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The year was 1970. Stillwater was experiencing its first large-scale home development. Beige and gray houses, a handful of floor plans: dozens of houses went up quickly and they all looked the same. Judd and Julie Cates saw an opportunity to take an entirely different direction. They held architectural construction and quality craftsmanship in high regard, and they believed there would always be homeowners who shared this passion. Cates Construction was founded, and the family business grew steadily along with their crew of school-age kids: Shawn, Jay, Jennifer and Jeff.

After renaming the company Cates Fine Homes in 2005, to better distinguish their market niche, Jay, Jennifer and Jeff assumed shared leadership of the company as Judd scaled back into retirement.

What’s the secret to business longevity? How can a family builder thrive through five decades, surviving market adversities including double-digit mortgage interest rates and a great recession that all but brought home building to a halt? The Cates family business has stayed true to its original values and remained flexible to take on projects big and small, from remodeling a master bath to total renovations and, of course, new custom homes.

Few fine home builders can claim 50 years, and it’s an accomplishment worth celebrating. We owe it all to our customers.

Thank you! Cheers to the next 50 years.
The Cates Family


Reject average. Build something that’s yours and yours alone.

Cates Fine Homes brings experienced craftsmanship to big and small home construction projects—new builds, whole-house remodels, even small revitalizations. Outside, you’ll see the difference. Inside, you’ll experience it. Live the way you’ve always dreamed of living.

Your dream: Let’s make it real.

At Cates, we are more interested in you, and what you want, than the size of the budget or square footage. We will collaborate with you and your architect, helping you make choices that allow us to realize your vision while staying within your financial comfort zone.

What’s the first step? Maybe you only have a vague idea at this point. Or perhaps you have an architectural plan in hand. Either way, we make it easy for you to take the next step. And the next. And each one after that…



Explore a few of our featured current and recent projects. Or view our gallery page for a complete portfolio.

Today is the day! Let’s start right now.