Question: If you completed an ADU or are in the final stages of building one, what advice would you offer to prospective ADU owner-developers?
Below are the 25+ responses to that question from homeowners who actually did it.
Readers of this series may have noticed a positive tone change in the dire title of the series. That’s because yesterday, the Oregon Department of Revenue issued a draft rule that steers Multnomah County away from the misguided interpretation that they’d used this year–the interpretation that had caused detached ADUs to trigger a property reassessment– the interpretation which has caused a dramatic ADU development chilling effect in Portland in the last 6 months.
This is an announcement for a new presentation series being offered in Portland by Portland Alternative Dwellings, which will cover a range of small house related topics, including ADUs. -Editor April-June, 2016 … Continue reading
There’s some lively discussion in Seattle these days about relaxing restrictions for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs). There doesn’t appear to be strong opposition to DADUs, but some are expressing … Continue reading
Over Thanksgiving weekend in late November, more than thirty Portland homeowners emailed the Administrator Humphrey of the Oregon Department of Revenue with a formal request to return to the common improvement tax … Continue reading
Good News for Detached ADUs It is great to see incremental improvements being made to regulatory ADU codes across the country. Austin, TX recently made some improvements to their ADU … Continue reading
Commissioner Loretta Smith from Multnomah County, District 2 stepped up last week as the first of Multnomah County Commissioners to speak out against the unfair tax re-MAV issue that has been … Continue reading
What seemed to be a ‘slam-dunk’ set of great, proposed code updates for detached ADUs and other accessory structures have experienced yet another potential setback, so to speak. The day before the vote … Continue reading
(This is Part II of The Death of Detached ADUs in Portland and What To Do About It. Part I, Part III, Part IV, and Part V are also available.) Action Items … Continue reading
The City-wide ADU Tour is just two weeks away.The ADUs on this tour are beautiful and we can’t wait for you see them in person. Here’s a preview of some of the ADUs you’ll be seeing.
(Update: Part II , Part III , Part IV and Part V are also available.) This post is complicated, thick, and heavy – it’s about property taxes. Ick! For the purposes of retaining readers’ interest, I … Continue reading
Registration for the November 7th ADU Tour is now live; early bird sales end on October 24th. For those seeking design inspiration for small houses, the ADUs on this upcoming tour are exceptionally beautiful. Here’s a sneak preview of a few of some of them.
Introduction The City of Portland (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) regularly reviews and updates planning and zoning codes through a process called RICAP (Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project). Part of … Continue reading
Financing is, by far, the biggest barrier for most homeowners seeking to build an ADU on their property. Recently, I was trying to gain some clarification about three conventional loan products that can be used to help fund the construction of an ADU: First Mortgage Cash Out Refinance- taking out extra money when refinancing your ‘first mortgage’ .
The spring, 2015 ADU Tour was amazing! Here’s a few snapshots that will provide a sense of what the event was like.
On Friday evening, 349 people attended a 3-hour ADU 101 workshop.
*Update as of 6/3/2015. Read a follow up post about the tour here: https://accessorydwellings.org/2015/06/02/follow-up-to-the-spring-2015-adu-tour/*
The city-wide ADU tour is almost here. There will be 12 ADUs to tour in NE Portland on Saturday, May 30th, and 13 ADUs in Portland SE on Sunday.
The inaugural ADU Tour in the spring of 2014 sold out a week early at 850 tickets, and drew attendees from across the country, showing the surging interest in small housing.
As we all know, New Years is a time to conjure up lofty ideas. Here are a few great ideas that we, the editors of accessorydwellings.org, probably won’t have the time to … Continue reading
SAVE THE DATE: May 29th- May 31st!
I’m very excited to announce Build Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour – Spring, 2015.
Following on the heels of the Value it Green tour in early September, Earth Advantage will be offering a new class called All About ADUs – A Primer Course for Brokers. … Continue reading
We wanted to update readers about the plan for the next ADU Tour. The last ADU tour was a trememdous success, so we’ve decided to run it again next spring. … Continue reading
Many cities may claim to allow ADUs in their code, but in fact, their regulations prevent citizens from actually building them. In San Francisco’s case, there are ‘discretionary reviews’ and other … Continue reading
On Sunday, we hosted Build Small, Live Large: Portland’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour. Over 500 people signed up for the early bird registration, and by the time 800 people registered five … Continue reading
Update 5/28/14: There’s been a huge amount of interest in attending this tour, which is fantastic. Over 800 people have registered to attend. The tour is sold out, but you can add your … Continue reading
Repost of Little Pink Houses: Debate Regarding Zoning Laws and Accessory Dwelling Units Getting More and More Relevant
We thought this National Law Review article was interesting because it deals with the legal issues that ADUs confront in municipalities around the US. You can read more about how … Continue reading
Well, they’re true. On Sunday, June 1st, in partnership with the City of Portland, Metro, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel, is running Portland’s … Continue reading
Cooking meth is apparently one way to make money fast. But, for many of us, this option is far less appealing now that we’ve finished watching Breaking Bad. After the … Continue reading
From Washington DC to Vancouver BC to Boston, MA, there are more and more examples in the media of individuals attempting to build and live in smaller dwellings and in … Continue reading
In most markets, financing the construction of ADU’s is notoriously difficult. When constructing an ADU, you need to have all the cash upfront to pay a contractor for the cost … Continue reading
…well, join the club. Detached ADUs are in short supply, and huge demand. The fact that they are in short supply and high demand should serve as a strong indicator … Continue reading
Here are a few of the videos from the Build Small | Live Large Summit. For more videos and presentations, check out the conference home page. The quality of the … Continue reading
On Friday, October 26th, we held an incredible event at Portland State University. It was the first summit of its kind, focusing on space efficient housing. The Build Small | … Continue reading
When I was designing my ADU with an architect, the stairs presented the most challenging aspect of the whole design. Stairs and their associated components (guardrails, handrails, ceiling, stair treads) … Continue reading
For fans of ADUs in Portland, tomorrow is a great chance to see some in person. I have two tickets for tomorrow’s Build it Green tour, which will feature 8 … Continue reading
The IFC show Portlandia has garned lots of attention in Portland. It even inspired a fan contest in which Portland residents submitted their own ‘Portlandia’ inspired videos. This hilarious video … Continue reading
The City of Portland’s Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair (BIG!) turns eleven this year. BIG! is a self-guided tour of 16 green remodels and new homes around … Continue reading
In June, Portland State University master’s student and Orange Splot intern, Lina Menard, organized a great bike tour of some ADUs in NE Portland. Mark Rainha compiled and edited an … Continue reading
In a post on my personal ADU blog, I described an awesome building incentive that was made available for my ADU from the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO). My ADU … Continue reading
[this material may be somewhat dated, please look for newer posts about appraisals by searching the site — ed.] Link to Appraisal Journal paper published 2012: Understanding and Appraising Properties … Continue reading
[Kol Peterson attended Martin Brown and Taylor Watkin’s presentation on appraising ADUs and came away with these notes about how appraisal issues affect homeowners. For Martin’s summary of the event, … Continue reading
Reasonable people may disagree, but here are the sequential steps in designing and building an ADU. This is an approximation of the steps for my ADU project, anyway. This was … Continue reading
There’s plenty of reasons why ADUs are good for personal and financial reasons, which are described below. But, before we cover that, it’s good to understand the range of reasons … Continue reading
Building residential options that use less energy is achieved most effectively by building smaller square footage units and filling in vacant urban space (aka urban infill). Building green is achieved … Continue reading
Building a detached ADU isn’t necessarily different than building a house. Although ADUs (usually <800 sq ft) are necessarily smaller than a normal house (avg house size is 2,382 sq … Continue reading
Ten steps for planning, designing, and permitting an ADU Building an ADU is daunting. Here’s a quick sketch of the chronological steps to get ready to build an ADU on … Continue reading
Fundamentally, I was seeking a residential living situation that would pay for itself. To me, dwelling in America cost too much. I sought a less expensive way to live in … Continue reading