Alan Durning, a long-time sustainability leader in the Northwest, is newly fired up—and for good reason. Since founding Sightline Institute in 1993, he has written more than ten books on … Continue reading
Regan Gray and her husband George Okulitch were looking for a way to increase the value of their rental property and landed on building an ADU on the alley in the backyard. Regan likes that with the ADU they created more housing without changing the look and character of the neighborhood.
by Alberto Benejam, Based on a report by Sonia-Lynn Abenojar, Alberto Benejam, and Tamar Nativ Throughout the past year, the city of Berkeley, CA has been considering changes to the city’s … Continue reading
Kol Peterson, one of the editors here, is hosting a class called “Building An Accessory Dwelling Unit on your property,” on Saturday, September 5th, 2015. Please visit Kol’s site for more details.
Introduction The City of Portland (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) regularly reviews and updates planning and zoning codes through a process called RICAP (Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project). Part of … Continue reading
Financing is, by far, the biggest barrier for most homeowners seeking to build an ADU on their property. Recently, I was trying to gain some clarification about three conventional loan products that can be used to help fund the construction of an ADU: First Mortgage Cash Out Refinance- taking out extra money when refinancing your ‘first mortgage’ .
The spring, 2015 ADU Tour was amazing! Here’s a few snapshots that will provide a sense of what the event was like.
On Friday evening, 349 people attended a 3-hour ADU 101 workshop.
The Build Small Live Large Summit is back by popular demand! This unique, one-day event will convene leading small home designers, builders, developers, realtors and policy makers to share what’s … Continue reading
Up for rent in Portland, February 2015: a tiny purple structure in someone’s backyard, apparently a converted garden shed. At 165 square feet, it had the same area of 5 … Continue reading
Joan and Rita’s carve-out ADU entailed creating a new entry on the north side of their house, and separating the ADU from the main house by building a wall in the former hallway leading to an existing full bath and the underutilized bedroom. The kitchen-dining-living area is the located in the front of the original house with a large bank of windows offering natural daylight and garden views, and the more private bed and bath areas are located toward the back.
*Update as of 6/3/2015. Read a follow up post about the tour here: http://accessorydwellings.org/2015/06/02/follow-up-to-the-spring-2015-adu-tour/*
John and his wife Stephani decided to use their savings to purchase a house with potential for a basement ADU. This investment would provide flexibility in terms of both their finances and their housing options.
Adrienne and Bob developed a creative multi-generational housing solution that will allow them to share space with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids, while operating a home-based business. They knew they couldn’t have an official fully self-contained accessory dwelling unit as long as Adrienne is operating her pottery studio. However, when Adrienne retires from teaching, the plan is to renovate the addition to make it officially an ADU by adding a kitchen. In the meantime, they knew that as long as they were sharing the house with their family members, it would be no problem to have the addition dependent upon the kitchen in the primary dwelling.
The city-wide ADU tour is almost here. There will be 12 ADUs to tour in NE Portland on Saturday, May 30th, and 13 ADUs in Portland SE on Sunday.
The inaugural ADU Tour in the spring of 2014 sold out a week early at 850 tickets, and drew attendees from across the country, showing the surging interest in small housing.
Nan Haemer’s neighbor convinced her to build an ADU on her property and she spent the next several months salvaging materials at the nearby ReBuilding Center.
Quick Facts Setting: urban Neighborhood: Buckman, Portland, OR Type: daylight walk-out basement Use: long-term rental Square Footage: 700 Year Built: 1899 Year Basement Converted to ADU: 2013 Owners: Amanda Punton Designer-Builder: Das Chapin & Amanda … Continue reading
As we all know, New Years is a time to conjure up lofty ideas. Here are a few great ideas that we, the editors of accessorydwellings.org, probably won’t have the time to … Continue reading
SAVE THE DATE: May 29th- May 31st!
I’m very excited to announce Build Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour – Spring, 2015.
The first time Billy Hines saw his three bedroom house in Portland’s Alberta Arts District, he decided that someday he’d make the old carriage house into an apartment. In 2006 he went through the process of converting the existing accessory structure into a permitted ADU.
Novato, California will allow a simpler, lower-cost style of accessory dwelling unit starting in 2015 — the JADU or “junior accessory dwelling unit.”
Blake and Sabina’s decided to convert their basement into an ADU in case their family members wanted to move in. But with an out-of-state job offer on the table, they ended up remodeling both the house and the ADU to be rentals.
Practically every week, we learn of a new US city or county that is adopting or revisiting zoning code language on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Some are thinking of allowing … Continue reading
Houston, Texas has a long tradition of accessory dwelling units. It also has a unique lack of zoning rules. Could it be the next hotbed of ADU creativity?
Here is nicely formatted summary to the ways ADUs are being financed in Portland today. Even if you don’t live in the area, it should provide some ideas and precedents you can use. Enjoy!
There are a handful of developers who are using ADUs as part of their toolkit to create unique housing options. Kristy Lakin is one of these developers. She is currently constructing Woodstock Gardents, a pocket community with three primary dwellings, each with its own ADU. Kristy explains that her interest in developing small housing options like these comes from an interest in creating additional housing without compromising neighborhood character.
Q. How is it that the accessory dwelling unit pictured below is being sold separately from the primary home on the same lot? A. It’s legally structured as a condominium. … Continue reading
She anticipated that once it was complete, the backyard cottage would serve as a guest space for visiting family. However, she decided to go through the process of converting the garage to an ADU officially so that she could keep her options open. She liked the flexibility of being able to rent out the little space.
Following on the heels of the Value it Green tour in early September, Earth Advantage will be offering a new class called All About ADUs – A Primer Course for Brokers. … Continue reading
Collected research about accessory dwelling units (AKA granny flats, laneway houses, in-law units, etc) suggests they have many potential benefits, and two common arguments “against” are unsupported.
James Michelinie & Kyra Routon first learned about ADUs when they were house hunting as newlyweds. They’d been renting a house in the Alberta Arts District for the past two years and they were looking for a property they could afford in a neighborhood they loved. They ended up purchasing the house they were renting and building an ADU in the backyard, which they now live in.
ADUs are especially promising as environmentally sensitive and affordable housing, and this potential should be investigated in detail.
Join other REALTORs, appraisers and lenders visiting green homes and ADUs across Portland. Have fun with your peers while you’re escorted by experts on buses to and from the … Continue reading
The old woodshop on Kathleen Pequeño’s property had “a sense of being useful.” It took a lot of work, but she turned it into a nice small house.
Government rules strongly limit the development of ADUs, but they are not the only factor.
Francie and Michael had three primary design criteria for their ADU. First, it had to be easy to maintain. Second, it had to be sustainable – both financially and environmentally. Finally, it had to be a pleasant space to call home.
We wanted to update readers about the plan for the next ADU Tour. The last ADU tour was a trememdous success, so we’ve decided to run it again next spring. … Continue reading
If the “grassroots” nature of their development is properly understood, ADUs have a lot of potential to address affordable housing needs.
The economics of a rentable space were appealing to Charlie and his partner Katharine, so when the couple built their own home they designed it to include an apartment. They’ve now included ADUs in two more homes they’ve built and they’re grateful that Portland’s policies now support the creation of ADUs.
Will building an ADU raise your property taxes? Very likely yes. Is that a good thing for the community?
Accessibility, sociability, rentability, and sustainability were driving factors for their design. The focus of the design was aging-in-place for both dwellings. A secondary goal was energy-efficiency so that the dwellings would be less expensive to heat and cool. They insulated the units with R-40 walls and an R-60 roof. Tight air sealing was also important and they ultimately achieved 2.2 Air Changes per Hour (ACH).
Older persons are expected to benefit from ADUs. Is this happening now, and will it happen more in the future?
The single biggest and most specific fear mentioned by ADU opponents is loss of street parking. Is there any evidence on this?
Many cities may claim to allow ADUs in their code, but in fact, their regulations prevent citizens from actually building them. In San Francisco’s case, there are ‘discretionary reviews’ and other … Continue reading
When Bonnie Dalton was younger, her grandma lived in a family owned ADU. So when Bonnie was older and her husband’s parents needed a little extra support, Bonnie naturally thought of creating an ADU at her own house.
New evidence shows that ADUs have serious potential as environmentally sensitive housing.
Cheryl and Jim Levie of Ashland, Oregon transformed an old chicken coop into a nice little guest house. But the fact that their home was in a historic district caused some complications along the way.
Opponents of ADUs frequently charge they will bring down property values for the whole neighborhood. What is the evidence?
Joe wanted to provide a private entrance for his tenants. The ADU has its own walkway and stairs on the side of the house, so it looks and feels separate from the rest of the house. There were a few challenges in designing and building the ADU; however, they were fairly easy to overcome.