Since 1979, Hage Homes has been building homes for clients for projects of various scope and scale. We work collaboratively with their clients to identify their goals, and create a living space of both beauty and function. We realize that people’s interests and budgets differ, and they utilize inventive thinking and thoughtful craftsmanship to connect each unique living space to the lives of its inhabitants.
What got you started in custom homebuilding or remodeling?
My dad started Hage Homes the year I was born. As a boy, I accompanied him on job-sites, helping clean up and track materials. As a teenager, I was taught carpentry by Norm, who is still employed as our primary carpenter. During high school I worked for the my dad after school every day. During college at University of Minnesota, Duluth, I would travel home and work on the weekends and over the summers. I continued to learn from and work with my dad until I took over the company in full several years ago. It is safe to say that homebuilding is in my blood and it has been my life.
What inspires and influences your work?
Nature inspires me. A home is composed of so many natural materials. The structural elements of a home are composed of strong woods and steel. Natural finishes really bring a home to life. Wood has infinite possibility in the way various species are cut and finished to reveal grain, colors and luster. Stone is spectacular. When I go to a a local stone source supplier, I marvel at the variety of colors, patterns, and texture that mother nature offers. We live in a beautiful world, and what a gift it is to be able to incorporate natural elements into a home so that people can enjoy these things every day.
I am also inspired by architecture. My wife, Kate, and I enjoy attending architectural talks, and whenever we travel we spend hours traveling around the area to see the local architecture. We are especially interested in vernacular architecture, as the design and building based on the needs, materials, and traditions of specific places is fascinating.
How would you describe your build style?
Our firm is an architectural building firm, and my building style can adapt to various forms of architecture—traditional, modern, and transitional. I see my job as the builder to bring the vision of the design team and client to life. I enjoy honoring the design and working with the craftsmen to bring it to life.
Why do you think your clients choose you as their builder or remodeler?
Hage Homes has been in business for nearly 40 years, and nearly all of our business is built on referrals. We have a long-standing place in the building community in Minnesota. We have long-standing relationships with subcontractors, and we, as owners, are highly engaged in every project. We take pride in remaining a small business, so that we can be so involved. We limit the number of homes we build each year so that we can be as involved as we are. We always tell our clients, that if they build with Hage Homes, they will work directly with the owners of the business.
What are some of your projects or accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I am proud of the fact that my clients and colleagues can trust me. A client of ours, for whom we recently built a house in Linden Hills, said: “I’ve known Kerry for the better part of 30 years. The best thing I can say above all about Kerry is that you can trust him. You can trust him with your home, your investment, and your vision. He values the relationship over any individual job. He works well with you and everyone in the construction process (architects to designers to suppliers). If you work with Kerry, you will get a top quality product that you will be very happy with.”
What architectural styles do you like best and why?
Contemporary classic architecture
What are some of your favorite trends you’re seeing this year?
I guess I can’t name any trends this year. My favorite thing is timelessness—timeless design and timeless craftsmanship.
What do others view as your signature in your homes?
Our signature is simple: a well-built home.
What figure in history or your past do you admire most and why?
There are many figures in history that I admire. Currently, I am in the process of devouring Gil Schafer’s book “The Great American House: Tradition for the Way We Live Now.” Gil is a member of Architectural Digest’s AD100. He holds a Masters of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. Much of his writing focuses on the importance of the collaborative effort between the team of architect, interior designer, builder and client. He focuses on the value of infusing historic elements into contemporary homes and the importance of things such as moldings, hardware, scale and the way the house sits on a site.
What do you think are some of the most important elements of a successful build/remodel team?
As a firm specializing in commissioned homes, collaboration between the client, interior designer, architect and builder is of paramount importance in bringing a house to life. It is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of the building process.
What do you wish others knew about your company?
We are passionate about architecture and building. We are a family business, we read about design and architecture, and we travel to see various architecture and building methods and styles.
What makes you most proud to be a builder/remodeler?
I believe our highest achievement is to successfully build a place that our clients can call home. A home is a place that encompasses comfort, family and friends. I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to bring this to life for our clients.
Photography by Erica Loeks