Jill’s little home includes salvaged materials, low-flow fixtures, three salvaged doors, no dryer, solar panels, a ductless heat pump, a Rheem water heater, rain garden, skylights, and Marmoleum floors. She also installed grid-tied solar panels on the ADU which cover electricity for her lights, appliances, and heating.
Stephen has always enjoyed the challenge of making a small space functional and comfortable. He had already built two ADUs, so it made sense that he would build an ADU on his own property when the opportunity arose. In 1998, Stephen purchased a lot in the Foster-Powell neighborhood with an existing house, which had been condemned. He remodeled the 1908 home and rented it out. He then designed an ADU for the back half of the lot, abutting the alley.
As she worked with Jack, Susan’s primary design consideration became maximizing the size of the ADU while adhering to Historic Neighborhood requirements. Prior to applying for her permits, Susan paid for a design consultation meeting with the city of Portland and Jack brought preliminary sketches to explore various possibilities.
My architect, Jack, did his homework on what could be built, given these limitations and nailed down a design that was accepted on the first try with no changes. That was impressive. We were told by everyone we would never get what he wanted past city permit without going through design review but he did. -Susan Moray
As his father’s 80th birthday approached, Scott Powers began considering next steps that would allow his parents to remain in the Rose City Park neighborhood and retain their independence.
Inconspicuous as any other garage, this ADU is an inspiration to me. While it was built as an unpermitted ADU, like 2/3rds to 3/4ths of Portland’s ADUs, it functions like … Continue reading
Back in 2005, I was trying to figure out how to create affordable home ownership opportunities without public subsidies in a strong housing market. With a background in affordable housing … Continue reading
After living in shared housing for several years, Kol Peterson was ready for a place of his own. As he researched various options, Kol discovered ADUs and learned they could provide the kind of financially sustainable living arrangement he was seeking.
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
When I biked up to Bob and Julie Granger’s place I was greeted by their ten-year-old grandson, standing sentinel across the street. The young man asked a few questions about … 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
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
Shawn Busse bought a 950 square foot ranch house on a long, skinny lot with the intention of building an accessory dwelling unit behind it. His plan was to live … Continue reading
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
Part One of this post ended with the restoration movement’s success in fending off an outright ban on existing alley dwellings in Washington DC. In this follow-up, I’d like to … Continue reading
A book review of Alley Life in Washington (Editor note: this is part one one of a two part series. You can read part II here.) Alley Life in Washington … Continue reading
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
I’m pretty much an obsessive planner when it comes to big projects. I researched and penciled out a lot of scenarios before I developed my garage into a little apartment, … 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