A one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units…
“I am on the poor side of a contractor/home owner, so my focus might be more on money, but truly I am a wanna-be architect too.” – Jane Doe
“I am in the category of low budget and a owner/builder. My design was an existing plan that an architect had done prior, so I did not have the cost of an original custom design. The architect was great since he has done this before, and even with his own house.” -Jane Doe
Jane hired Dave Spitzer of DMS Architects to help with the design of the ADU. After the shell was constructed, she did all the interior finish work herself. With regard to sustainability features, Jane says that simplicity was her focus. By keeping the structure and furnishings simple, she reduced the building’s environmental impact. She’s also proud that she found the door at a salvage yard.
Jane’s favorite features of the ADU are her lighting, her dark wooden floors, and the colors she chose. She feels the ADU doesn’t have quite enough storage space so she’s planned “fancy storage” and she’s saving up to install it later.
“I’ve built three houses before and know when to off-load certain elements of the build, so I had the framers and the roofers. But I did all the inside myself, so the highlight of building my ADU was getting it done!” – Jane Doe
“Every city has their planning department which can vary tremendously. The ADU process in Portland is almost the same as new residential construction.” – Jane Doe
“Having an ADU is great for a generational solution. It’s really good because seniors on social security can’t afford expensive housing. The demographics have changed. At first glance it looks like most of the people are young people, but there are a lot of Baby Boomers. You might have caretakers. The baby boomers are reaching the accessibility age. With 450 square feet you just walk in. No steps to navigate.” – Jane Doe
“When the appraiser came out, I was appraised for quite a bit more than the cost to build. This cost $40,000 for everything, but I was assessed at $70,000. That means I have to somehow scrounge around every single month to put aside tax money.” -Jane Doe
“Have a good contractor. For the finishes, shop, shop, shop. Look carefully at what’s required by the city because once you go down the engineering path it becomes very expensive. It would be well worth someone’s time and money to pay for a private planner to make sure that your house will fit on the site. It would be the wisest $800 you’ve ever spent. I am pleased it serves my family member’s needs. It was a good thing. But you have to look over your shoulder and plan!” -Jane Doe