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What to know be for you reno (a historic home)

The St. Croix Valley has many lovely older homes that are remnants of the area’s lumber-era origins. Their charm and craftsmanship make older neighborhoods unique and desirable places to live. Most communities with deep historical roots have preservation guidelines and review processes in place to protect the local character. If you’re considering an older home […]
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North Hill Home is AIA Minnesota’s Home of the Month

A “twist on tradition” house designed by the architect/homeowners and built by Cates Fine Homes is featured in the Star Tribune as the August 2018 AIA Minnesota Home of the Month. The new house was built on a narrow (and rare) vacant lot located in Stillwater’s historic preservation district. It’s a Modern American home that […]
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Custom Construction vs. Spec Homes

Springtime brings a wave of builders’ open houses, creating a frenzy of new home fever. Once you decide you’re ready to move forward on that dream to build a new home, you have many things to consider: location, price and the type of new-home buying experience that’s right for you. Option 1: Purchase a speculative […]
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Finding Your Professional Contractor Match

What’s keeping you from moving forward with your remodeling project? Are you bogged down by the fear of choosing the wrong contractor? You’ve heard the cautionary tales: The contractor who started a project and then disappeared. The kitchen remodel that dragged on month, after month, after month. The unfortunate results left by poor quality work. […]
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Is your barn door open to criticism?

You can’t browse around Houzz or Pinterest for too long without stumbling onto at least one photo featuring a barn door. A sliding barn door can replace a traditional door between rooms. A series of barn doors can serve as an impermanent wall, giving you the flexibility to close it off for privacy, or open […]
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Reclaimed wood: Here’s what’s new

Whether the look you’re going for is classic European, urban industrial loft or cozy cabin, using reclaimed wood is a great way to add character to a home. Old wood planks and beams have a distressed patina that is truly beautiful. However, finding just the right wood to repurpose for your project—and enough of it—can […]
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Making a solid case for light and airy cable railings

Staircases and decks can be some of the most dramatic architectural features in a home. Their rails must fall within the safety parameters set by local building codes. Thankfully, that doesn’t limit you to using bulky wood or metal spindles. One of the trends we love most right now is the use of metal cables. […]
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