Blu Homes Moving Forward with Modern, Green, and Affordable Homes

Blue River House

When we first brought news of Blu Homes in July, the company was on the cusp of something interesting.  Since our first article, they've been busy with plans to design and build innovative, sustainable homes.  They've also been crunching the numbers and working on ways to design and build prefab homes that are legitimately affordable.  And with all the talk recently about prefab and affordability, we thought it'd be interesting to revisit a couple development projects of Blu Homes.  They have two homes in the pipeline that, I think, illustrate the case for affordable, modern, and green homes.


Blue River House

This 1700 sf home is based on the Retreat design by Blu Homes and is projected to cost about $250,000.  This amount includes design work; the home with all its green features; shipping, excavation and simple foundation; setting the house; and finish work and cleanup.  The price does not include land, well, septic, permit costs, or exterior decking (except small porches).  Nonetheless, this price is ~50-70% lower than the average cost of homes in Blue River, so the homeowners will step into a potential for equity from the very first day they move in. 

Specs include cedar siding, low-e windows, tiled bathrooms, Kohler fixtures, can lighting throughout, wood cabinetry, high-efficiency furnace and ac, and spray foam insulation — the aggregation of which should save the owners about 40-50% in utilities compared to a standard home built to code in this area.

Blue River House Blue River House

Blue River House

Blue River House


Utah House

This home has a ground level footprint of 800 sf that will double with the addition of a basement.  This Salt Lake City Home is projected to cost about $150,000, which includes all of the same items/work as the Blue River Home (except with the basement work, they've upgraded to full ICF).  The Salt Lake City Home also will have the same specs as the Blue River Home, but in addition, Blu plans to add bamboo flooring, Paperstone countertops, and recycled concrete / stone sinks.  I can't wait to see this home, it's going to be beautiful!


Since we're based here in SLC, we'll be able to monitor this Blu Homes project.  We'll keep you posted, that's for sure. 

Image and rendering credits: Blu Homes. 

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  • TeddyFrank

    I gotta say, I like it! I’ve never been to that part of Utah, how much does land go for around where they’re building them?

    • Preston

      TeddyFrank, I haven’t looked at land prices in the last 4-5 months, so the numbers will have changed. But generally, there’s not a lot of empty land in Salt Lake City. Lots will probably begin at $100k for super small and go on up. It’s not atypical to see a lot for $200k.

      • TeddyFrank

        I guess that’s the price of beauty. Housing and land prices are amazingly low in St. Louis, but then again, the mountain biking is nowhere near as good.

      • Andrew Stone


        There is potentially a lot of land available in certain areas for under 100,000 to over 200,000 depending on where you look. There are also many affordable tear-down lots in the city itself. Many between 100-200,000. Depends on what you are looking for or what you want to to do. Urban infill is going quite well in the city right now.

    • Maura

      Teddy – this is Maura, I’m one of the cofounders of the company. One of the reasons we like Utah so much is that there is a lot of fairly inexpensive land, in very nice places. The land for this home cost about $115K – so the total cost will be about $265K – and that includes a full ICF basement (normally we would do a pier foundation which would be about $15-20K less).

      There are several areas between Salt Lake and Park City – such as Emigration Canyon – that have really beautiful lots for pretty low prices (many under $100K). In addition, there are a lot of nice places to the East – near Moab, etc.

      Feel free to send me an email if you’d like to discuss more~

  • Seattle Architect

    Very cool pre-fab design. We are seeing more and more of these in the US. I see you listed Paperstone as one of the counter top choices, you should take a look at the most recent eco friendly counter tops called EcoTop and it was invented by the same guy that did Paperstone but it is a more mainstream product.

    • Maura

      Hi there~ This is a good point. We actually have some of the EcoTop samples in our office… but they’ve gotten a little dusty…. I’ll have to bring them back out~

  • Mike M

    This site has covered prefab a lot and recently had a blog on a book for rammed-earth housing. What about earth-sheltered housing? Do you think you could do a piece on some earth-berm or earth-sheltered housing options? Nothing could be better than growing green cover over your home, plus it gives extra insulation and noise reduction while lending itself to passive solar. Thanks.

    • Preston

      Mike M, we did mention a modern rammed earth house a long time ago, but I just don’t see much activity in this space. I’ll look harder for good, modern examples. Feel free to email me links or examples if you see any.

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