Accessory Dwellings

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ADU PDX ADU Profiles

If you’d like to learn more about ADU PDX, please check out ADU Designer Profile: ADU PDX (or visit For a more in-depth look at one of ADU PDX’s projects, check out Jane Doe’s ADU: A Second Home on a Tight Budget.



ADU #1 – NE 28th Ave ADU

  • Square Footage:  324 sf
  • Year Built: 2003
  • Builder: Dave Spitzer & his brother
  • Current Use:  long-term rental
  • Ballpark Cost: $50,000

The Project:  Dave Spitzer purchased the main house as a rental. Main house did not cash flow given bank loan, taxes, etc. Building ADU on lot for 50k increased overall income by 70% so property cash flowed with ADU!

The Challenges:  Small 40’x100′ lot. Wanted to provide privacy and private outdoor space for both main house and ADU and create a space that felt large for a relatively small footprint.

The Solutions:  Placed ADU at NE corner of lot while house was closer to opposite part of lot. Bamboo screen between house and ADU yard provided separate outdoor living areas for both families.  We also designed/built a very tall cathedral ceiling at 15’ tall and installed a large bay window to help the ADU space feel bright and open. ADU renters have said it’s the ‘smallest house in Portland’ – meaning they have all the comforts of a house  – privacy, noise isolation, yard, etc. – but in a very compact plan. Since 2003, small has been redefined.

ADU # 2 – NE Holman ADU

  • Square Footage:  796
  • Year Built: 2013
  • Builder: Lux Construction
  • Current Use:  owner’s mother’s residence
  • Ballpark Cost: $240,000

The Project: To create a large ADU at rear of a deep (150′ long lot) that the clients’ mom could live in – thereby be near her family yet remain independent.

The Challenges: Matching windows of ‘modern’ ADU with more traditional windows of house. This always requires some creativity in selecting which windows to ‘copy’ and how/where to use them to maximize light, etc.

The Solutions: I really like this ADU as it’s got an incredible two story space to it. Nice, full height windows, a sculptural spiral stair and great material selection (most interior materials selected by owner) make for a space I’d love to live in myself.

ADU #3 –  Garage ADU

  • Square footage:  235 sf
  • Year built: 2015
  • Builder: Stone Creek Building
  • Current Use:  guest house & short-term rental
  • Ballpark Cost: $45,000

The Project: Convert small (20’x12’) garage into cool, bright, studio space for guests and short-term tenants.

The Challenges: Head height was only 7’-6” in existing garage and garage seemed dark and small.

The Solutions: We removed the collar ties at the 7’-6” head height and put in a ridge beam, which added 3’-4’ head height. We replaced the garage door with three full light doors. Both these items helped open up this small garage to make it feel larger than it is.  We also used light floors, walls, and ceilings to help with lightness and airiness.

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.

One comment on “ADU PDX ADU Profiles

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