One unique fact about the residences in North Oaks is that each of the properties extends partly into the streets. It causes all roads to become the private property of the dwellers. Living in such an exclusive community, residential contractors must take on the demand of building a home suitable for a private neighborhood.

Our editorial team decided to list the firms serving the area and came up with this list of The Best General Contractors in North Oaks, Minnesota. As we searched for the top firms, we considered their extensive knowledge of different architectural styles and building strategies.  We reviewed their portfolios, their partnership with artisans in the industry, and the reputation each firm has built throughout the years.

Michels Homes

5959 Centerville Road, Suite 250B, North Oaks, MN 55127

Robert and Andrew Michels represent the third and fourth generation of Michels Homes. Both were raised and have spent their youth inside the residential construction field. Today, these competent builders combine their innate talent, expertise, and creativity in leading the firm in every remodeling and new build project it performs. 

For over four decades, Michels Homes has incorporated transparency, reliability, and constant communication in its services. Doing so has allowed them to maintain a good rapport with clients, subcontractors, suppliers, and every artisan they have worked with. Award-giving bodies such as the Contractor of the Year (CoTY) Awards and Remodeler of Merit Awards (ROMA) have acknowledged this dedication throughout the years and awarded the firm the recognition it richly deserves. 

Photography: Scott Amundson

Included in its portfolio of sustainable, customized, and comfortable homes is this new home found in North Oaks. The living room has a timeless dark wood floor with blue-painted walls, a standard red-brick fireplace, a media wall, and a coffered ceiling. The firm used the same classic palette throughout the home and incorporated vintage wooden pieces of furniture and ornaments to complete the look.


7779 Afton Road, Woodbury, MN 55125 

Ispiri has completed numerous home restorations in St. Paul, and one of them is this three-level home converted into three spacious one-level units. The firm achieved a balance of modernity and historic charm by adding a hint of contemporary design through a minimalist open-floor layout. Comfort was also a priority for the owners, so the firm replaced the radiators with new air systems for better circulation throughout each of the three condos. 

This project is a great example of how Ispiri understands that a home is a space where one can create memories and savor the inevitable growth of the family. The firm tends to view each project from a wide angle, then its well-versed team starts to plan every detail. Ispiri brings a positive and enduring impact to the lives of the residents by delivering value, appeal, and functionality to every newly built and remodeled home.

Cates Fine Homes

2000 Industrial Blvd, Stillwater, MN 55082 

Cates Construction was founded in 1970 when Judd and Julie Cates saw an opportunity to take a business direction distinct from stereotypical housing. As the company grew, their kids, Jay, Jennifer, and Jeff Cates, took over the leadership and renamed the firm in 2005. Now Cates Fine Homes, the firm is the only builder on this list that has prospered for more than five decades in the industry. 

Over the years, Cates Fine Homes has maintained a high level of respect for architectural construction and quality craftsmanship. The firm’s staff has always believed there will be homeowners holding the same passion, people who perceive home building as an art. Through its respect for the profession and the work of its skilled carpenters and tradesmen, the firm has been able to embrace the challenges of home construction. 

Photography: Corey Gaffer

In 2020, AIA Minnesota announced its Commendation for Excellence in Design for Energy for the project, Electric Bungalow. It features three bedrooms and is solar-powered; it’s an environmentally friendly modern home that will surely shape a sustainable future for urban neighborhoods. Completed in partnership with Meyer Borgman Johnson and Salmela Architect, this project focused on minimizing the carbon footprint while highlighting the artistic details that complement its lovely setting.

Erotas Custom Building

21930 Minnetonka Blvd, Excelsior, MN 55331

Since 1992, Erotas Custom Building has created a handful of exceptional architecturally inspired dwellings. One example is the renovation of the Poolside Paradise in Edina. In partnership with Dale Mulfinger of SALA Architects, the firm built this home with a vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows, a rustic modern fireplace, and wooden finishes in the floors and walls. Through the firm’s artistry, craftsmanship, and expertise, this project has achieved its primary purpose of providing a relaxing, stylish retreat for a growing family. 

Artistry has always been part of the collaborative approach of Erotas Custom Building. The firm partners with artisans and tradespeople inclined to find and employ creative solutions. Erotas uses superior building materials and maintains high standards to produce quality craftsmanship in the homes it creates. Bringing nearly three decades of expertise, the firm has built an impressive portfolio. That portfolio displays its knowledge in a variety of architectural styles including traditional European, Tudor, neoclassical, modern, cottage, and ranch.

J&J Remodelers

2924 Anthony Lane, Suite 115-a, St. Anthony, MN 55418

Growing up in the family’s construction business, Tyler Ganz learned at an early age that when handling a project, clients must always come first. He believes in the same principle and uses it today as he leads J&J Remodelers, a full-service design and remodeling company. The firm aims to develop strong relationships with homeowners by primarily listening to their expectations and needs. When the firm has laid out a plan, it then chooses the finest materials to enhance the living environment and add value to a home. 

For more than ten years, J&J Remodelers has completed numerous projects throughout the Twin Cities. One of these is this fully remodeled home complementing the striking White Bear Lake lot on which it lies. The renovated main level now highlights lowered pieces of furniture and glass doors and windows, taking full advantage of the lakeside views. J&J Remodelers also replaced the millwork, increased the garage size, added a front porch, and replaced all the siding and roofing.