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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Joan Grimm & Rita Haberman’s ADU: Carving-Out a Studio
Joan and Rita’s carve-out ADU entailed creating a new entry on the north side of their house, and separating the ADU from the main house by building a wall in the former hallway leading to an existing full bath and the underutilized bedroom. The kitchen-dining-living area is the located in the front of the original house with a large bank of windows offering natural daylight and garden views, and the more private bed and bath areas are located toward the back.
Isabel Johnson & Brad Creel’s ADU: A Backyard Guest Room
She anticipated that once it was complete, the backyard cottage would serve as a guest space for visiting family. However, she decided to go through the process of converting the garage to an ADU officially so that she could keep her options open. She liked the flexibility of being able to rent out the little space.
Tom Hudson’s ADU: A Sneak Peek at an ADU Under Construction
Tom Hudson broke ground on his backyard cottage in March 2014. The concrete slab is finished and the underground plumbing has been stubbed out for connection once the framing is complete. Tom anticipates that his wee home will be move-in-ready by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, his under-construction ADU will be included on the ADU Tour on June 1 so that people interested in creating an ADU on their own property can see one in progress.
Stephanie & Sam Dyer’s ADU: A Guest Cottage Off Mississippi Ave
Although their parents would have “first dibs,” the couple realized that they could also rent out the space through VRBO when neither set of parents were in town. Stephanie and Sam were interested in this additional income potential and both sets of parents liked the investment potential of the property.
Joe Wachunas & Naomi Cole’s ADU: Reworking the Garage
“I was surprised how easy it is to increase density on a single-family lot and still feel like there’s plenty of space,” says Naomi. “The entire process was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had.”
Lissa & Matt’s ADU: Planning for Our Sons’ Future
Matt and Lissa were building a new home and realized that creating an apartment over the garage was a good opportunity to add extra living space. The ADU could generate rental income and create flexibility as their housing needs changed. For now the ADU serves as a rental, but it could eventually be a home for their special needs son if needed.
Tiny Dwellings in Portlandia? (video)
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
A Sister-In-Law House
Walt Quade has a knack for figuring out a work-around. The design and construction of his own ADU provided several opportunities to hone this skill. When he and his wife … Continue reading
Reflections on Six Years in “temporary housing”: a mobile detached bedroom
From 2003 to 2009, I lived in a tiny home on wheels located in Iowa City. I built the home with Jay Shafer, proprietor of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The … Continue reading
Detached Bedroom as Tiny Home
A few years ago I had the opportunity for my mother-in-law to move in with my family in our NE Portland home. We didn’t have space in our home for … Continue reading
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