More now than ever it seems the dream of having a cabin to escape to, somewhere far from the reaches of email and conference calls, has taken root around the world. From Japan and Europe to America and Australia, tiny homes and prefab cabin kit operators are making strides in bringing more affordable cabins to market. Needless to say, the global temperature is HOT right now for a bit of social distancing and truely remote refuge...
One we've been keeping our eye on for a couple years now is Vancouver,BC-based Backcountry Hut Company, founded in 2015 on the idea of producing simple, recreational structures that can be installed in remote locations with relative ease.
Since launch the crew behind the innovative, prefab company has built and displayed their main prototype cabins at a number of design festivals and architecture showcases—and a growing number of stunnning sites around North America—proving the flatpack shipping and assembly is as easy and effecient as they preach.
And now they're in full production, with shipping avaialble to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada—so long as it's helicopter or semi-truck accessible.
For $29,500 CAD the A-Frame kit comes with a step-by-step building guide and can be assembled in under a week.
Backcountry Hut Company now offers three distinct cabin layouts (plus a stand alone sauana structure) that can be configured in a number of ways.
Hut System 00, a one-room A-Frame in it's barest form, is the most assessibly priced of the three and could be used as a single bedroom, bunkroom, studio, home office, etc. At just $29,500 CAD (roughly $21k USD), System 00 comes with a step-by-step building guide and can be assembled by a handful of people with minimal tools in under a week.
System 01 is a modular, one-story cabin that can be built as long or as stout as desired—with pricing landing at $200 CDN per square foot. The flexible design allows for an open layout and lofted sleeping area capable of accomodating a family. Similar to System 00, this shell system can be built by the owner (and a team of experienced builders) in just a week or two.
Hut System 02 is the original design most often promoted by Backcountry Hut Company. The modular, prefabricated structures feature akitchen and living areas on the ground level and sleeping quarters on the top floor. Capable of being configured in either a "backcountry" or "frontcountry" edition, the hut can feature either a large, communal kitchen with bunkbeds or resemble more of a home with an open kitchen and live/work space below a more conventinal bedroom. This concept is more fitted for easily accessible areas and could even be assembled within city limits, if you’re keen to join the tiny home movement.
Prices vary widely on preferred layout and number of modulars needed, with average price building from $150 CDN per square foot. Each hut kit is prefabricated in Vancouver and shipped flatpacked to cut down on the environmental impact of the entire process. And apparently, it doesn’t take an engineer to assemble the kits—great news for us desk jockeys. Though the "kit" is really just a shell, meaning professional contractors will still be needed to realize the interior design and build out.
Most recently, the company developed the System S, a compact, 8’ x 10’ prefab sauna for all your post-adventure recovery needs. At $40,000 CDN, the tiny-spa is delivered completely assembled on-site, its compact size circumventing the need for building permits in most cases. Clad in steel with a double-glazed picture window, the sauna is durable and efficient, lined with cedar wood and warmed with an electric sauna heating system that’s hooked up to existing power sources. The perfect pairing to a remote cabin, or a backyard escape.
The IKEA-like concept was first conceived by avid outdoorsman and experienced business developer Wilson Edgar. Michael Leckie of Leckie Studio Architecture + Design then joined on to help bring the company to life with extensive knowledge to what it takes to build on remote sites. Additionally, Swiss national and celebrated woodworker Cyrill Werlen handles the manufacturing each hut kit. So, you’re in good hands.
Start saving those pennies, people! And when the time comes, consult this comprehensive guide to building a kit home here.