Thursday, February 23, 2012
THE KENSINGTON BY KAROLEENA HOMES
House at show simply pre-fabulous
By Josh Skapin
Calgary Herald February 17, 2012
Kurt and Kris Goodjohn will never be accused of being conventional.
The creative Calgary brothers are the brains behind Karoleena Homes, a pre-fab home builder whose latest creation will be showcased Thursday, Feb. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Calgary Home and Garden Show.
Rather than building from scratch on a lot, Karoleena constructs components for houses, offices and cabins inside a state-of-the-art facility that accommodates about 12,000 square feet of built projects.
The components or segments are delivered by truck to the lot and quickly assembled together, cutting construction times from months to a matter of days or hours.
The company has brought single- and multi-family housing to Calgary communities such as Erlton, Marda Loop, Ramsay and Capitol Hill.
However, the homes are built to be transported on any North American road and have been moved to locations across Canada.
Karoleena’s latest creation, the Kensington, will be showcased as the dream home at this year’s home and garden show, slated for the BMO Centre on the Stampede grounds.
If Kensington sounds familiar to Calgarians, that’s definitely not by accident.
The builder selects names of neighbourhoods from Canadian cities as titles for its models.
This marks the third year Karoleena has displayed at the Calgary Home and Garden show.
“We love it. It’s a lot of fun,” says Kurt of the show.
Last year, Karoleena showcased its Karo Cabin.
And there will be few similarities between last year’s showing and the Kensington.
“We stepped it up,” says Kurt. The model is 1,750 square feet, about three times the size of the cabin.
The Kensington’s design is the vision of Seattle Balance Associates, an architectural firm that has worked with Karoleena on several occasions.
“We really pushed the envelope on design and showing people what we can do,” says Kurt. “I think that people are going to be blown away.”
Karoleena Homes takes pride in disproving the stereotype of poorly-designed modular homes, he says.
“We’re showing people, ‘Look at what you can do,’” he says.
“It’s an architecturally beautiful home and it’s all built in a controlled building environment.”
The home boasts a layout of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an ensuite and full guest bathroom. Its eye-catching exterior features an array of fibreglass lift and slide glass walls.
Inside, the home is not short on space, offering an open concept floor plan and ceilings that range in height from eight to 12 feet.
The home has natural stone, hardwood and tile flooring. Its kitchen uses HanStone quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances.
The closets are European-influenced custom cabinets that are built-in.
There are also large storage spaces throughout the home, along with separate laundry and utility rooms.
The Kensington starts at $525,000, but the Calgary Home and Garden dream home — which includes upgrades — is priced at $650,000.
With green-friendly practices that drive Karoleena’s building practices, the Kensington is no exception to the rule.
“The biggest energy usages is our homes — the heating and the cooling,” says Kurt. “I think as a company, we have taken the stance that we owe it to society to do something a bit better and be cognizant of that.”
The model includes energy-efficient finishes, low-flow plumbing fixtures, no-VOC (volatile organic compound) wood cabinets, an eco-friendly gas fireplace, and spray-foam interior walls and doors.
“Spray foam gets into every nook and cranny,” says Kurt. “It expands and fills the space. It’s a total seal on the house.
People with recreation properties or larger lots are most likely the ones to take interest in this model, says Kurt, adding he thinks it won’t be seen as a starter home.
Karoleena Homes built another dream home that will be displayed at the B.C. Home and Garden Show at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver Wednesday to Sunday.
The home, called the Kitsilano, is two levels with two bathrooms and one bedroom.
Like the Kensington, it includes lift and slide glass doors and a package of eco-friendly features.
Karoleena Homes has grown in leaps and bounds over the past year.
One year ago, it consisted of Kurt, Kris and Kelly Doody, the company’s sales and marketing manager, based out of a home office.
Now, Karoleena has 30 staff and tradespeople, in addition to 12 sales representatives across Canada.
Karoleena opened its 17,000-square-foot factory in southeast Calgary last year after outsourcing its modular designs with factories in Lethbridge and Altona, Man.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Project: The Kensington, which is the dream home at this year’s Calgary Home and Garden Show at the BMO Centre.
Builder: Karoleena Homes.
Price: This 1,750-square-foot model starts at $525,000, not including GST.
BRING IT ON HOME
More than 650 home and garden specialists will be showcased at an annual Calgary event.
The Calgary Home and Garden Show returns to the BMO Centre next Thursday to Saturday. Exhibitors will provide insight on everything from renovation to home design.
The show will also feature appearances by Bryan Baeumler and Corbin Tomaszeski.
Baeumler hosts the renovation show Disaster DIY on HGTV, while Tomaszeski serves as a food expert on the Food Network’s Dinner Party Wars.
For more information, visit the website at www.calgaryhgs.com
BROTHERS FORGE AHEAD
Two Calgary brothers haven’t looked back after entering the world of pre-fab homes in 2005.
Kurt and Kris Goodjohn have grown Karoleena Homes from a small three-person operation to 10 full-time employees and up to 30 people on their shop floor in less than a year.
Karoleena constructs system-built homes, cabins and offices inside a facility attached to their southeast Calgary office.
Once built to completion at Karoleena’s shop the home is transported by truck to the owner’s lot. The practice cuts the costs related to weather-related construction delays.
For more information on Karoleena Homes, visit www.karoleena.com