This spring Lina Menard, Coordinator of the ADU Case Studies Project and owner of Niche Consulting, will be teaching Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Design Course. In this intensive two-day workshop we cover many of the considerations for designing a small space, visit with special guests who have created ADUs, and go through a set of design exercises to help you develop a design of your own.
This past weekend Lina Menard, one of our editors and the coordinator of the ADU Case Studies Project, taught an ADU Design Class through Portland Community College. The fourteen students brought a variety of project ideas, including everything from garage and basement conversions to backyard cottages, additions, and renovation of a workshop.
I’ve picked up lots of small space storage solutions over the past couple years as I interviewed ADU homeowners and designers for the ADU Case Studies Project. You may just have to read through the whole set of case studies to see ALL the clever ideas, but here I’ll pick out my top 10 favorites.
Garage to ADU conversions are the second most common way to create additional dwelling space within our existing building stock. Read on to learn about the benefits of garage to ADU conversions, find links to examples of converted garage ADUs, and become familiar with what the deal-breakers are if you’re considering converting a garage into an ADU.
I didn’t realize that there were so many creative ways to make an ADU. Here are the 10 most interesting examples of Creative ADU Types I’ve encountered.
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
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
Houston, Texas has a long tradition of accessory dwelling units. It also has a unique lack of zoning rules. Could it be the next hotbed of ADU creativity?
An experienced developer explains why ADUs have such a wide range of costs, and how to estimate costs for your own project.
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
A quick note about language here. One reason people get so confused, and perhaps heated, about accessory dwellings is that language about them is confused. The different names conjure up … Continue reading
I’ve written here about how well my tiny house is working out — I converted my detached 1.5-car garage to a little “accessory dwelling unit” and have mostly rented it … 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
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
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