A Decade at Stonewall Homes

January 24th, 2024 | by Madison Stone

Pete & Co. – A Decade at Stonewall Homes


This month marks Paul’s ten year anniversary working at Stonewall Homes—and we think that’s kind of a big deal. Ten years is an incredible milestone, and we’re incredibly thankful for the diligence, growth, and hard work he’s displayed over the years.

From starting off as an extra pair of hands to help out where Pete needed him (i.e. running errands, delivering materials… lots of power washing), to becoming our chief financial officer, Paul has proven to be an indispensable part of the Stonewall team. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks for this, and we hope to celebrate many more years with him as an employee, coworker, and friend.

In commemoration of Paul’s impressive feat of dealing with the housing market for ten years, we’re dedicating this post to him and his history at Stonewall. The years have provided an abundance of memories to reminisce, stories to share, lessons to appreciate, triumphs to celebrate, and trials better viewed in hindsight—and, honestly? we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s what Paul had to say about his time at Stonewall Homes:

Q: How did you get started at Stonewall?

Paul: In January of 2013, I moved back to Norman from North Carolina. I was halfway through my MA in biblical counseling at Southeastern Seminary, but my dad was very sick, and I also just felt that God was redirecting me. My cousin got me a temporary job at Chesapeake doing some redundant auditing, but that fell through. I started looking for any job I could find. I even interviewed at churches for different ministry positions, but God kept closing all the doors.

Paul, circa 2013

Enter Pete. Pete was a family friend from back when my dad was the pastor at FBC in Beggs, and when my parents first moved back here he hired my mom to clean the model home once a week.

Around that same time, Pete’s former helper had graduated from college. Pete needed a new hire, and he knew I had been looking for work, so he threw the idea out to my mom about me coming to work as his helper for $10 an hour. I think that was a Friday. Mom texted me to see what I thought. I told her I could be there in 15 minutes… but Pete made me wait until Monday.

It was just supposed to be a temporary 20-hour-a-week job to buy me time to find something else. God had other plans.


Q: What did you do when you first started here?

P: When I first started at Stonewall, I was just the grunt man. My job involved a lot of running to grab stuff. I’d run to the tile store to grab more tile. If the roofers needed a couple more bags of shingles, I’d run and grab that. Anything that we needed ASAP, I’d grab it. There was also a lot of power washing.


“It was just supposed to be a temporary part-time job to buy me time to find something else. God had other plans.”


Q: What are your responsibilities now, and how did you get into your current role?

P: One of the funny things about my start here at Stonewall was that I didn’t really have an interview. It was supposed to be temporary, Pete knew my family personally, and it doesn’t take much to handle the responsibility of being the grunt man.

Anyway, one day we were having lunch, and I was giving him my background information–just talking as friends do. It struck him that I actually had a degree and quite a bit of work experience. Business at Stonewall had been booming, and he’d been covered up just keeping the jobs moving forward. Back in those days, Pete was a one-man show and only had one helper for small errands. He was getting buried in paperwork and new job requests. After just a couple months of power washing and moving tile, I started helping him out in the office as well.

At first I just helped pay the bills, but before long he was showing me how to estimate homes. I didn’t have any experience in that area, but he taught me how he did things and we went from there. Our brains seemed to process information the same way, and the handoff went smoothly. It only took 5 or 6 years before he let me estimate a home from beginning to end all on my own.

“I’ll never forget how fast everything changed… the amazing timing of it all.”

The past few years, as Stonewall has continued to grow and my expertise in estimating had plateaued, he began to throw more office tasks my way. Today, I oversee all office operations and financial aspects of Stonewall Homes. It feels weird to call myself a CFO, as that seems more fitting for a massive corporate entity than our small homebuilding business, but that’s essentially what I am now.


Q: Do you have a favorite memory from working at Stonewall?

P: Believe it or not, my favorite memory starts with one of the worst financial years we ever had, back in 2018. We had just built our model home here in Vintage Creek, which was a big jump for us at the time, and we were going through a bit of a drought in sales. In my personal life, I had met my now-wife, Sheba. She had been diagnosed with cancer, and we were contemplating engagement.

Things were looking kind of grim on every front, but we were spending a lot of time in prayer just asking God to show us what direction He wanted us to go with this job and mine and Sheba’s life together.

I’ll never forget how fast everything changed at the end of that year and the amazing timing of it all.

We staged the model home for Christmas, and Sheba and I had a little family Christmas shoot where I proposed. (She said yes, by the way.) The next day, we received word that she was in full remission from her cancer in a miraculous turnaround. The doctors couldn’t explain it, but we know that God was in control.

Paul and Sheba’s engagement

The day after that, we signed Scott C. for our first custom contract in quite some time. After he left, Pete and I just stood in tears in the kitchen, celebrating how God was lifting us out of all our trials.

In 2019, we had our best year ever. Overwhelmingly so. It was just me and Pete, and we were overflowing with work, putting in tons of hours, but we got it done. That busyness gave us an urgency to hire more help and led to the amazing team we have today.


Q: What’s one thing you’ve learned during your time here that’s stuck with you?

P: There have been two very impactful things that I’ve learned from Pete these past 10 years.

The first is how to really care for our customers, and just for people in general. I thought coming into this business that I would have great customer service. I had a background in several different industries, and that had always been an area of pride for me.

But I have been blown away by the way that Pete goes the extra mile. It’s not always about what he’s required to do or what is the most cost-effective option—it is always about how we can make this the best experience for our customers. Many would say he’s too generous, but I think that’s what makes Stonewall a great company and Pete a great owner and boss.

“There have been two very impactful things that I’ve learned from Pete these past 10 years. The first is how to really care for our customers… the second is how to have an astute attention for detail.”

There have been two very impactful things that I’ve learned from Pete these past 10 years. The first is how to really care for our customers… the second is how to have an astute attention for detail.”

The second is how to have an astute attention for detail. Pete is great with the details, and I’ve done my best to emulate that given how extremely important details are in this job. There are so many little things to consider, and when you’re estimating a home you really have to foresee every cost. There can be a dramatic hit financially if you miss something, so you learn a lot from your mistakes.


Q: Do you have any funny stories from working here?

P: This probably won’t be too funny to most people, but it is to me and Pete. Whenever I was first learning to estimate homes, Pete would double check me. He’d usually find an area where I estimated a number a little higher than he would have. Then, he’d check another area, and my number would be a little lower than his. It became comical how often my mistakes would cancel each other out.

Here’s another story, which goes with the truck picture: It was around 2014. I had just moved into the office full-time, but our replacement helper left, so back to the old black Ford work truck I went. My first day back in the truck, I had to pick up these massive cedar posts for Dana S’s house. The lumber yard loaded them for me, but the framers weren’t at the house when I got there. I had to unload them myself, which was quite the task.

Later, after the framers had cut the posts, they had these huge chunks left over. I “stole” them from Dana and built a table out of them. She holds it against me to this day. It was an awesome table.


Q: How has homebuilding changed since you entered the trade a decade ago?

P: There have been several changes to home design, of course. There have been some adjustments to construction methods. We’ve also gone through a period of growth where we’re now building larger and nicer homes than before. That’s been the most fun change.

There have been a ton of cost changes throughout the years, too. The past few years have been especially nightmarish to try and keep up with. It seems like things are settling down now, though, and we’re hopeful that 2024 is going to be a great year of stability for everyone.


“That’s my goal for my role here in this company: to provide quality services that will support Pete in another 10 years of growth.”


Q: Who inspires you?

P: My dad has definitely been an inspiration to me. He’s a pastor who teaches the truth and lives a lifestyle at home that backs up what he preaches. Having that realness and that security blanket of truth in the home growing up is just life changing. I feel truly blessed to have been raised by parents who love the Lord and love me and my siblings. My hope is that I exemplify those same good qualities toward my kids and in the way that I work here at Stonewall.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

P: 10 years from now I hope I can look back and see that Stonewall did just as great as we did this past decade. That’s my goal for my role here in this company: to provide quality services that will support Pete in another 10 years of growth. I hope to see us expand so much that we can grow our team even more, and I hope that our influence as Christians in this community starts to reach even further.