Accessory Dwellings

A one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units…

Build Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour


Update 6/2/2014:  We’ve posted a follow up note about the tour here

Update 5/30/14: Regular ticket holders and early birds who haven’t yet picked up their tickets, are encouraged to pick up tickets at Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel (5009 NE 11th Ave, Portland, OR, 97211) on 

Saturday, May 31st: 11:00am-4:00pm

Picking up your wristbands and ADU tour packet in advance will allow you to skip the lines and go right the ADUs on the tour starting at 10am on Sunday, June 1st.

Picking Up Your Tickets on Tour Day

However, it’s also fine to pick up your tickets on Sunday, June 1st, beginning at 9am, at two convenient locations:

Sunday, June 1st: 9:00am-4:00pm

Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel (5009 NE 11th Ave, Portland, OR, 97211)


Sunday, June 1st: 9:00am-1:00pm

Night Light Lounge, 2100 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

Update 5/29/14: The tour is sold out, but you can add your name to the wait list at in case spots open up. 

Update 5/28/14: There’s been a huge amount of interest in attending this tour, which is fantastic. Over 800 people have registered to attend. 

To allow for ample access to the ADUs for attendees, we have decided to cap the ticket sales.  Tickets sales have now ended. We really wanted to sell more, but feel that this cap is in the best interest of the tour registrants and the ADU hosts. 

Update 5/26/14: Five of the locations being featured on the tour received in-depth coverage in the Oregonian over the weekend. We encourage you to check out the articles, which feature lots of images as well.  

ADUTOUR_flyerBuild Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour

Tour Date: Sunday, June 1st, 10am-6pm

A tour for people interested in learning more about ADUs and meeting the homeowners, builders, and designers who built them


Schedule of Events

Date:  Sunday, June 1st, 2014

9am: Pick up wristbands and ADU tour packets at Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel- 5009 NE 11th Ave or The Night Light Lounge-2100 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202.

Attendees are encouraged to pick up their wristbands and packets at Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel- on Saturday, May 31st, from 11am-4pm to avoid long ticket will call lines on Sunday, June 1st

10am-4pm:  Attendees take a self-guided tour of 11 ADUs at their own pace


ADU Tour ThumbnailADU site addresses will be provided to tour registrants in advance of the tour, but here’s a thumbnail map that shows the approximate locations.

For those who may opt to bike, the total route length of the ADUs is 16.3 miles from north to south and bike racks will be provided at each tour stop.

Tour attendees can also choose to attend any of the following presentations that will be happening concurrent to the tour. 

10am-4pm:  Presentations by ADU Experts at Living Room Realty on Alberta Street.

Read the full presentation descriptions here

4pm-6pm: Network with other ADU tour attendees at Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel, while checking out six tiny house on wheels—all self contained livable units that are 90-160 sq ft. Tiny House pioneer and author, Dee Williams of PAD, will be a featured guest, along with her vardo wagon.

ADUs on the Tour

  Notable features Size Cost
Joe Wachunas & Naomi Cole attached, rental, garage conversion 375 $45,000
Sam & Stephanie Dyer detached, rental 342 $110,000
Kol Peterson & Deb Delman detached, primary, NW Energy Star certified 800 $110,000
Thomas Hudson  Hudson ADU 5_14 detached, primary, under construction unknown
Paz Pozarycki detached, primary, dropped floor 746 $100,000
Gillian Holbrook detached, accessible, primary, garage conversion 420 unknown
Karen Bilsing and & Martha Metzger detached, accessible, rental 642 $200,000
Derin & Andra Williams attached, basement, rental, also, a tiny house on wheels 650 $60,000+
Lesa Dixon-Gray detached, accessible, primary 590 $110,000
Michael Klepinger & Ellen Bassett detached, rental/primary 660 $125,000
Susan Moray detached, rental, historic design review, NW Energy Star certified 550 $90,000
Stephen Williams detached, 2 BR, rental 673 $125,000


  Kids under 12 are free

Questions about the tour can be directed to

Tour information for partners, volunteers


Guided Tours (5/12 Update: The Guided Tour is SOLD OUT). Don’t worry-early bird tickets are still available. 

Lina Menard, coordinator of the ADU Case Studies Project, will lead a special Guided Tour during the Build Small, Live Large ADU Tour to share the inside scoop on the 11 ADUs featured on the tour. Lina will also share insights and information from the other 30 case studies she has conducted. The tour will be conducted by bike, but a carpool option will also be available. Tickets for this exclusive guided tour are limited, cost $35, and can be purchased on Lina’s website. (SOLD OUT)

39 comments on “Build Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour

  1. Anne Hawley
    March 16, 2014

    Can you give a general idea of the area covered by the tour? I’ll be attending by bike and I’d like to figure out whether I can manage the whole route. Thanks.

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  4. Jonathan Kennedy
    April 17, 2014

    Need to do early bird registration for two. How can I do it?

  5. John Andersen
    April 29, 2014

    We are car-free as a matter of conscience, and use transit in addition to walking as transportation for daily errands. Reasonably, how many of these sites could we visit if we did them all on foot with maybe one bus ride?

    • kolpeterson
      April 29, 2014

      You could get to at least 7 of the 12 stops. 5 in N/NE are within two miles of each other. 2 in SE are within a mile of each other. Both of those clusters are adjacent to MLK.

  6. John Andersen
    April 29, 2014


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  8. Mike Starosciak
    May 16, 2014

    I see an ADU for sale at NE 21st and Ridgewood. Is there anywhere else other ADUs for sale are listed?

    • Martin John Brown
      May 17, 2014

      Mike, I am not sure what you mean by ADU for sale. ADUs shouldn’t go on sale by themselves, because one of the defining elements of an ADU is that it’s part of a larger property — it’s an “accessory” (as in additional) dwelling unit. I suppose it’s possible that an ADU could be constructed and then the property legally divided somehow, but that kind of wheeling and dealing is not common and is not the focus of the tour (or this website). Or possibly you are talking about a dwelling on wheels?

      If you are looking for properties with ADUs, then you or a real estate agent could try searching RMLS listings for keywords like “granny flat”, “apartment”, etc. Perhaps a real estate agent could chime in here and tell us if there is an actual field for accessory dwelling units in the RMLS database?

      Good luck!

      • Mike Starosciak
        May 31, 2014

        I talked with the realtor and found that they are having an open ADU (and open house) on Sunday June 1 from 1-3. NE 21st and Ridgewood (two blocks north of Fremont) is not too far from the cluster of ADUs near 15th and Prescott.

      • kolpeterson
        May 31, 2014

        Mike, this open house alternative for people who weren’t able to get into the tour.

        Thanks for mentioning it.


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  11. Tamer
    May 25, 2014

    I looked at this with great anticipation. And then I read the cost of most of these homes. The Tiny House movement has been completely corrupted I believe. One, maybe two extravagant tiny homes would be fine to tour, but this is an utter mess. It belongs next to a Corvet collectors group or some such thing. Fun for the chosen few, but mostly useless.

    • kolpeterson
      May 25, 2014

      This is a tour of ADUs, though there are also tiny houses on wheels on the tour.

      ADUs definitely aren’t cheap to develop. The actual cost of ADU development is part of the information that the tour and this website are trying to convey. If the development of an ADU is prohibitively expensive for you, there are less expensive alternatives to consider that may meet your needs. For example, tiny houses on wheels tend to be far less expensive than ADUs.

    • Martin John Brown
      May 26, 2014

      Hey Tamer, thanks so much for your skeptical comment. You are tuned into an issue that I hope this site will talk about more in the future.

      There is absolutely no doubt that housing cost is a crucial issue in relation to people’s incomes. That’s why as an editor I insist that whenever possible this site document real costs for real projects. The more of these I study, the more I realize that construction of any kind is expensive. When you read a blog post elsewhere that claims something like “I built this cool place for $5K!” there’s always a catch. Like they spent three thousand hours on it. No matter what it is — craptastic mcmansion, airstream trailer, finely made tiny house, whatever. If it doesn’t cost in terms of cash, it costs in terms of something else — time, materials, whatever.

      As one academic has put it, the problem might not be that housing is too expensive, the problem is that people aren’t getting paid enough. Said more bluntly, there may be a problem with the current structure of American capitalism. For better or worse, this website and tour aren’t going to be able to fix that. :)

      As for the tiny house movement being corrupted, I am skeptical that the tiny house movement was EVER about low-cost construction. When you look at the price per square foot of a Tumbleweed house (which has largely inspired the current day tiny house movement), you’ll be shocked.

      I do think that ADUs and tiny houses can help people become economically more independent, because they can lower net costs in a significant way. But the savings come over time, not in price per square foot!

      • John Andersen
        May 27, 2014

        Thanks for this comment. The problem lie in the structure of our economy. However, the concept of living small should not be lost over small for the elite versus small for those of modest means.

    • Tamer
      May 30, 2014

      Thanks for your sincere replies to my frustration with small housing prices. They were quite thoughtful. Truthful disclosure of costs is an honorable and helpful policy!

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  13. Aurora
    May 28, 2014

    What I have not encountered after a 2 hour perusal of this site, is any of the stories of what the construction process is REALLY like?

    My daughter and I are contemplating creating an ADU in her backyard…
    what is it like to have families experience the construction process?
    the months of mess and noise…
    did this make you resent Mom?

    I think it would help others contemplating this, given the exposure this weekend’s event will give you, to hear some realistic stories of those who have gone through the process.

  14. Aurora
    May 28, 2014

    …and just an observation from a senior citizen: if you are planning for a senior to live in your space, do NOT put the microwave above the stove…consider putting it under the upper cabinets. We lose upper body and hand strength and could drop something very hot upon ourselves…

  15. vjpdx
    May 29, 2014

    I’m super excited about the house tour but I have a request — currently, presentations take place from 10-4. And the house tour takes place from 10-4. I want to do both — but it’s unlikely that I’ll be happy by seeing part of the presentations and part of the house tour.

    Will you be recording the presentations? Will they be posted online afterwards? Please say yes!

    This would be a very helpful service both to those of us who have bought tickets for Sunday, and those who are interested in ADUs who won’t be able to attend.

    • kolpeterson
      May 30, 2014

      Yes, we’ve decided to record the presentations. We’ll make them available after the tour to attendees who complete the ADU Tour feedback form, which we’ll email to all attendees on Sunday evening.

      • Karen
        May 30, 2014

        Nice! Thank you all!

  16. vjpdx
    May 30, 2014

    Yeah, what Karen said!

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  21. Barbara gundle
    June 7, 2014

    Will you do this tour again? If so when?

    Thx Barbara

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