Looking for that scenic upstate hideout can be daunting in the current market with so many others also on the hunt. You don’t want to settle; you do have a budget; you wonder if your dream is even possible. It would be so cool to start from scratch with experts in your corner, financial clarity, and creative control, wouldn’t it?
That’s what HUTS offers. “We’re like design-obsessed sherpas,” HUTS founder Wayne Congar says. “The home-building process can be really confusing. We’re in your corner throughout the steps of land sourcing, design, permitting, and construction. We help you create the modern cabin lifestyle you’re picturing in your head, and aim to do it in a way that will quickly produce return on your investment through equity and rental revenue.”
Congar received his masters of architecture from Columbia and spent time as an architectural designer at OMA / Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in Copenhagen. Once back in Brooklyn, he took a hiatus from architecture and founded a branding and technology agency for start-ups, while scratching his architecture itch by completing home renovation projects on the side.
After his daughter was born, Congar designed and built a half-scale Swedish cabin for her in their brownstone’s backyard. “What started as a little playhouse turned into an insulated, electrified cabin with custom doors and skylights,” Congar explains. When friends and family saw it and requested “huts” of their own, he thought he might be on to something.
His experience helping launch start-ups added perspective and as people began seeking upstate HUTS en masse over the last year, he analyzed the process and did the math to make the process workable and affordable. His partner and sister Amanda—a seasoned veteran of large-scale event management for the hospitality industry—brought expertise in balancing complex projects with client satisfaction.
HUTS customers can choose from studio, one, and two-bedroom designs. At a cost of about $250 a square foot for a beautifully detailed, eco-friendly cabin, builds in many parts of the Catskills and Hudson Valley can generate equity immediately; and part-time upstaters will find that short-term rental returns can reduce or eliminate their carrying costs. Modern cabins, Congar points out, are the most sought-after accommodations on AirBnB.
HUTS crafts not just the hut designs themselves, but a seamless experience, from land-sourcing through move-in. “Typically, you’re dealing with realtors, designers, and contractors without anyone squarely on your side,” says Congar. “We’ve designed a smoother process that privileges our clients’ lifestyle goals.”
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