Brothers have Cabin fever
Partners in Karoleena Homes unveil Karo Cabin at home show
Kris and Kurt Goodjohn aren’t much into talking — they much prefer their work doing it for them. The young brothers — Kris is age 32 and Kurt is 29 — are partners in Calgary-based Karoleena Homes.
The company provides eco-friendly and affordable homes that are systems-built (modular) in a factory, constructing single-and multi-family housing in Calgary communities such as Marda Loop, Ramsay, Capitol Hill and Erlton.
After talking with visitors to last year’s Home and Garden Show, where one of their homes was a full-sized exhibit, the brothers have decided to expand their products.
At this year’s show, Feb. 24 to 27 in Stampede Park, the Goodjohns will be unveiling their newest venture: the Karo Cabin.
“We had a lot of good feedback on our homes at the show and talked with some people about recreational uses for modular designs,” says Kurt.
“It had been in the back of our minds, but we still had to get our single-and multifamily homes going well. Now is the time.”
It makes sense to go modular, says Kris.
“When you think about the cost of traditional building in a remote area — the cost, the time needed to organize trades(people) and deliver the materials — why not go modular.”
The Karo Cabin model being displayed at the Home and Garden show is priced from $129,900 — and that includes upgrades like a cedar deck, fireplace, movable interior walls, Hardieboard and cedar siding.
It also includes an ondemand tankless hot water heater and $5,000 worth of appliances.
Measuring 45 feet by 14 feet, the model will contain about 630 square feet of living space, including one bedroom and bath.
Yet it will be able to be rolled into its show location on a single flatbed.
The cabin on display will eventually get to its home on Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, but not before other show stops in Vancouver and Edmonton.
“We think there is a renewed demand for recreational housing,” says Kurt. “But this time, people aren’t looking for the big fancy homes but for value — a place that fits their needs as a family and offers good bang for the buck.”
Recent surveys by Re/Max suggest that the baby boomers are re-entering the recreation property market, taking advantage of lower prices and weaker demand brought on by the economic downturn.
“Entry-level product is experiencing the greatest demand this year as valuedriven purchasers look to stretch their dollar as far as it will go,” says Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of Re/Max of Western Canada. “This is especially true in Western Canada, where values have softened considerably year-over-year, but are now starting to firm up,”
What’s unique about the Karo Cabin is that it can be expanded either out or up by simply adding another module.
On a computer, the Goodjohns displayed a floor plan of the original 45-foot by 14-foot module, adding a 100-squarefoot connector module and a 30-foot by 14-foot module.
“Suddenly, we have a lot more house for a growing family,” says Kurt.
Truth be known, there is more to the introduction of the Karo Cabin than constructing them for recreational purposes.
With Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi’s vow to have secondary suites in every community in the city, the Goodjohns see the cabin scenario as a workable solution.
“At a time when most every local builder is anxious about the pending changes to Calgary’s residential construction industry, Karoleena looks forward to the new focus on intelligent urban planning, upward growth and inner-city development in the form of eco-friendly infills, secondary, in-law and nanny suites and second-storey modular additions,” says Kurt in a news release.
While it continues to grow, Karoleena Homes has made some strategic partnerships.
It now has an agreement with SRI Homes in Lethbridge to manufacture its homes.
Calgary-based DIRTT Environmental Solutions, a leader in modular interior wall systems, has also signed on.
The Karo Cabin will have all the comforts of home, as seen in this artist’s rendering. It is being showcased at the Calgary Home and Garden Show next weekend.
Brothers Kris, left, and Kurt Goodjohn stand in the kitchen of their modular Karoleena Homes show home in Capitol Hill. It has many features that are also seen in the Karo Cabin they will have on display at the Calgary Home and Garden Show next weekend.
The Karo Cabins are designed for easy relocation.