since 2016. You can catch him Friday evenings playing jazz piano at the Malibu Grill.

George Wyatt

Lead Painter, Carpenter

Born and raised in Bloomington, IN, George has been working in construction since he was 15 years old. He has a beautiful daughter and girlfriend and enjoys softball & basketball. George works on the demo and the framing crew for LWB and loves every minute of it!

Ben Farmer

Site Manager, Carpenter

Ben grew up in Spencer, IN and has 16 years of carpentry experience, including leading crews, time as a sales rep for a window company, and management of one of our best local lumber yards. Ben has 3 awesome children and a wonderful wife. Ben and his family love the outdoors, sports, and helping friends and family with their various construction projects.

Tucker Jaroll

Project Engineer

Tucker Jaroll is a graduate of Indiana University where he obtained his Bachelors in Environmental Management. After apprenticing for a tiny house builder and participating in an architecture program at Harvard, he decided to pursue a career at Loren Wood Builders part-time while obtaining a masters degree in architecture from Indiana University. In his free time he likes to hike, cook, bike, and hang out at home with his girlfriend and three dogs.

Nick Kane

Carpenter

Nick Kane is what we would refer to as a “Bloomerang”. He graduated from IU Bloomington from the Kelly School of Business, moved away for a few years climbing in the Red River Gorge, apprenticing at Robert Haines in his hometown of Indianapolis as a Union Bricklayer, and now has returned back to Bloomington to gain more skills at LorenWood. When he is not working he can often be found climbing, caving, or enjoying Indie films.

David Stewart

Lead Carpenter

David Stewart has been a carpenter for over 20 years, starting in the field when he was 16. Besides a brief stint in the Navy, he has always been a carpenter. His favorite thing about carpentry is seeing things being built from the ground up. David has three kids and enjoys nature and spending time outdoors.

Brandon Hoffman

Administrative Assistant

Brandon Hoffman has been a fantastic addition to the Loren Wood Builders team. A Louisville native, Brandon moved to Bloomington in 2016. He has spent the past six years in office support roles. He and his fiancé are proud parents of three fur-babies. Brandon spends his free time with friends and enjoys exploring the outdoors.

Seth McCanse

CFO, Project Manager, Carpenter

Seth grew up in the midwest working with his father and grandfather in McCanse Engineering, a small engineering & manufacturing firm started by his grandfather. He attended the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana where he earned his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree. During college he participated in an international exchange program and studied for a year at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. After graduation in 2000 he immediately got a job working in technical sales in Denver. He met his wife Jessica the next year, and a few years later they decided to move back to the Midwest so that he could partner with his father building houses. Since then he has built his own home and managed the construction of many other projects, including new homes, remodels, and additions. Seth also manages bookkeeping for the company and works on continual process and efficiency improvement.

Brad Snyder

Lead Electrician

Brad Snyder formed Lone Wolf Electric Inc in 1992 and was an LWB sub contractor from 2011 to 2014. In early 2014, Brad partnered with LWB there by bringing all our electric services in house. Brad has over 33 years of experience with 25 as a licensed electrician/contractor. In his spare time, Brad and his wife can be found driving country roads on their Honda Shadow, working in the garden and enjoying their rural homestead.

Garrett Kane

Site Manager, Carpenter

Garrett, born and raised in the Hoosier State, has always had a passion for creating and being hands-on. When he's not knee-deep in the field, he enjoys spending his free time cooking, camping, cutting down trees with his fancy axe, and cuddling with big dogs. And growing out his beard.

Russell Wyatt

Punch Specialist

Russell was raised in Brown Co. and lives in Monroe Co. Russell and his wife Lissie raised two children in their house they built themselves on N Maple Grove 32 yrs ago. He considers himself a craftsman and enjoys working on any aspect of construction. When not working around their 8 ac. hilltop property he can be seen out in the fields picking up arrowheads for his collection.

Nathaniel Baker

Finish Manager, Carpenter

Nathaniel has lived in Bloomington for most of his life. He got his feet wet in high school working summers with his uncle and helping to build his family home. Nathaniel got married a few years ago to his high school sweetheart. and took a job in Cincinnati creating themed environments for zoos, aquariums and theme parks across the country. Nathaniel first fell in love with LWB five or six years ago after driving past one of their spec homes. After his family started growing, Nathaniel joined the team with LWB and was able to move his family back to their hometown. He enjoys building custom furniture in his spare time.

Rick Dyer

Lead Carpenter

Originally from Cornwall, England, Rick picked up the carpentry trade while working in his father's construction company. While also skilled in tool and die, Rick returned to construction when he arrived in Bloomington in 1980. From that time forward, Rick has been a constant fixture in the local building scene and brings an expansive depth of experience to LWB. When Rick is not scrambling ladders and swinging hammers, he spends the majority of his time astride his motorbike.

Jabez Harris

Site Manager, Carpenter

Jabez Harris was born and raised in Bloomington. At the young age of eighteen he started out as a framing laborer, and has since obtained a wide range of building experience that includes: hanging and finishing drywall, framing and finish carpentry, and water/fire damage restoration. He has learned most of what he knows from working with his father and uncles. Jabez been married for eighteen years and has two daughters. Outside of woodworking and carpentry, he enjoys nature, music, and art.

Don Wertz

Carpenter, Logistics Assistant

Don Wertz is a Dartmouth graduate, US Army Vietnam veteran, father of three, CPA, former FBI agent and former middle east construction auditor. Don is a long-standing Habitat For Humanity volunteer, earning a degree in Construction Technology in 2010. Loren Wood Builders is thrilled that Don has accepted our offer to spend some of his “retirement” days with us! Don says he feels fortunate to be working with our crew but the pleasure is all ours. Aside from counting on his part-time logistic and carpentry support, our crew is inspired by Don’s quest to stay active in mind and body.

Stewart Hamilton

Carpenter

Stewart Hamilton is a Purdue University graduate, obtaining a major in forestry and a minor in environmental science. He lives on a small farm in Mitchell, Indiana. Stewart enjoys farming and vends at a local farmers market. In addition to farming he enjoys being outdoors. He decided to work with LWB after graduating because he wants to learn how to build things and enjoys working with his hands.

Jacob Hyer

Finish Manager, Carpenter

Jacob Hyer is originally from Columbus, Indiana where he gained 16 years of woodworking experience at multiple prominent custom cabinet shops. Jacob left Columbus to marry his fiancé, an IU grad and 5th grade teacher. They bought their dream home in the rolling hills of Eastern Monroe County. Together they fulfilled another dream by saying their vows in Kauai, Hawaii. Jacob has an additional seven years of experience in all facets of construction. He has been fortunate enough to have started, owned, and ran his own cabinet and fine furniture company. His true passion lies in high-end details and quality craftsmanship in woodworking areas of all homes and projects. Secretly, his favorite part of what he does is knowing that the customer will enjoy the functionality and precision to details that will stand the test of time once a job is complete. In his off time he loves spending time with his family, hiking, exploring the creek and woods, and fossil hunting. Since moving to Bloomington, Jacob has longed to have the camaraderie and fellowship of a great collaborating team. For that reason, he is extremely happy to be part of the crew of Loren Wood Builders.

Rick McCanse

Project Manager, Carpenter

Rick McCanse (Loren's Uncle) has been a full-time home builder since 1999, prior to this he had several businesses with his father including, farming, grain system construction, engineering, and manufacturing.He had a thriving business in his home town of Oregon Illinois until the housing downturn of 2007. About this time, Loren floated the idea of leaving his teaching career and starting in residential construction. After many trips back and forth to Bloomington, Loren had his first home under construction. Over the next few years, Rick acted as a consultant to Loren. About Two years ago, It became evident that Rick's talents could be better utilized in Bloomington than in the stagnant Northern Illinois market. He and Seth closed the business and Seth relocated to Bloomington. Rick still resides in Oregon, Illinois on weekends and lives with Seth and his family during the week. Being a long time pilot, he purchased a small, fast airplane for his weekly commute. His passion is building great homes for wonderful clients. He is literally living his dream.

Coley Gillespie

Office Manager

Coley Gillespie, a Charleston, SC native, has called Bloomington home for over 15 years. After a several-years stint romping around the US, Coley came home to pursue a Fine Arts degree at IU. With a wholehearted obsession for all things material, coupled with sincere need to work with her hands, she jumped at the opportunity to collect new knowledge in the building industry. In her job, Coley most enjoys consulting on LWB’s in-house design enterprises. Recently, she has been enamored with black flora, genuine velvet, live performances, and chronicling the changing weather!

Willard Norris

Site Manager, Carpenter

Willard Norris hales from Bloomfield, IN and has been an electrician for 20+ years. He has experience in both the commercial and the residential world and, when he is not pulling wires, can be found leading the charge on our framing crew. Willard has a super wife and 4 wonderful kids and says that he is proud to be an LWB employee.

Ben Jutzi

Site Manager, Carpenter

Ben Jutzi is happy to find himself working at Loren Wood builders after stopping by on a whim and then getting hired. He and his family are recent transplants to the Bloomington area, and have fallen in love with the Brown County terrain. In his spare time he enjoys brewing beer, cooking dinner for his wife, and playing with his Great Pyrenees pup, Meadow.

Thaddeus Walker

Finish Manager, Carpenter

A painter, woodworker, cabinetmaker, and bowyer, Thaddeus Walker has loved working with his hands since his youth. He enjoys detailed work and is always up for challenging projects. He has been a resident of Bloomington for five years. He and his wife of eighteen years are foster parents to three children—twin boys and their younger sister. He loves to spend time with them and to be outdoors whenever possible.

Rhett Elliott

Commercial Project Manager, Metalsmith

Rhett’s life in construction started at a young age while working for his father in residential framing and remodeling in Northern California. This early introduction to construction lead him to a sheet metal apprenticeship following high school. After completing a five year apprenticeship he began running various projects ranging from architectural panels, siding and roofing to large HVAC installations including commercial pharmaceutical and specialty metals. Rhett’s management style, twelve years of experience and success as a field foreman created the opportunity for him to take on more responsibility as a project manager for one of the largest sheet metal contractors in the nation. During his tenure there, he worked hand in hand with architects and general contractors to create unique architectural elements on large and small projects throughout Indiana. As an outdoor enthusiast and artistically driven-individual, Rhett looks to exemplify the style and outstanding customer service that has been the trademark of Loren Wood Builders.

Jesse Cooper

Finish Manager, Carpenter

Jesse Cooper started working in construction in 1995. After spending time at an established window company working on sunrooms, windows, doors, and siding, Jesse next worked for a historical restoration company in Indianapolis. High profile projects during Jesse's renovation work included Union Station and Homewood Suites. Jesse took time off from carpentry in 2006 and worked as a production artist for Adidas producing art for screen printing. Jesse brings a wealth of construction knowledge to the LWB team. Jesse loves to hike, camp and Kayak with his three children (Skylar, Willow and Phoenix). Everything Jesse does is for those three smart, amazing kids!

Sarah Menefee

Carpenter

Sarah Menefee, Boston-born and Bloomington-raised, loves to sing and work with her hands. She has five years of experience working in landscaping and groundskeeping. Sarah has a love for figuring out how things work, having grown up with a mechanical engineer as a father. She’s been a member of two award-winning show choirs, and is a performer with the Ooolites, an ensemble created by composer Malcolm Dalglish. Sarah’s also the lead singer for local blues band King Bee and the Stingers, which made the semifinals at the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. She is thrilled to join the Loren Wood Builders team!

Sasha Wiesenhahn

Painter

Coming from a theater background Sasha understands the importance of presentation and highlighting aspects that naturally want to be at the forefront. Sasha enjoys working with color. Sasha loves pairing ideal color partners on the canvas of a house. He believes quality paint has the ability to elevate great carpentry to exceptional heights. Loren Wood Builders is excited to have Sasha as our in-house specialists, working with clients to reach their vision.

Ernesto Castañeda

Architect

Ernesto Castañeda has compiled nearly two decades of professional design experience in Bloomington. Ernesto has worked with a variety of clients, from business owners and private developers to single-family homeowners. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Universidad Veracruzana in the State of Veracruz, Mexico in 1997. Ernesto came to the U.S. in 1997 to continue his studies at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a concentration on Art History and Modern European History. In 1999, Ernesto joined local Bloomington Architecture firm Kirkwood Design Studio (KDS). Ernesto spent the next 11 years at KDS working on projects ranging from single-family residential, mixed-use multi-family developments, historic preservation and master planning. Ernesto also designed furniture in collaboration with Wedge, a local modern furniture company. In 2010, Ernesto founded Bloomington Office of Design + Architecture (BODA) and started his own practice. Loren Wood Builders has teamed up with Ernesto on many projects over the years and finally convinced him to come in-house with Loren Wood Builders. Ernesto is passionate about small living, community- oriented neighborhoods, and efficient, sustainable design.

Dan Crites

COO, Project Manager, Carpenter

Dan, after a handful of years molding the minds of America’s youth and nearly three tiresome years toiling in the drudgery of the auto factory, makes his triumphant return to the construction industry. Growing up under the watchful eyes of small local builders in Greentown, IN provided Dan with an array of building experiences, nimble feet, a proper hammer, and a quick wit. Dan manages remodel jobs at Loren Wood Builders, manages the daily operations, and manages to work a pun into almost every conversation.

Curt Silvers

Lead Carpenter

Curt has been working as a carpenter for Loren Wood Builders for six years. He began his building career fresh out of High School, working on various framing crews in Bloomington area. Curt is a hiking and camping enthusiast and enjoys spending time with his wife and their beloved poodles.

John Vinson

Lead Estimator, Project Engineer

John Vinson started with LWB in August of 2014 and now fills the role of lead carpenter and electrician. He is a creative problem-solver, provides attention to detail in his work, and appreciates the variety of projects that LWB clients bring. When he's not on the job, John is either working hard on his own home improvements, with assistance from his wife, cats, and small flock of chickens (they are not much help) or enjoying Bloomington's great restaurants, live music, theater, and outdoor recreation.

Jake Loudenbarger

Concrete Mason

Jake was a roustabout around the construction field with hard working experience. THEN, HE WAS A FATHER! He did his best. Loren kept him around. Jake's son grew older. Now, Jake is learning to hang with the most delightful gentleman. He does so with pleasure.

Erik Weaver

Electrician

Erik Weaver is a native hoosier, originally from Columbus, IN. On top of his experience as an electrician, Erik has a BS in elementary education from New Mexico State University and a rich background in horticulture. With five awesome kids and one awesome wife, Erik is happy to have arrived on the LWB electric team.

Sarah Woolford

Assistant Estimator, Project Engineer

Sarah Woolford is a native of Bloomington. She graduated from Bloomington High School South and is currently earning a degree in construction management from the Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning. She started working at Loren Wood Builders in January, 2017 as an intern and currently works on estimates remotely. She looks forward to returning to Bloomington where she can enjoy familiar hiking trails, local craft beer and being near friends and family.

Lloyd Williams

Commercial Project Manager, Carpenter

Lloyd joined Loren Wood Builders as a project manager in 2017 after spending over 25 years managing complex projects and providing management consulting services all over the United States and abroad. He and his wife Beth decided to settle in Bloomington, returning to their Indiana roots after years after living in Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Washington, DC. Lloyd and Beth currently live in a custom built Loren Wood home near Lake Monroe. In his spare time he enjoys a good book and is a fairly decent cook.

Max Mclaughlin

Carpenter

Max McLaughlin is from Indianapolis. Max has a passion for rock climbing, soccer and traveling the world- and he tries to connect all three passions with people he loves. His family has been flipping houses in Indianapolis since he was a young boy. Max hopes to augment his carpentry skills at Loren Wood Builders and provide a skill base for a career in carpentry. Max is newly married and strives to be a great husband.

Kait Garner

Office Manager

A Hoosier native, Kait moved to Bloomington this past year. She has studied environmental and business studies in California and Seattle and worked in bookkeeping, marketing and management roles in the Midwest. With an interest in construction management, Kait is thrilled to join Loren Wood Builders. The LWB team feels like the perfect culmination of shared interests and hands on experience. In her free time, Kait enjoys cooking, camping, kayaking, adventures with her son, and working on her old fixer upper in the Bryan Park neighborhood.

OUR PROCESS

How we build impacts the experience, the quality, and the community.

We are committed to conscientious construction. The quality of the work as well as the materials and methods the builder uses are all important aspects of this process. We combine a sustainable approach with exceptional craftsmanship. How we build impacts the experience, the quality, and the community.

Phase 1:

Establish the scope

During initial meetings with the team, you will develop the scope and scale of your building project. Whether you’re planning a renovation, addition or new construction, setting parameters for the project and getting a realistic idea of timeline, complexity and budget is an important first step.

Phase 2:

Design & costing the project

Phase two is design. For some clients, this means polishing an existing plan. Other clients come to us with only a vision, and for those clients we may bring on an architect to help turn that vision into a set of construction drawings. With the design in place, your project manager will work with suppliers and subcontractors to arrive at an estimate. As you select materials and finishes, the design team will help you make informed decisions about energy efficiency that will suit your budget and your goals.

Phase 3:

Build out

This is when things get exciting. Watch your rough ideas and two-dimensional drawings become your dream house, your new kitchen, your master bedroom suite. The LWB team will communicate heavily with you throughout this phase to make sure you’re up-to-date and completely satisfied.

Phase 4:

Move in!

Above all, we want you to be ecstatic about your new space. We’ll work hard to make sure this is the case. Construction projects are time-consuming, stressful and expensive. We know this, and we really appreciate the trust you place in Loren Wood Builders.

Phase 1:

Establish the scope

During initial meetings with the team, you will develop the scope and scale of your building project. Whether you’re planning a renovation, addition or new construction, setting parameters for the project and getting a realistic idea of timeline, complexity and budget is an important first step.

Phase 2:

Design & costing the project

Phase two is design. For some clients, this means polishing an existing plan. Other clients come to us with only a vision, and for those clients we may bring on an architect to help turn that vision into a set of construction drawings. With the design in place, your project manager will work with suppliers and subcontractors to arrive at an estimate. As you select materials and finishes, the design team will help you make informed decisions about energy efficiency that will suit your budget and your goals.

Phase 3:

Build out

This is when things get exciting. Watch your rough ideas and two-dimensional drawings become your dream house, your new kitchen, your master bedroom suite. The LWB team will communicate heavily with you throughout this phase to make sure you’re up-to-date and completely satisfied.

Phase 4:

Move in!

Above all, we want you to be ecstatic about your new space. We’ll work hard to make sure this is the case. Construction projects are time-consuming, stressful and expensive. We know this, and we really appreciate the trust you place in Loren Wood Builders.