Accessory Dwellings

A one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units…

ADU Tour Page for Attendees- Saturday, November 7th

Quick links to the ADU project profiles


1) Marenda Chamberlin and Heidi Lohman
2) Stewart and Lisa Hulick
3) Brian Zoeller
4) Barbara Gundle
5) Elaine Miller
6) Jaime Arb Haessig and Paul Haessig
7) Nancy Yates
8) Patrick Kernan and Lisa Florentino
9) Susan Eliot
10) Armstrong Family
11) Richard and Jacqueline Wallace

*Please note that on the map page of the ADU Tour packet, in the upper left-hand corner list of ADUs, the “#5” was not listed. Therefore, every ADU listed in that legend after the 5th ADU is shifted by one ADU site number (ie ADU #11 is listed as “12”).

The addresses are accurately listed on the ADU profiles, the website, and the locations on the map itself are accurate. And, while the legend #’s are wrong, the addresses listed are all correct, so the worst case scenario is that someone goes to an ADU they didn’t intend to go to, which probably wouldn’t be such a bad thing anyway:)

1) Marenda Chamberlin and Heidi Lohman

Accessory Short Term Rental

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Dan Lajoie with Departure Design, http://www.departure-design.com
General Contractor Holly Huntley, http://www.environspdx.com
Heating System Radiant wall mounted units
When did you start the design work? 10/2013
When did you submit the plans to the City? 2/2014
When did you start construction 3/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 7/2015
Total Square Footage 620
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $140K
Cost/Square Foot $226
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $25K
Other special project costs

Bringing in a new service through PGE ($3K)

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

We love the natural light and openness of the space. We were going for a more modern/industrial feel and we’re really happy that we were able to achieve that. We’re also really proud of all the reclaimed wood and materials that were used along the way – especially the custom made sliding door in the loft.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

The heating system. We were apprehensive about using a ductless mini-split because of its size and presence in the living are, but now we wish we gone that route.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Advanced framing, thicker wall cavity for more insulation, lots of reclaimed materials, windows and doors with low U values, low VOC paint and sealers, low flush toilet, air sealing, dense pack insulation, insulated foundation.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

We did much of the interior work ourselves and we completely underestimated the amount of time and material that goes into each section of the ADU. For example, when we were installing the loft flooring using reclaimed tongue and groove car decking, we did not factor in the cost of all the materials needed to complete the project – additional blades for the planer, epoxy to fill the holes, renting a sander and all the sandpaper that goes into it, drill bits, 3 coats of sealer, etc. Those $20 dollar hardware store runs really added up.

We were also surprised at the amount of decisions we had to make! Things that we had never thought about until it was time to install…the color of the cement flooring, color of the gutters, faceplates, the look of the screws that would be visible, the hardware for the kitchen…the list goes on and on.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Be patient with the process and know that everything can be fixed. We had our fair share of expectations that weren’t met and miscommunications, but having open communication and patience really helped us through the process.

New construction can tear up more of your yard than expected, so including final landscaping costs into your budget it a must – something that we learned after the fact.

If you’re using reclaimed materials or doing work on your own, it’s so important to stay on top of the prep work because things often need more work than anticipated.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

The city was VERY specific about the insulation requirements, window sizes and the look/color of our address.

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2) Stewart and Lisa Hulick

The plan is to initially use the ADU as an accessory short term rental. If this proves to be too much of a hassle or is not financially viable, we will switch to using it as a traditional rental.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Willie Dean, http://www.groundupdesignworks.com
General Contractor Self general contracted
Heating System Ductless mini-split
When did you start the design work? 5/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 2/2015
When did you start construction 4/2015
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 10/2015
Total Square Footage 600
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $130K
Cost/Square Foot $217
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) All design, management and much of the labor ($10K)
Other special project costs Tearing down old garage ($2K)
What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I love the flow with the existing house. When on the second floor you see down the driveway, into the street and not into the back of the house. Love the exposed beams in the kitchen. Great light in the house and no direct windows into any neighbors house.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

That 3 windows facing my house aren’t higher as there will be a little view into each house through these windows.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

High R rating for insulation.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I have found the process to be very smooth.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Just to do it if you can. And before next July before the fee waiving period ends. Whether its going to be a short term rental or a traditional rental its going to have a great return on Investment and make your existing house mortgage free.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No  
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3) Brian Zoeller

At this point, the owner will either live in the ADU and rent his house out as a short term, furnished rental or he will rent out the ADU for short term furnished or long term rental. 

Type of ADU Detached, garage conversion
Architect/Designer Brian D’Agostine,  www.istockhouseplans.com
General Contractor Self general contracted
Heating System Convection based heating unit
When did you start the design work? 12/2012
When did you submit the plans to the City? 1/2013
When did you start construction 2/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 1/2015
Total Square Footage 280
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $70K
Cost/Square Foot $250
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $22K
Other special project costs Extra time and cost was applied to advanced insulation, ventilation and air sealing techniques and materials ($4k)

Upgrading footings and slab for leveling, moisture, insulation and earthquake proofing ($5K)

Installing a soffit/ridge vent roofing system ($2k)

Certifications

Brought to you by Energy Trust of Oregon, EPS™ isEPS logo - 2012 no ETO line an energy performance scoring system that rates homes based on energy use.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

It has a natural, quiet and open feel for a tiny house where much of the effort was placed behind the walls.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Loft could have been lowered by 1/2 foot to provide more space above the living area and the space heater should have been lowered.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?
  • Advanced air sealing
  • Insulation under slab (R20)
  • Dense pack cellulose and rigid foam on exterior walls (R30-R36)
  • Rigid foam/air gap strategy on vaulted ceiling (R30)
  • Ventilation controls for moisture management
  • 100% LED lighting
  • Energy Star appliances/water restriction/dual flush toilet
  • Recycled materials in floor, cabinets, shelves, paint, door, trim
  • Use of solar power from home
  • Natural light from solar tube and operable 4×4 skylight
What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

Being the GC was a welcome learning process in so many ways, but it is not for everyone. I should have had a better time frame in mind and realistic budget to accompany my goals. I did appreciate Energy Trust of Oregon and they should be consulted for construction advice and potential incentives.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Know what you want the ADU to be and do for you and the property and build it for that purpose.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

I decided not to go through the process of putting on a second story and seeking variance(s) which kept my interaction with BDS at a relative minimum.
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4) Barbara Gundle

I will use for AirB&B to start. Other future options could be long term rental, live in it myself and rent out my big house, or sell the whole kit and kaboodle.

(Organizer’s note: This ADU is located in Irvington, and was subject to additional Irvington Historic District design overlay considerations).

Type of ADU Garage conversion with 2nd story addition
Architect/Designer Jack Barnes, http://www.jackbarnesarchitect.com
General Contractor Birdsmouth Construction Co., http://www.birdsmouthconstruction.com
Heating System ductless mini-split
When did you start the design work? 10/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 3/2015
When did you start construction 7/2015
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 11/2015
Total Square Footage 650
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $160K
Cost/Square Foot $246
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $2000
Other special project costs Connecting the new sewer to my big house, which wasn’t technically part of the ADU, but was related to it. ($5K)
What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I love the way the second floor has so much light and air circulation and the view on all sides is green growing plants!

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Don’t know yet…but do wish the spiral staircase didn’t take up so much room!

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Lots of insulation, mini-split ductless heating system.  

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Nothing!

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

The cost.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Start early, talk to friends, look at what others have done before you, use an architect

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

I did have a non-compliant partyline sewer on my big house, but it was not a huge problem, just added to the total bill. The city conveniently put in a brand new sewer line on NE 11th in May/June of 2015, so it was there when I began work on my ADU, and I hooked up both the main house and the ADU to the new line at the same time.
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5) Elaine Miller

Initially, we will use the ADU as a short-term rental property and learn just how much work that involves. In the mid to long term my brother, Robert, who suffered a head injury long ago and currently lives in Hawaii, will live in the little house. It is close enough for us to watch over him and give him some community but at the same time offers him his own space and privacy.

Certified Earth Advantage

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Polymath Studio, http://polymathstudio.com/about/
General Contractor Design Build Portland, http://www.designbuildportland.com
Heating System electric wall heat, radiant floor in bathroom and plans to add gas stove this winter.
When did you start the design work? 2/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 9/2014
When did you start construction 11/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 9/2015
Total Square Footage 550
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $165K
Cost/Square Foot $300
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $2500
Other special project costs The water line between main house and street disturbed by water pressure to ADU. $2,500

Tore down old garage and pulled up foundation: $2,500

Using reclaimed lumber on staircase turned out to be a problem with lots of overages: $5K

Certifications

Earth Advantage Gold

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Exposed ceiling wood, staircase, exterior large overhang that shades (and keeps dry) south facing exposure.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Shower is too big making bathroom too small to move around in. Should have put in TV cable as very hard to get wifi from my main house. Should have done more lighting controls/dimmers.

Rest I love.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Ridged insulation on ceiling, super insulation throughout, Energy Star appliances when possible, LW flush toilet, all EE lighting with mix of CFLs and LEDs, minimal heat / cooling requirements so opted to not do ductless heat pump as that would have been oversized for the space. Will add an efficient gas stove soon. It’s also designed for passive solar heating in the winter.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Nothing!

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I was shocked at the number of decisions you have to make. Plan for time to research and make these decisions as my contractor did not have the time to focus on this and things came up unexpectedly. I also learned that it can be hard to get your contractor to finish the project!

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Be brave, plan to spend more that you think (but you will make it back), and go with it. It will be OK!

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Found a long lost septic system right before construction which had to be mitigated. Some issues with on demand gas water heater being hidden under stairs with a kitchen cabinet in front of it that blocks access. Solution is to make cabinet removable. One issue with skylight support and solution was to add supports. Also had an issue once water line was hooked up between ADU and main house. The main line was disturbed but was old, so we ended up having to replace that line (street to house).
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6) Jaime Arb Haessig and Paul Haessig

Traditional rental

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Propel Design Studio, http://www.propelstudio.com
General Contractor Gibson Builders
Heating System Radiant floor
When did you start the design work? 6/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 10/2014
When did you start construction 4/2015
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 10/2015
Total Square Footage 792
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $170K
Cost/Square Foot $215
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $15K
Other special project costs

Upgraded water line (3K)

Sprinkler system (5K)

Utility vault for sprinklers system (5K)

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I believe my favorite thing will be the open layout and the vaulted ceilings.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

The utility vault is still hard to get used to aesthetically and spatially.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Insulation, insulation, insulation. Exterior walls have 2″ foam insulation, the roof has 3″ insulation and the walls have standard batt insulation. We are also using a tankless water heater and radiant floor heat.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

It was a certainly a larger and longer process than I expected.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Build a comprehensive budget well in advance and include an expected 15K overage. Something will come up, it always does. If you get lucky and don’t have any overage then you have a nice savings started to take a long trip to celebrate your completed project.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We had to install a utility vault to hold the water tank for the sprinkler system we had to install due to the distance to the ADU from the street. (Fire Marshall requires sprinkler system or fire lane if the back of the ADU is more than 150 feet from the street.)
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7) Nancy Yates

Considering use as short to long term rental, living space for elderly relative and/or care provider.

(Organizer’s note: This ADU has accessibility considerations)
Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Self-designed, drafted by Builder’s Design Inc, buildersdesigninc.com
General Contractor Cedar Ridge Homes, Troutdale OR
Heating System Ductless mini-split, cadets in bedrooms
When did you start the design work? 10/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 3/2015
When did you start construction 5/2015
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 10/2015
Total Square Footage 798
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $189K
Cost/Square Foot $237
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) landscaping- $4K
Other special project costs Landscaping in the newly created space between the ADU and main house. ($4000).

plants, rock, structured water, kitchen island ($2,515)

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The ADU mirrors the design of my home in a very complimentary way, tall ceilings, lots of windows, and open kitchen and living areas. I am excited about creative possibilities for landscaping the space between the two buildings which feels like a courtyard.

From the street it looks like a good-sized house.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Construction methods changed since completion of the main house in 2013 resulting in subtle necessary differences in the new ADU building, probably noticeable only on close scrutiny, such as height of the facia and siding assembly.

Also, if I had it to do over again, I probably would have planned more accessibility features.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Dense foam insulation, instant hot water heater, orientation for natural light exposure, lots of windows, ductless heat pump mini-split.

Some lighting LED, No VOC paint and structured water system.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

That this was a bigger than anticipated project, which is why I ended up relying on conventional building methods as opposed to sweat equity, with higher costs overall. I learned during this build and one earlier to try your best to remain flexible in addressing issues and necessary changes as they arise. Pay attention to how the space feels as you construct it. For example, a car space could end up better suited as usable people space, with the car space elsewhere, or a kitchen island might need to be scaled back or eliminated. And use any and all nooks and crannies for storage.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

An appreciated suggestion had been to build the ADU mindful of how it will fit into the “life” of the property over the long run, so that I wouldn’t lock myself out of future development I might not be thinking about at the moment.  Also, build the ADU to the maximum space your property will allow and also the maximum size and amenities your budget will allow. You (probably) only do this once, so be sure you have something you are happy with in the end. And finally, if you like it enough to live there yourself, then you will never have a problem having someone else want to live in your ADU.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Not really. Set back had to be at least 60 feet.
(Organizer’s note- this ADU is actually in front of the main house, which worked without an adjustment because of the unusual depth of the lot.)
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8) Patrick Kernan and Lisa Florentino

We are living in it.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction built in place of old garage
Architect/Designer Brad Bloom, portlandgardencottages.com
General Contractor Self general contracted
Heating System Ductless mini-split
When did you start the design work? 5/2013
When did you submit the plans to the City? 3/2014
When did you start construction 4/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 2/2015
Total Square Footage 568
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $108K
Cost/Square Foot $190
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $10K
Other special project costs A gas line because we really wanted a gas stove
What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

We are extremely proud of our designer/craftsman Brad Bloom, whose artistic vision gave us a warm, light-filled livable house. The old-growth fir from the deconstruction of the old garage was milled down and used for interior and exterior trim, and for carved sliding panels between the living and dining room.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

No covered parking

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Ductless mini-split

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

It was surprisingly easy and very creative.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Be sure to allow enough time to allow for serendipitous inspiration working with salvaged and reused materials, which takes time. But, it was worth it.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Unexpected insulation requirements for vaulted ceiling.
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9) Susan Eliot

Primary residence

Type of ADU

Detached, new construction

Architect/Designer

Dennis Myers, http://www.lifespacedesign.com

General Contractor

Rob Bilyeu, http://www.bilyeuconstruction.com

Heating System

Ductless mini-split

When did you start the design work?

11/2014

When did you submit the plans to the City?

12/2014

When did you start construction

2/2015

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

6/2015

Total Square Footage

600

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$115K

Cost/Square Foot

$192

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$2K

Other special project costs None
What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I love the natural light that floods every room. I have 23 windows and the building orients to the south.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

No garage

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

None

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

How quickly an entire free-standing house can be built from the ground up.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Find a lot that allows plenty of separation from the main house if you plan to live in the ADU and rent the main house.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No
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10) Armstrong Family

The elder Armstrongs will live there for 4-6 months during the summers when they move to Portland to escape the heat of Dallas, TX. The younger Armstrong will rent it out the rest of the year.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Strongwork Architecture, LLC, http://www.strongworkarchitecture.com
General Contractor Self general contracted
Heating System Ductless mini-split
When did you start the design work? 12/2013
When did you submit the plans to the City? 2/2015
When did you start construction 4/2015
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 10/2015
Total Square Footage 546
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $111K
Cost/Square Foot $201
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $30K
Other special project costs Structural Insulated Panels “SIPs” for the floor and roof ($8k)
What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

High performance building envelope, vaulted ceilings, exposed beams

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Well there’s a lot of little things that I wish we had done slightly different. When you are playing the general contractor role for the first time and are dialed in to every single detail of the construction process, it’s hard not to see and worry about all the little things that could be improved. But we’ll chalk it up as practice and try to do a little better on the next one. Overall I think it is going to be a very successful and attractive little house and it’s going to be perfect for my parents. If I had to pick one thing to do over it would be to go ahead and apply for the Land Use Adjustment to build into the setback to gain a few feet of interior width on the interior of the ADU and potentially avoid the Building Code Appeal and fire wall.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Super insulated SIP floor and roof, R-5 continuous exterior insulation at the walls. We installed an Energy Recovery Ventilator to bring fresh air into the ADU without wasting conditioned air.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

We have a renewed appreciation for general contractors. Even for a 546 sf structure there is an extraordinary amount of decisions to be made and parts and pieces to be coordinated. It’s like a 5:1 brain power to square footage ratio.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

(1) If you are going to design and build it yourself, you must go the extra mile and figure out all the details. It’s easy to think, “Oh I’m building it myself so I can figure that thing out later.” But it doesn’t work like that. You will save yourself a lot of grief by either (a) diving deep into the details and making sure everything is dialed in and makes sense, or (b) keeping the design extremely simple.

(2) If you think you might need to apply for the Land Use Adjustment to get the design you want….do it. If you do, 5 or 10 years from now you won’t remember the $2000 and 60 day wait for the Adjustment, but if you don’t get it, you’ll remember that you wished you had.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Due to the conflict between the required eave depth and the proximity to the primary house we had to get a Building Code Appeal and create a 1 hour fire rated separated wall and eave on the side of the ADU facing the house.
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11) Richard and Jacqueline Wallace

Initially a short term rental minimum 2-3 days at a time to see how we like it.

Type of ADU

Second-story ADU addition over a portion of our house that was previously one story

Architect/Designer

Doug Minarik, http://www.minarikarch.com

General Contractor

RS Wallace Construction Co., http://www.rswallace.com

Heating System

Ductless mini-split, cadet in bathroom

When did you start the design work?

9/2014

When did you submit the plans to the City?

3/2015

When did you start construction

3/2015

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

11/2015

Total Square Footage

489

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$140K

Cost/Square Foot

$286

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$15K

Other special project costs

Because the quantity of plumbing fixture units in our house combined with
the added fixtures in the new ADU pushed us into the next size water meter ($6K)

The existing foundation under the back eight feet of our existing house was poor quality we also had the added cost to shore up the house, remove that portion of the foundation, pour a new foundation and then set the house back down. ($15K)

We decided to build an exterior stair of metal and concrete instead of losing interior space for an inside stair. ($10K)

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The high vaulted ceiling. The large high quality windows and all the natural light

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Next time I would run the support posts for the exterior stair landing straight down to new footings instead of steel braces back to the house. I was trying too hard to save yard space but it made the engineering and the construction more difficult and expensive.

Besides its small size, what green features did you include in your design?

Spray foam and blow in insulation well above code. Mini-split HVAC system. Extremely durable finishes / windows / stair.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

No major surprises. I think in the future I would use open web floor trusses for this of project instead of a center beam and posts to ease installation of plumbing and heating systems.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Putting the stairs outside is a good option if you have a small lot or do not want to lose much space in your existing garden / yard. But if you can put the stair inside your house that will save you money.

Spend the extra time with your Architect to plan your soundproofing and all aspects of your design.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Not really.

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