Thanks to the cultural movement towards small, simple, and sustainable living spaces, the timing couldn't be better for The Backcountry Hut Company (BHC).
"Our customers seem to come from diverse backgrounds, but they all share an eye for design, and a creative desire to play some part in the building experience," says co-founder Wilson Edgar from the company’s headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Their direct-to-customer approach puts the power in the hands of the buyers, allowing them to customize the basic design of their prefab and order a kit that suits their needs. Co-founder Michael Leckie, a Vancouver architect whose studio designed the prefabricated kit-of-parts system, explains, "We wanted to create something that captured a certain essentialism—a product and process that is unique unto itself, that has a practicality, without sacrificing good design."
Though the exterior structure can be self-assembled from a pre-fabricated kit of parts, customers can customize the interior design, choosing from The BHC’s spec interior designs that are available in frontcountry or backcountry options. Or, clients even have the option to design the interiors themselves.
By engaging with the client early on in the project, the entire process is clarified: specifications outlining the total project budget are detailed; customized drawings are provided; and the team's in-house architects assist with permitting and documentation requirements.
"In a lot of cases, our customers want to build on their remote dream property, as a way to escape the 9 to 5," says Wilson. "Some of those locations can’t accommodate an intrusive, traditional building process."
"While our project began with the goals of engaging user participation in design and construction, and community empowerment in architecture, it has now grown into something much larger—with overwhelming interest from a wide range of groups and individuals, including urban infill projects and the tiny house movement." - Co-founder, Michael Leckie.
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