Sauter Builders was established in 1995. We take great pride in our commitment to building distinctive homes for our clients that are comfortable, resource and energy efficient – a home that they can be proud of for generations. We achieve our high quality standards with the expertise and integrity of a great group of individuals. We invite you to get to know them.


In 1986, Charlie had the opportunity to work on a new home project in Chanhassen, Minnesota with a company called The Swedish Housing Group. It was here that he was exposed to Swedish building methods that highlighted energy efficiency, indoor air quality and durability.  He was intrigued at how they effectively integrated innovative technologies and construction techniques into a beautiful home.

While in the Twin Cities, Charlie spent much time playing music. He was a first-call bass player in the Minneapolis music market, playing jazz, R&B, and rock with a dash of country with many regionally well known artists.

In 1991, Charlie and his wife/business partner, Denise, moved to the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. They arrived in Boulder Junction with “Northern Home Services,” a caretaking company created from their own business plan, part of which was used as a model for Small Business Administration classes in the Minneapolis area. Charlie’s desire to reconnect with his love of carpentry was fulfilled in 1993 when he took a job with a cabinet maker and, soon after, a local builder.

Charlie and Denise founded Sauter Builders in 1995 with the goal of continuing the same tradition of quality home construction Charlie had seen in The Swedish Housing Group. With an emphasis on energy efficiency, sustainability and long term durability, “Green Building” has been a way of life for Sauter Builders since the beginning. They have found the Boulder Junction area to be a great place to raise children, enjoy wonderful friends and make lots of music (see More Info & Fun Stuff!). And – Charlie even became a Packer fan!

Charlie loves the creative process in designing and building homes. He attributes much of his enthusiasm for designing homes to his passion for playing music. He appreciates the problem solving and the artistic nature involved in both music and home design.

Extremely committed to advancing the idea of energy efficient green building methods, Charlie leads free educational home energy seminars for the public and works with several high schools speaking to classes and involving them in the testing of new homes. He also serves on the building committees of various local service organizations.

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Denise graduated from DePauw University with a degree in Music Business – a foundation she has drawn upon in many facets of her life. She was in marketing, sales and management for several companies, including “jingle houses,” where she sold jingles for radio and television commercials in Midwest markets.

In 1990, she convinced Charlie that her brainchild, a caretaking company dubbed Northern Home Services, could facilitate their move to the beautiful Northwoods. Although they left many dear friends and music behind, they have met many more wonderful people and adventures in the Boulder Junction area. Northern Home Services served them well until they were ready to start a family and venture on to Charlie’s dream of truly energy and resource efficient building.

Denise wears many hats at Sauter Builders. She oversees office operations, is the Chief Financial Officer, OSHA supervisor, and the Marketing Department. In her precious spare time, she pursues her passion for music in many ways. She is the lead singer for the band Jazzworks and one of four singers in the band Hip Pocket (see More Info & Fun Stuff!).

Denise is a self-proclaimed “bit-of-a-fanatic” when it comes to natural foods and chemical-free products in and around their home. Together, Denise and Charlie are constantly researching healthy alternatives to traditional building materials and methods.

“I love what we do! It feels so good to not only fill a need, but to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure a comfortable, energy efficient and healthy home for our clients and their families.”

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After being a stay-at-home Mom for 13 years, Rhonda began working in the West Bend public schools in the clerical unit where she remained for many years. When their children were on their own, Rhonda was fortunate to have the opportunity to move north. Rhonda was hired at a private school where she worked for 2 years. "I was thrilled to receive a call from Denise and feel very blessed to be working for Sauter Builders to share my talents and be a member of this energetic, inspiring and unique company."

When Rhonda isn’t spending time with her 2 grandchildren, she enjoys sewing, crafting and anything outdoors. "We live in an incredibly beautiful area of the state, and exploring it has become a passion."

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Dennis devoted 24 years of his life to serving the people of Boulder Junction as their Police Officer. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of law enforcement service. Dennis continues to serve as Fire Chief for the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department – a position he has held for the last 15 years.

A self-proclaimed do-it-yourselfer, Dennis applied for this job after Sauter Builders had completed an addition and installed a ventilation system for his family’s Boulder Junction home. He brings integrity, discipline, and hard work to every job site. Dennis is the go-to guy for safety on the job! And everyone makes room when his pager goes off and he has to put his Fire Chief hat on.

Dennis and his wife, Karla, have lived in Boulder Junction for over 26 years. They have two sons, Benjamin and Shane. Being a true northern Wisconsite, Dennis tries to spend as much time as he can outdoors, with hunting as a life long passion.

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Prior to that, Bob had worked in both commercial and residential construction for 23 years. He has been involved in the Energy Star/Focus on Energy programs since their inception. Bob has been instrumental in the Wisconsin Energy Star Homes program as he served on several round table discussions to determine the initial direction of the program.

During his nine years with the Energy Star program, Bob and his crew certified 16 Energy Star homes in the Merrill area. And, in 2006, he was honored as the only recipient from Northern Wisconsin to receive an award for Excellence in Air Tightness from the State of Wisconsin and the Energy Star program (he likes to rub this in to Charlie as frequently as he can! But Charlie likes to remind Bob that they aren’t presenting these awards anymore!).

His brother decided to leave the business in 2005, and Bob continued operations alone for two more years, before deciding to seek out another Energy Star builder to lend his talents to. We were very fortunate that he came knocking on the door of Sauter Builders.

Bob is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated (one of our office mantras is “What Would Bob Do?”). For the first year of his employment with Sauter Builders, he commuted from Merrill to the jobsites in Mercer and Boulder Junction! We are happy to report that he and his wife have purchased land, and are putting down their roots in the Boulder area.

Bob has Charlie beat in another area – He and his wife have been married for over 35 years. They have four children, and are the proud grandparents of six grandchildren.

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John was fortunate to have worked with some of the very best old-time carpenters in the area, and he feels that the experiences he gained from them was worth far more than any other venue of learning. Several of the homes he has worked on have appeared in national magazines.

John is a great proponent of "thinking outside the box" and has found it to be a great asset in his chosen avocation. He also enjoys making custom furniture that you would not typically find in a store. Not only have photos of his cabinet work been used in print and television advertising, but you can find examples of his craftsmanship in most every state in our great country.

Like most lifetime residents, John is an avid outdoor fan. He says that hiking, camping, canoeing, and wandering alongside a trout stream are all things that will put a sparkle in his eye. John and his wife, son and daughter also spend a lot of time tending their large organic garden.

"Between the garden and our horses, goats, chickens, ducks, and our pug dog, we keep pretty busy. We strive to do what we can to make the world a better place. We have only one world to live in, and it is not only our responsibility, but our duty, to protect and preserve it for our future generations."

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While enrolled in the carpentry program at Nicolet, Alex was fortunate to work closely with Tim Lahmen and Jeff Labs. They both imparted to him not only their passion for the trade itself, but also the importance of having the patience to learn and to continue learning. He spent a summer apprenticing under Tim, and the following year was a student of Jeff’s, building an Energy Star home. Alex says that both experiences "started me off on the right track to a successful career, and led me to find an employer who would have the same passion for excellence and sustainable building that I would."

"I remember meeting Charlie for the first time at an open house for a home that he had designed, and I had a chance to talk to him for a short time. Honestly though, that’s all it took for me to realize that this was the man that I wanted to learn from and to hopefully work for. Charlie stood out far above the rest as a man with passion, knowledge and above all, a love for what he did. I wanted a career that I would be excited to do for the rest of my life and I felt that I would find that with Sauter Builders."

"Every job is a reflection of the person who did it, autograph your work with excellence"

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P.O. Box 671 Boulder Junction, WI 54512