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At Cates Fine Homes, we work with home-dreamers who appreciate individuality, integrity, quality and value. Our homes are distinctly different, and many of them feature details that few builders have the skill to build. Whether your dream home is a right-size nest or a spacious family home, we encourage you to think outside the ordinary tan box.


We’re an architectural builder

Our highly skilled carpenters and tradesmen are fully capable of building any architectural detail or style—and they love the challenge of building something they’ve never built before.

Quality homes over quantity

Cates approaches home building as a craft, not a production line. We are not a high-volume developer. You’ll never suffer the long-term disappointments of cost-cutting, cookie-cutter building practices.

We build amazing things

Other contractors wouldn’t dream of taking on the challenges that we embrace. If your pie-in-the-sky ideas have already been rejected by another builder, give us a call.

We'd love to build your home. Let's start the conversation today.



Bald Eagle

custom build

Jackson Circle

custom build

Holly Ridge

custom build

North Hill Red Cottage

custom build

Robb Farm

custom build

Jackson Trail

custom build

North Oaks

custom build


Bald Eagle Lake Residence

Extreme creativity in architectural design requires masterful construction. Designed by Michael Huber Architects and built by Cates Fine Homes.

Energy Efficient Home on Existing Foundation

This project began with responsible demolition, recycling nearly everything from the old, unsavable house. A home with a light carbon footprint will be built in its place.


AIA Minnesota – December 2020

Project name: Electric Bungalow

Commendation for Excellence in Design for Energy

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Client: Thomas Fisher and Claudia Wielgorecki

Firm of record: Salmela Architect

Project partners: Meyer Borgman Johnson (Structural Engineering); Cates Fine Homes (Contractor)

Photo credit: Corey Gaffer

This is a three-bedroom, solar-powered, aging-in-place, environmentally friendly modern house with enough flexibility of form and fenestration to adapt to any lot. In other words, it aims to model a sustainable future for urban neighborhoods.

The jury highlighted this project’s exemplary job fusing sustainability with design, with a focus on reducing the project’s embodied carbon. They also appreciate the whimsical yet intentional fenestration, and detailing that feels modern yet respects the home’s residential context.

Read the full article here

Dezeen – May 2021

Salmela designs Electric Bungalow in Minnesota for architecture professor

Jenna McKnight | 2 May 2021

American firm Salmela Architect has designed a solar-powered urban-infill house that is meant to demonstrate a new way forward for single-family housing.

Called Electric Bungalow, the project in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was designed for Thomas Fisher, a longtime architecture professor at the University of Minnesota, and his wife, Claudia Wielgorecki.

Read the full article here