Brothers have Cabin fever

Part­ners in Karoleena Homes un­veil Karo Cabin at home show

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - MARTY HOPE

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.

Cour­tesy, Karoleena Homes

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.

Ted Rhodes, Cal­gary Her­ald

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.

Cour­tesy, Karoleena Homes

The Karo Cab­ins are de­signed for easy re­lo­ca­tion.

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