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Basement/Garage Conversion Open House on Thursday, April 19th

For those of you in Portland, I’m having an open house event this Thursday, April 19th at my recently completed basement/garage conversion ADU from 4-7pm. I hope to see you there.

You can register for the event from here. This open house is part of Design Work Portland. There’s two other ADU related open houses on the same day–they’re all free to attend.

At the open house, you can see the basement/garage interal conversion project first hand. I got the certificate of occupany last week, and am working through the final punchlist now. My book, Backdoor Revolution- The Definitive Guide to ADU Development, will be available for purchase. The designer, builder and I will be present. You can see pictures and videos of the project here.

Facts about the project:

Cost: Roughly $75K in out of pocket costs, plus ~$25K in sweat equity.

Type: Daylit, split-level 1973 home. I converted the two -car internal garage on the lower level to the great room, and the remainder of the basement into two bedrooms

Property type: 5,000 sq ft, R5 lot in King Neighborhood in NE Portland.

Heating system: comfort cove

Timeline: Started in January, 2018, finished in April, 2018.

Features: Fully accessible, modern aesthetic, LED light fixtures throughout, custom cabinets, tons of built-in storage

Size: 815 sq ft.

Regulations: Two adjustments were required: one due eliminating the interior parking, and one due to the size of the ADU, which is greater than 75% the size of the upstairs unit.

Use: Long-term housing.

The designer: Das Chapin

Builder: Self general-contracted, with lots of technical and construction support from ADH Carpentry & Fine Woodworking.

Before: Two- car garage

After: Image of the ADU, 2 weeks before completion.

About Kol Peterson

Kol is an ADU consultant, advocate and author of Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development. Read more here: and learn about building your own at Email at

One comment on “Basement/Garage Conversion Open House on Thursday, April 19th

  1. Laura Ingram
    April 16, 2018

    Hi — This is always interesting to read. However, I’m in Oakland, CA so things are somewhat different here. I suggest a few changes in your list of ADU pros: I clicked a couple in CA, but it would be much more useful and waste less time if you list the city a firm is located in. In California list, the first link doesn’t work; second has no link, 3rd, Cover, is in LA, which it takes a while to figure out, and when I filled in my address to see what was possible, it said “We can’t seem to find you in our system.” I imagine the same applies to the Oregon list and everywhere else; most of these folks probably can’t respond to every part of their state, so why not help it be easier to find nearby pros and trades? Other than that, keep up your good work. I particularly like seeing photos and videos, and good design. If I get up that way, I’ll try to make some open houses. Thanks, Laura Ingram,

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