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Jeff McCaffrey & Beth Bonness’s ADU: Hawthorne Guesthouse

Hawthorne Guesthouse

Hawthorne Guesthouse

Quick Facts

  • Setting: urban
  • Neighborhood: Buckman, Portland, OR
  • Type: addition above a new detached garage
  • Use: extended stay guest house (Hawthorne Guesthouse)
  • Square Footage: 700
  • Year Built: 2007
  • Owners: Jeffrey McCaffrey & Beth Bonness
  • Designer: Matt Loosemore of SUM Design Studio
  • Builder: Jeffrey McCaffrey
  • Total Cost: $250,000

“I’ve been surprised how many people are out there looking for temporary housing like ours. It’s been fun and we’ve met a lot of interesting people.” -Jeff McCaffrey

Hawthorne Guesthouse Living Room

Hawthorne Guesthouse Living Room

Jeff McCaffrey and Beth Bonness first learned about ADUs when they saw a handful of them built in their neighborhood. Jeff and Beth’s home is located on bustling Hawthorne Boulevard in the Buckman neighborhood of Portland, OR. They knew that there was demand for accommodations in this desirable area as they built a duplex next door in 2004. However, the idea of a guesthouse didn’t come to them until they were halfway through the project. They figured Hawthorne Guesthouse would pay for the cost of its construction through rental income. As they worked with Matt Loosemore of SUM Design Studio + architecture, the priority was making the guest house a very nice place to live. 

“My favorite features of the ADU are the two fire places and a wood fired pizza oven.” -Jeff McCaffrey
Hawthorne Guesthouse Kitchen

Hawthorne Guesthouse Kitchen

The biggest challenge for Jeff in creating his ADU was meeting the city’s restrictions on setbacks, size, height, and storm water. Portland also has a set of design standards for detached new-construction ADUs, which requires them to match the look of the primary dwelling, so Jeff’s guest house had to comply with these regulations as well. However, if the design standards were not in place, Jeff would have chosen a different look for his ADU.

“We might have arrived at a similar look to what we have, but limiting the design takes a bit of the fun out of building a new building.” -Jeff McCaffrey

Hawthorne Guesthouse Entry

Hawthorne Guesthouse Entry

Jeff says that there is no interaction between the primary dwelling – which is his and Beth’s primary residence – and the ADU. He appreciates that the two houses are completely private and that the ADU provides additional income each month.

Unfortunately, at the time Jeff built his ADU Portland had not yet waived the System Development Charges (SDCs) for ADUs, so the SDCs were a large portion of the cost of constructing his guest house. He had no way to know that these fees would be waived in 2010.
“The SDC fees were expensive, especially considering how small the place is. It would have been nice if they city offered rebates for early adopters like us.” -Jeff McCaffrey
Hawthorne Guesthouse Pizza Oven

Hawthorne Guesthouse Pizza Oven

Jeff also notes that his least favorite aspect of having an ADU on his property is having another structure to maintain. However, he’s thankful that the ADU has been an income generator and that it does not sit vacant. He’s been surprised how many people are looking for extended stay options like Hawthorne Guesthouse provides.

So what advice does Jeff have for homeowners considering creating an ADU on their own property?

“If it is for personal use, have fun, make just how you want it, and do a nice job. If it is for revenue then do all of the above and make sure you have location, location, location.” -Jeff McCaffrey

About linamenard

Hi. My name is Lina Menard and I'm a small house dweller, designer, blogger, and builder. I'm currently collecting ADU Case Studies for Through my company Niche Consulting LLC, I help people design and build the home (and life) of their dreams! I also tell my stories about simple living in small spaces - like a travel trailer, a yurt, a backyard cottage, and tiny houses on wheels - at Niche News.

4 comments on “Jeff McCaffrey & Beth Bonness’s ADU: Hawthorne Guesthouse

  1. Martin John Brown
    February 14, 2014

    This project is unusual because it’s all business! Most ADUs seem to be motivated by a combination of non-financial personal needs and some opportunity for income or cost savings. This one is unusual in that it is explicitly designed as a business. The construction cost was high (that pizza oven is awesome), but the income opportunity is high too, so I imagine it is working out well.

    There are some lessons here that even less business-oriented homeowners might take into consideration for their own projects, especially the part about interaction between the main house and the ADU. One of the unique qualities of ADUs is the fact that their uses can change (for-profit rental to home office to family space, etc). So when considering the relationship between the two dwellings (house and ADU), people should anticipate that in the future they might want to create more or less separation between the two sets of residents. The design might want to leave room for that flexibility.

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