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How do you go about building your dream home on an 11 acre parcel of land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, while you’re still living in California?

Fortunately, we hired John Nieminen at Cook’s Run Cedar. John’s knowledge, experience and expertise were evident from the beginning of the project all the way to completion. Blending our desires and wishes with his craftsmanship and know how produced not only a beautiful home, but a process that was smooth and seamless, even from 2450 miles apart. John’s attention to detail is shared by his crew and subcontractors; materials and construction were first rate, from the site location and excavating to the finishing touches on the flooring, cabinets and trim.

Cooks Run Cedar had come highly recommended to us 12 years ago, and we are pleased to recommend them to anyone interested in building their dream home for many years to come.

Fred & Lesa Behling

Homan Lake 2

Over the last ten months while living on-site during the construction process of my dream home I have observed and had the privilege to get to know Nick well Enough to consider him a good friend. Nick pays very close attention to detail which is an extremely important aspect of the construction and mill work business. Nicks particular strength is his ability to multi task while working at a job site with the requirements necessary for efficiency at additional job sites. Nick has always been punctual and consistently gets along well with his co-workers. Nick communicates professionally and respectfully with sub-contractors and numerous other businesses in relation to on-going or prospective projects. His dedication to Cooks Run Cedar is apparent in his extra efforts to resolve questions and problems for both clients and sub-contractors

All the aforementioned qualities along with his creativity are attributes for success. bases on Nicks’s work ethics I am pleased to recommend him and believe he will succeed and even grow the business to make John Nieminen proud of his continued legacy.


Patsy Waples

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We selected Cooks Run Cedar to be our builder for a new home on 2nd Fortune Lake and we are very pleased with the process and the results. From the very beginning John Nieminen and his crew were very responsive and hands-on. John spent a lot of time with us customizing the house plan and helping us select materials and finishes. He offered a number of cost-saving design ideas and was very open to our own ideas and wishes. Though Cooks Run is technically not the General, John did arrange for all the Subs, secured their bids, and scheduled their time.

We broke ground in October 2015 and finished June 2016 – on time and more importantly on budget. We were fortunate to be on sight for much of the building process but we did not have to be as John and his team saw to everything. The lead carpenter for Cooks Run was Nick Bjorkman and we found him great to work with as well. Nick was on the project everyday and we built a great relationship with him. He kept us informed of everything that was happening and expertly dealt with any issues that came up. We were very impressed with Nick’s work ethic and range of talent as a carpenter and project manager. He and his crew did everything from the framing, roofing and siding to the wood flooring and finish carpentry.

We are very pleased with and proud of our new home and highly recommend Cooks Run Cedar.

Mark and Maureen Bromley

We met Nick through Cooks Run Cedar, Inc. They were building a new home for us. During the time they were building our new home, we were fortunate to be around him and get to know him. During this time we were amazed with his knowledge in building homes. He has outstanding carpentry Abilities. Nick was the main carpenter on the job, under John Nieminen. He was every pleasant and polite at all times. He was more than willing to work with us on the changes we wanted to make during building. He was always conscience about making sure we were happy and satisfied with the work that was being done. We have had numerous people come to see our home, and they have been very complimentary about the workmanship. We would Highly recommend him.

John & Debra Roberts.

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It took us a few years, but we finally found the perfect, well-kept, year round waterfront cottage that we were looking for in Iron County, Michigan. After staying with friends in there Golden lake cabin designed and solidly built by John Nieminen and Cooks Run Cedar, we knew we wanted him to renovate our new-to-us old, lakefront cottage. This place that had captured our hearts stood ready for Cooks Run Cedar’s care and craftsmanship. John took our ideas and his experience with construction in the upper peninsula, and then created a cozy-in-the-winter and breezy-in-the-summer insulated sun room. At only 10 x 16 feet, this wood heated room honestly is a joy for us and our family. It’s construction and cedar interior stands true to the Cooks Run Cedar’s traditions. Throughout the build, John and his crew maintained outstanding relationships with independent contractors and retailers. So when we as asked him to expand the original project to included new cedar ceiling in the living room and pine flooring throughout the main cottage, he was on board without a moments hesitation. We couldn't be more pleased with the results. Johns professional communication and excellent attention to every detail before, during, and after the project transformed our lakefront cottage into the vision we held for it.

Would we ask John Nieminen and Cooks Run Cedar to remodel our old lakefront cottage again? Yes! and, we did!

Charlie & Becky

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Thank you for our beautiful log home! Your integrity and personal warmth made the planning and building experience enjoyable, and your fine craftsmanship, ingenuity and meticulous attention to details made the cabin one of the nicest on Hagerman Lake. We are delighted with the results, and look forward to spending many happy years there.

After two summers and more gallons of Deft than we can count, we can say we are almost finished. Today is our 32nd anniversary, and we’re celebrating in the fact that we were able to install the window grids before we left. Do you remember our rationale for including them? One grid for each missed anniversary dinner. Next summer, we work on the landscaping.

When our cabin was still in the initial planning stages, several of your satisfied customers graciously showed us their homes and shared their experiences with us. Now that we have joined their ranks, we welcome the opportunity to continue that tradition and pass the good word to others. Feel free to use us as a reference.

Please extend our warmest greetings to your dad. Actually, Carl was our first contact with Cooks Run Cedar, and it was his warmth and patience that initially kindled our enthusiasm. It was he who sent us over to Stanley Lake were we met you, and as they say, the rest is history.

With our best wishes and warmest thanks,

Peter and Martha Frisk


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Just a short note to formally express our gratitude to you, the employees of Cooks Run Cedar, and the fine sub-contractors that were recommended to us when building our retirement log home. We had your unfailing support from the beginning. The design, planning, construction, and after completion follow-up were always handled professionally.

Having never built a home before this experience our anxiety meter went from…. Can we do this from 350 miles away to one of exhilaration and fun as the process unfolded. We put our trust in you and the crew and were rewarded with a beautiful home that continues to garner many compliments.

Thanks John!

Chuck and Carol Hynous

Now that our beautiful home on Stanley Lake is completed, we would like to thank you for your creativity and workmanship. You made the building of our home an exciting adventure rather than the building nightmare we often hear people talk about.

We will now add the few, little, finishing touches that will make the home uniquely ours. We plan to sort of move in Christmas week.

Seeing a completed product of your work was very important in our decision to have you build us a log home. We would be proud to have you show our home to your prospective clients.

Most Sincerely,

Merle and Mary Ann Seibt

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