About Us

Stratagem Construction specializes in complete home remodeling, along with custom cabinetry, built-ins, tiling, painting, fireplaces, and hardwood flooring. Together with sister company, Habitar Design, we make the design to construction process seamless and hassle free.

Our work has been recognized and featured internationally in design magazines, but at heart, we’re a small Chicago-based firm dedicated to customer satisfaction for both residential and commercial spaces. Our knowledgeable design and construction teams ensure 100% excellence for projects of all sizes.

Stratagem Construction’s number one priority is making our customers happy by working cooperatively to help them develop and achieve their home vision.

Mitchell Newman – Principal

Mitchell Newman, formerly a family physician, brings his experience from his medical career to his work at Stratagem. This manifests in his planning, precision with details, dedication to quality and passion for his work in addition to an awesome bed-side manner. He also ran a theater company where he honed his skills at working cooperatively and productively guiding the creative process. However, building was in his blood. His father started a real estate development firm in 1962 and in 1999 it could no longer be resisted. He built his first 3 flat. In 2005, he launched Habitar Design with Kapan Shipman, inspired by her work and friendship.

Zane Wiersema – Executive Director of Construction

Zane Wiersema was a former Union Carpenter with nearly 20 years of construction experience, 6 of which are in Construction Project Management. He studied statistics and actuarial science at DePaul University and graduated summa cum laude in 2012, but prefers working in an environment with tangible results. Being able to physically see his work after a long day brings him an unparalleled satisfaction. Zane prides himself in organizing projects, streamlining processes and procedures, ensuring good quality craftsmanship, providing creative solutions to challenges and providing great customer service. When he is not immersed in his craft, he enjoys relaxing with his wife, studying logic, theology, science, math and computer science, listening to music, traveling, playing sports as well as actively engaging in his church and condominium association.

Nick Riedel – Construction Project Manager

Nick was a carpenter and an architectural designer before joining the Stratagem team. He received his Bachelor’s in Architecture from Miami University and his Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Arizona. As much as he enjoys designing, he appreciates the building aspect even more. After working in both retail and residential design, he decided to join the Stratagem team so he could be more engaged with the construction phase. He’s obsessed with details, demands quality, and loves seeing a project come together. When he’s not building for Stratagem, he’s designing and building furniture for his own home. He’s a passionate traveler, loves to scuba dive, ski, and hike. And he always brings his dogs along whenever possible.

Krzysztof – Master Craftsman

Krzysztof Jachym, formerly in hotel management, brings unparalleled craftsmanship to his work. The bigger the challenge, the more he enjoys the good result. He’s an expert finish carpenter and loves making beautiful built-ins, bookcases and furniture. He’s also an expert tile layer. Recently, he has discovered snow skiing.

Artur Kras – Master Craftsman

Educated as an artist, Artur Kras brings a love of handwork to his craftsmanship. Artur is an excellent tile layer, a skilled carpenter, and can do just about anything else necessary in home renovation. He is recently a new father.

Tatiana Ulyanova – Business Manager

You can always count on our business manager Tatiana Ulyanova for a smile. With a Ph.D. in Sociology, an MBA, and an M.A. in Accounting she’s happy to share her knowledge and experience with colleagues and to make sure that everything runs smoothly at Stratagem Construction. Loving her work at Stratagem, Tatiana does everything with enthusiasm. At her spare time, Tatiana enjoys exploring Chicago with her husband and younger son, keeping up with her older son while he’s away in college.

Kanya Phev – Project Coordinator

With a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Davis, Kanya has spent her formative years as a landscape designer in Venice Beach, California. She is passionate about traveling and storytelling, and dreams to one day publish an illustrated pop-up children’s book based on the stories she’s collected on her journey. In her spare time, she enjoys a cup of tea while painting greeting cards, writing snail mail, assembling Ikea furniture and researching travel plans.

Dariya Trot – Asst. Project Manager

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