One Year In, Are Tiny Houses on Wheels the New ADU in Portland?
We are one year into installing RV hookup infrastructure on residential properties in Portland for homeowners who are adding a mobile dwelling. We do this work through a company called Tiny Hookups LLC. This company was formed on the heels of the legalization of RVs (and tiny houses on wheels, which are classified as RVs under Oregon state law) as a legal dwelling option in Portland, Oregon, in 2021.
Brooks & Brian’s ADU: Retirement Plan for Mom & Us
As Brian and Brooks explored various options for Brooks’ mother’s next housing situation, they determined an ADU would be the best option for both generations; an ADU would enable Brooks’ mother to retain as much independence as possible while having family close by, and it would be part of Brian and Brooks’ retirement plan, providing additional housing flexibility and income potential.
Amy Magyar’s ADU: Friend Next Door & Nest for Me
When Amy Magyar and her partner parted ways, her house felt too big. So she took out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and transformed her carriage house into an ADU, doing most of the design and building herself, while preserving the building’s historic character. Amy’s friend from Baltimore, a self-declared “Covid refugee,” moved into the primary house, providing rental income for Amy.
Owner-Builder ADU by Kat and Dad
When we saw this fixer-upper on a half-acre plot of land, I knew right there and then: we were going to buy it. That was back in 2018, and my father started plotting the renovation strategy while exploring the property. One of its best features was the enormous unoccupied front yard, which seemed like a good spot for a second house. We were about to discover the secret world of ADUs and embark on an exciting journey of building one.
Designing an “oversized tiny” home for real-world, full-time living
As CEO of Backyard ADUs, a company that builds small homes and ADUs, I think about living in small spaces a lot. There are tons of cool and clever 200SF … Continue reading
Roger & Martha’s tiny house — economical, artistic, and prefab
Prefab dwellings seem like a great way to create ADUs — but they’re not as common as you might think. One Portland resident shows how it can work.
Accessory dwelling units and the coronavirus: can ADUs help?
The author is quarantined in his own accessory dwelling unit, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Evelyn Brom’s ADU: Another House for the Other Street
In 1995, Evelyn Brown purchased her property in Seattle, WA and immediately imagined building a second house on it. The property was a through-lot, meaning that it spanned the distance between two streets. Her house, at one end of the property, fronted on one street and her garage, on the other end of the property, fronted the other street. Twenty years later the city caught up with Evelyn’s vision and she now lives in an ADU she has plenty of time to dream about.
Carrie & Sterling Whitley’s ADU: Housing Stability for Two Generations
Two generations of the Whitley family found a solution to both their housing dilemmas when Carrie and Sterling were approved as the first residents of Monterey Bay Habitat for Humanity’s My House My Home program. The big idea behind the innovative My House My Home program is to build ADUs to assist low income senior homeowners who might be vulnerable to housing instability because they are living on a fixed income.
Diane Owen’s ADU: A Carriage House at My Daughter’s Place
A few years ago, Diane Owen was sharing a house in Denver, CO with her daughter Mara, and Mara’s partner Andrew. Diane’s one bedroom, one bathroom multi-generational household also included three dogs, so it was a full house! Diane had been living with Mara and Andrew for three years and they got along really well, but there were moments that a little more wiggle room would be nice.
Walt Drake’s ADU: A Father-in-Law Unit in My Own Backyard
When Scott Drake bought his father Walt’s property in Decatur, GA they struck a deal. They’d build a carriage house for Walt so that he could remain on the property and have Scott and his wife and kids move into Walt’s old house.
Asmund & Jenny’s ADU
Asmund and Jenny had been considering building an ADU for quite a while and finally decided to take the plunge at the end of 2016. They were drawn by the potential for passive income, the need for more space for their growing family and guests, and they wanted to lock in the SDC fee waiver benefit before its scheduled expiration. They were particularly drawn to the short–term rental model to maintain the most flexibility.
St. Paul’s first ADU goes up
Over the course of a recent Saturday afternoon open house, more than 40 neighbors, friends and family stopped in to see a new apartment on Sherburne Avenue in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood and congratulate the owners, Eric and Chrissi Larsen, on its completion. This wasn’t just any apartment — it was the first accessory-dwelling unit to be built under St. Paul’s 2016 accessory-dwelling-unit ordinance.
Building An ADU- a new website for those seeking to build ADUs
BuildinganADU.com is a website geared to homeowners who want to build an ADU on their property, featuring posts and tips that delve into great detail about explaining how much ADUs cost to build using actual costs from recent projects,
PCC ADU Design Wraps Up
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.
Deborah Kelly’s ADU: Mossy Cobbles
This week’s ADU Case Study was written and contributed by Deborah Kelly, the owner of an ADU called Mossy Cobbles. Deborah worked with her son, Justin S. Kelly, who is an architect and engineer, to design the cottage for Deborah’s mother to occupy when she lived in Portland for half the year. It was constructed by the next door neighbor, Tony Kikes with hardscaping by another friend and neighbor, Steve Carruthers. The cottage is now available as a short-term rental.
Lisa Lonstron’s Other House: A Rooming House
While interviewing more than 60 ADU Homeowners for the ADU Case Studies project, I came across several different ways that people use their ADUs. I heard time and time again that ADUs provide housing flexibility and give their owners additional rental options as their life circumstances change. ADU owners can Rent One, Both, or Neither. But I’d always assumed that when an owner decided to rent out either their house or ADU they’d be renting it to a single household. Then I got to talking to Lisa Lonstron who lives in her basement ADU. Her other house – the one she lived in before she turned her basement into her apartment – is a rooming house.
Natalie & Justin Strom’s ADU: Two Bathrooms & An Attic
Major design considerations for Natalie and Justin Strom included creating a feeling that their ADU is more like a single family home than an ADU and fitting the ADU into the aesthetic of the traditional neighborhood while bringing in modern elements in the interior. It was also important to Justin and Natalie that the design be flexible enough to allow for multiple use and that they utilize sustainable and energy efficient building materials and techniques.
Catherine Butler’s ADU: Two Bathrooms, Please
Quick Facts Setting: urban Neighborhood: Rose City Park, Portland, OR Type: stand-alone detached unit (new construction) Use: owner’s residence Square Footage: 800 Year Built: 2015 Owners: Catherine Butler Designer: Dave Spitzer of ADU PDX … Continue reading
Al & Shannon Elizondo’s ADU: A Houston Carriage House
The key factor that convinced Al and Shannon to build their own garage apartment was increasing their housing flexibility. They built the ADU first with the plan to eventually build a house on the front portion of the lot which would allow them the option of using the ADU as a potential income property. The ADU was constructed in 2013 and the primary dwelling in 2015.
Sharon Nielson, Keith Pitt, & Stephanie Mix’s ADU: A Miniature Mansion
Because Keith & Stephanie’s home is located in an historic district and their garage was considered a contributing structure, they had a few additional design considerations. They were required to go through a Type II Design Review and retain two walls of the existing garage.The guiding principle for this project is to build a miniature Irvington home with all the features.
Sylvia Allen & Martha Shelley’s ADU: A Home for A Friend
What convinced Sylvia and her wife Martha to create an ADU on their own double lot was the desire to help Marion, an elderly friend who lived in Florida who needed daily assistance. So the three of them agreed that the most practical plan was for Sylvia and Martha to build an attached apartment so that Marion could live with them.
ADU PDX ADU Profiles
Three profiles of ADUs created by ADU PDX.
Rainbow Valley ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out Design-Builder Profile: Rainbow Valley Design & Construction Inc and read Stephen Williams’ ADU: An ADU on the Alley. ADU #1 – … Continue reading
Sheila Butler’s ADU: From Shack to Guesthouse
Sheila Butler and her husband Brad first learned about ADUs when they purchased a piece of property that had a half-built shell in the backyard. The previous owners had begun construction of a guesthouse and never finished the project.
Steve Snyder & Jackie Ellenz’s ADU: An Energy-Efficient Guest House
For Jackie and Steve, there were lots of good reasons to build an ADU. They like the idea of supporting density and infill and they’re also committed to energy-efficiency. Greg is especially interested in how building technology can help us ameliorate climate change.
Tom Hudson’s ADU: The Newest House on the Block
Tom Hudson worked with Willie Dean of Ground Up Design Works to design an ADU in his backyard. His has served as his own general contractor for the project, doing most of the work himself and hiring out projects to local subcontractors.
Endpoint Design ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Designer Profile: Endpoint Design. ADU #1 Square Footage: 283 Year Built: 2015 Architect: Designer: Endpoint Design Builder: Mosaik Design & Remodeling … Continue reading
Victor & Kendra Duong’s ADU: Doubling Rental Opportunities
Editor’s note: this ADU is featured on the upcoming ADU Tour
Kendra and Victor Duong, a wife and husband architecture team, have always dreamed of one day designing their own ADU. In 2015 they built an ADU in the backyard of their existing rental property.
AK Builders’ ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Builder Profile: AK Builders. For a more in-depth look, read Ray Chirgwin’s ADU: Carlton Street ADU. ADU #1 – 72nd Street … Continue reading
Ray Chirgwin’s ADU: Carlton Street ADU
Ray Chirgwin first learned about accessory dwellings through his work as a licensed architect. He had familiarized himself with Portland’s zoning code, so he knew that ADUs are allowed by right in Portland and was familiar with their requirements. As Ray and Natalie explored design criteria for their ADU, they landed on a design that allowed them to have a living space above and a shop below.
Lisa Florentino & Patrick Kernan’s ADU: An Asian-Mexican-Pineapple Chalet
To create their ADU, Lisa and Patrick tore their 2-car garage down completely and built from the ground up with a brand new foundation. But, of course, this happened in typical Brad Bloom style, meaning that as he deconstructed the garage, he salvaged everything he possibility could for reuse in the new space.
Design-Build Portland ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Design-Builder Profile: Design-Build Portland. For a more in-depth look, read Kol Peterson’s ADU: A Backyard Home or Susan Moray’s ADU: Updating History in Ladd’s. … Continue reading
environs llc ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out Design-Builder Profile: environs llc. For a more in-depth look at their work, check out Marenda Chamberlin & Heidi Lohman’s ADU: A Bright, Modern Loft. … Continue reading
Marenda Chamberlin & Heidi Lohman’s ADU: A Bright, Modern Loft
As Marenda and Heidi made plans for their ADU, they decided they wanted to do most of the finish work themselves. They contracted with Dan Lajoie of Departure Design – the designer of the Wine Lovers’ ADU they liked so much. They also brought Holly Huntley of environs on board to build the shell of the ADU.
An economical detached bedroom for Dad
Our guest correspondent created a “detached bedroom” to help her dad age in place. It’s simpler and less expensive than a full-blown ADU, but her thoughtful approach is something everyone can learn from.
Ground Up Design Works ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Designer Profile: Ground Up Design Works. For a more in-depth look, read Stew & Lisa Hulick’s ADU: Thinking Outside (& Inside) … Continue reading
Stew & Lisa Hulick’s ADU: Thinking Outside (& Inside) the Box
Lisa and Stew Hulick live in the primary dwelling and they currently rent their ADU out as a short-term rental, which wasn’t their original plan. While they were designing their ADU they anticipated that it would be a long-term rental.
Shelter Solutions ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Design-Builder Profile: Shelter Solutions LLC. For a more in-depth look, read Satish’s ADU: A Backyard Landlord Cottage. ADU #1 Square Footage: … Continue reading
Satish’s ADU: A Backyard Landlord Cottage
These days Satish and his partner Jeff have homes in Portland and San Francisco and split their time between the two cities. As Satish did online research and learned more about the housing flexibility created by ADUs, it occurred to them that they could create a landlord suite in the backyard of their Portland home.
Tips for Basement to ADU Conversions
Read on to learn about the benefits of basement ADUs, find links to examples of basement ADUs, and become familiar with what the deal-breakers are if you’re considering converting a basement into an ADU.
Studio Cropp Architecture ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Designer Profile: Studio Cropp Architecture. For a more in-depth look, read Kristy Lakin’s ADU Community: Woodstock Gardens. ADU #1 Square Footage: 381 … Continue reading
Lisa Lonstron’s ADU: An Artistic Basement Apartment
Lisa took out a home equity line of credit to fund her basement ADU and supplemented it with a portion of each month’s income from her employment. However, many of the finishing touches were a labor of love. Lisa’s key design consideration was staying on budget while using creative design and décor to make it interesting.
Tips for Garage to ADU Conversions
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.
UDU Design ADU Profiles
To learn more about this company, check out ADU Design-Builder Profile: UDU Design LLC. For a more in-depth look, read Paz Pozarycki’s ADU: Taking it Down a Notch. ADU #1 … Continue reading
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