American Prairie Homes, MN,  Design & Build Custom, Hand Crafted Homes
American Prairie Homes Lakeville MN + 5 State Midwest Area _ Design & Build

American Prairie Homes MN About Us

The Life So Short, The Craft So Long To Learn

American Prairie Homes founder John Hilla is a 4th generation home builder who had strong work ethics instilled into him from an early age. He began his career drafting homes for a family business at age 16. He went on to study Architecture at the University of Minnesota; however his academics were cut short when he started his own family. In 1989, John founded Hans Fredrick, Inc., a custom cabinetry workshop based in Burnsville, MN. John's exceptional talent in woodworking, charismatic personality and quality craftsmanship led the company to great success.

In 2000, John Hilla founded American Prairie Homes to begin building homes which would showcase his woodwork. He expanded his workshop capabilities to offer not only cabinets and millwork, but also custom interior and exterior doors and handcrafted furniture. He also was committed to building homes that utilized advanced building techniques to ensure higher energy efficiency and lower maintenance. This unique combination of artistry and performance is what defines American Prairie Homes.

John Hilla died tragically in a vehicle accident on September 10th, 2010 on his way to work. Many of the relationships John formed from his early days at Hans Fredrick continued over the span of his career. Whether it was homeowners, subcontractors, employees or fans, John had many admirers that were in awe of his talent and honored to be a part of his work. He will be greatly missed.

They Just Donít Make Them Like They Used To, But We Do

American Prairie Homes builds on 100-year old ideals of integrity and craftsmanship to create new homes with lasting character and style.

Using authentic craftsman artistry to highlight the beauty of wood, American Prairie Homes impart a sense of permanence, quality and warmth. Turn-of-the-century details like quarter sawn white oak, built-in furniture and leaded glass windows meld with modern amenities, contemporary floor plans and furnishings. The result is a refreshing, enduring blend of yesterday and today.

With our own furniture and cabinet making studio and an experienced team of craftspeople it's surprisingly affordable to add rich, custom details to your house. In addition, we partner with stained glass artist Michael Watts, muralist Rigel Sauri and other premier artisans to create distinctive finishing touches at your request.

APH _ Arts & Crafts Living Room PhotoDistinctive Features
Stickley-style built ins Custom, hand crafted doors, cabinets and millwork provided by Hans Fredrick, Inc. See more of their work by clicking here.
Quarter-sawn red oak Providing integrated design and build services from our Lakeville, Minnesota workshop.
Solid wood paneled exterior and interior doors Stickley-style built-ins (look for the APH wood-burned brand on each piece)
custom windows Superior building techniques, with standard use of spray foam insulation, waterproofed foundations, energy efficient windows and more.
Building Homes with high quality materials Advanced building technology, with experience in SIP (Super Insulated Panel) homes, heavy timberframe construction and geothermal systems.
Custom furniture for your home or cabin Access to premier Arts & Crafts style artisans to create distinctive finishing touches, including stained glass and mural artists.

John and his second wife, Kathleen Garry, were inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement of the late 1800's, which celebrated handcrafted techniques, simplicity and an emphasis on nature. The movement arose in response to the prevailing styles of those times: the rise of the Industrial Age's generic, factory-produced products and the heavily ornate, busy furnishings of the Victorian age.

Cultivated by designers like William Morris and the Stickley brothers, Arts & Crafts attracted influential designers and architects like the Greene Brothers and Frank Lloyd Wright, who contributed their own variations. "Prairie", "Mission" and "Craftsman" styles all have roots in the original Arts & Crafts movement and can be found in homes across the country. The style remains popular today in part because of its versatility. With its combination of warm wood and clean lines, it has lasting appeal for both traditional and contemporary furnishings.

While most of our projects are in Minnesota or Wisconsin, we also can design and ship our high quality doors, millwork, and cabinets to your location whether it's the Midwest area, or the coasts. To learn more about bringing American Prairie Homes to your location, please click here.

Publications and Associations:
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings "Trendspotting the Parade," Kim Palmer, Lynn Underwood and Connie Nelson, Star Tribune, Home+Garden, 15 February 2006, p.H3.  (click for pdf)
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings American Institute of Architects Minnesota,
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Builders Association of the Twin Cities,
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Builders Club Group,
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Twin Cities Arts & Crafts Show, participant
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Parade of Homes, participant
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Lakes & Cabins Show, participant
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Minnesota Contractors License
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Southwest Journal's Home Improvement Fair, participant
Arts and Crafts style artisans and furnishings Wisconsin Contractors License



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