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“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
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
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
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.
“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
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