Accessory Dwellings

A one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units…

Spring 2015 ADU project profiles

This is the ADU profile information about the ADUs featured on the spring, 2015 city-wide ADU tour. I’ve taken out the addresses and the link to the mobile-friendly touring map page, but the rest of the information about each ADU is here.

-Kol , tour organizer

Saturday ADU project profiles

1) Tatiana Xenelis-Mendoza
2) Drea Cooper and Faith Watkins
3) John and Stephani Hayden
4) Holly Huntley
5) Benjamin Johnston
6) Sam and Megan Parrish
7) Julie Knoedler and Colleen Sunde
8) Julie & Oren Bernstein
9) Kelii and Katie Haraguchi
10) Richard Stein
11) Thomas Hudson
12) Randal Groves & Adrianna Valencia

Sunday ADU project profiles

1) Jim Forristal and Ada Kardos
2) Constructive Form Architecture and Design  LLC
3) Das Chapin and Amanda Punton
4) Don Golden and Edith Casterline
5) Grant Sawyer
6) Bryan and Jen Scott
7) Ann Wilson
8) Adrienne and Bob Stacey
9) Joan Grimm and Rita Haberman
10) Jeff Payson & Lisa Gray
11) Kristy Lakin, Woodstock Gardens 
12) Kristy Lakin, Woodstock Gardens 
13) Candace Kramer

1) Tatiana and Rafael Xenelis-Mendoza

Rental

Type of ADU basement conversion
Architect/Designer None
General Contractor Self general contracted
Heating System Electric cadets
When did you start the design work? 6/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 7/2014
When did you start construction 6/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 5/2015
Total Square Footage 750
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $55K
Cost/Square Foot $73
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $25K
Other special project costs

Re-plumb the entire home, which was not as large of a project as it sounded since the plumbing runs in a straight line across the back side of the house ($2200)

Separate electrical meters and service ($2900)

Re-wiring to the first and second floors ($5900)

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The research we did on the window well materials – we used sustainable Oregon Juniper that gives the wells a more natural and softer look, we like the stained floor and the special touches we added to the kitchenette to bring in more storage solutions.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The taller ceilings (due to the excavation we did to bring the ceiling height to code), the layout, small space with a lot of amenities.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Would have liked to work in more natural light into the south west side of the apartment, but this is under the porch and next to the chimney fireplace so it would have been really difficult to find a solution.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

In an existing, not to code space, we would completely demo including all framing and start from scratch. We would probably use a GC the next time around.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

How quickly costs were running up and the decisions, decisions, decisions we had to keep making along the way to keep the project moving forward: trying to nail down subs or contractors for estimates and coordinating them for city inspections – all of which took much more time than we initially anticipated.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Starting from scratch is easier than working around someone’s not to code build out – demo fully before starting the re-building process.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Working around the existing not to code finished basement made it a remodel of sorts. In the end, in order to fulfill our vision of how we wanted the space to flow and feel, we ended up demo-ing, 90% of the existing space and rebuilding.
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2) Drea Cooper and Faith Watkins

We intend to rent it out

Type of ADU Garage Conversion
Architect/Designer Holly Huntley environspdx.com
General Contractor Holly Huntley environspdx.com
Heating System Electric Cadets
When did you start the design work? 01/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 02/2014
When did you start construction 07/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 12/2014
Total Square Footage 624
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $63K
Cost/Square Foot $93
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $0K
Other special project costs None
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

Looks like it’s own little house!

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Simple and clean with an open living space. Contractor designed and did well with our requests.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Wish we had the extra money to pay an engineer for a 2nd level. Otherwise nothing least happy about.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would have submitted the permit request to the city when we initially started the process. Rather than waiting right before we wanted to build. As we were delayed 4 months.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

How much extra time it would take to complete the project than originally anticipated.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Really learn as much about the construction process as possible and understand timelines and true costs of unexpected items.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We had to get a variance for a fire wall, the neighbors wrote in b/c they were nervous about increased traffic and our property is an odd shape, so some issues with measuring the property lines.  
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3) John and Stephani Hayden

We built our ADU to help create a flexible lifestyle. Our basement conversion gives us the opportunity to have out-of-town family stay nearby, and rental income to supplement our mortgage.

Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU Basement Conversion
Architect/Designer self
General Contractor self
Heating System electric cadets
When did you start the design work? 7/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 7/2014
When did you start construction 7/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 3/2015
Total Square Footage 625
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $25K
Cost/Square Foot $40
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $3K
Other special project costs The electric work ended up being more work than we anticipated. We ended up rewiring much of the house and PGE made us move our service from one side of the house to the other. We budgeted $2000 and it ended up being $5000.
There was an existing bathroom in the basement that we thought was legal and incorporated in our plans. It turned out not to be, which meant we had to tear out some work and make it legal to today’s code, costing us an extra $2000.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

Our favorite feature is the key card switch that controls the heat in the ADU. Guests must remove a key card when they leave, which turns the heat off. When they return they insert the key card and the heat comes back on.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

We added two windows to the basement and love them. In fact, we could have added more and made others bigger.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

The entry to our ADU is at the end of our driveway, which means guests have to walk up the narrow driveway, where our cars can be in the way. We’re going to move a fence to make more space but are still working on design ideas to make that entry more inviting.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

There were some small issues that we decided to deal with later that I wish we would have taken care of during construction. We were trying to be disciplined, but in hindsight, spending another $1k-2k$ on small items wouldn’t have mattered much in the big scheme of things and definitely worth the price to never think about them again.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

We were surprised to learn that the planning office and the inspectors were two separate entities and didn’t always agree with each other. The planning office was very helpful and encouraging of our plan, making us overconfident. The inspectors had a very different approach, questioning much of what we were doing and not offering much helpful advice. Their role is understandable and we’ll know better next time.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

We’ve been very happy with the entire process, from designing, to building, to renting. It’s a shift having people living in the same structure after being single-family homeowners for 10 years, but the pros far outweigh the cons in our minds.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We didn’t have issues with planning and zoning. That process was actually much smoother than we had anticipated.
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4) Holly Huntley

I am living in it myself and renting out the main house.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer environs, environspdx.com
General Contractor environs, environsdpx.com
Heating System radiant slab – hydronic, gas fired tankless
When did you start the design work? 1/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 6/2014
When did you start construction 7/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 1/2015
Total Square Footage 680
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $126K
Cost/Square Foot $186
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $0K
Other special project costs We had to upgrade the lateral water supply in the street to the house because of the water fixture count exceeding what was allowed for the 5/8″ meter/ 3/4″ city supply – $6000.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

I love how it doesn’t feel as small as everyone thought it would – open, spacious, comfortable.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I love my clean heat (radiant slab).

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Nothing!

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Nothing!

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I forgot to add landscaping into the budget.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Find a contractor that you trust and get them in on the project as early as you can – it will shorten the design/permitting process and ideally keep you on budget from the onset.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No
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5) Benjamin Johnston

Rental

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Schuyler Smith  polyphon.com
General Contractor Greenhammer, Greenhammer.com
Heating System Ductless minisplit, electric cadets
When did you start the design work? 2012
When did you submit the plans to the City? 1/2013
When did you start construction 2/2013
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 5/2015
Total Square Footage 800
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $155K
Cost/Square Foot $194
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $25K
Other special project costs Water upgrades, shared sewer, demolition of garage and foundation.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

How quiet it is and the environmental friendly construction of the building as well as the flow of the space.   .

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The open feeling of the space and warmth of sunlight from the windows and the porch out of the second floor that give a feeling of a much larger room.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Landscaping, but that is my responsibility.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Not much. I trusted the people I worked with. Tyler Coke from Greenhammer and Schuyler Smith from Polyphon were available when issues arose. Advice, listen to the people you have hired to work on your project. Don’t try to micro-manage the project. You must trust the design and the contractor for the project to succeed.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

Like a marathon, it requires physical and emotional energy to complete the project. At the start everyone is excited and it feels good. As you approach the finish and the project is getting to the nagging details, you hit the wall and you don’t feel as good, doubting your decision. Be prepared to be surprised.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Details matter. With each change there is a cost in time and money. More is not always better.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Shared sewer, new water line installation for the ADU.
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6) Sam and Megan Parrish

We built our ADU for Megan’s mother, Pat. Pat occupied the house in November, 2014 and lives there now with her daughter Cindy.

Type of ADU

Detached, new construction

Architect/Designer

Dustin Johnson, hivearchitecturestudio.com

General Contractor

Ryan Duble, rdbuildingdesign.com

Heating System

ductless minisplit

When did you start the design work?

12/2012

When did you submit the plans to the City?

10/2013

When did you start construction

11/2013

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

11/2014

Total Square Footage

740

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$140K

Cost/Square Foot

$189

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$30K

Other special project costs

Tearing down old garage and foundation ($2,500)

sweat equity ($2,000)

Upgrade of electrical service on main house to double meter system and run underground electrical to ADU ($5,000)

Run underground gas line to ADU ($2,000)

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

We are very proud of the exterior of the house. One of our concerns was how it would fit in with our yard and the neighborhood. Dustin did such an incredible job designing a home that has detail and charm. He met our dream of a little cottage while also complementing the main house. We love how it looks and our neighbors have given us nothing but positive feedback.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

What we love most about the house is the kitchen. Pat is a huge cook and loves to feed people (not to mention all her kitchen gadgets that need storage). We chose an open design that centers around the stove and island. It’s really true that people always seem to gather in the kitchen and our design makes that easy.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

The high ceilings and open floor plan have proven to be a challenge to heat effectively. A ceiling fan will help, but sometimes we wish we had chosen radiant heating.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

A point that we come back to a lot would be ensuring better communication throughout our team. Most critically, good communication between our architect and our contractor. This would have helped us to make wiser and more educated financial decisions. The architect was our dreamer and the contractor was our realist. Even though these are their appropriate roles, it was sometimes hard for us to recognize the balance we were looking for. More communication between everyone would have helped iron out some financial/design challenges.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I learned it is best to ask questions and make sure your sub-contractors fully understand the job in order to be sure everyone is on the same page.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

The advice I wish I had gotten before starting my detached ADU would be to have a better understanding of the methods and requirements for connecting the utilities to the new building.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

There were a few small design issues the city asked us to change but no major changes to the design were required. For example, we had hoped to add some small, aesthetic details in the siding that differed from our existing home. In the end, none of our variations were approved.
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7) Julie Knoedler and Colleen Sunde


Rental property

Type of ADU Detached, new construction, above a garage
Architect/Designer Stephan Williams, rainbowvalleyinc.com
General Contractor Rainbow Vally Design and Construction, rainbowvalleyinc.com
Heating System Gas fireplace
When did you start the design work? 3/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 5/2014
When did you start construction 8/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 2/2015
Total Square Footage 504 (ADU) + 900 (garage)
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $190K
Cost/Square Foot $135
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $5K
Other special project costs The city required engineered supports for the vaulted ceilings. The additional cost for manufacturing metal brackets and installing them ($3,000)
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

I am most proud that my ADU fits into the neighborhood. On a street of 100 year old homes, it doesn’t look like a modern afterthought.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I love the high ceilings. The space feels much larger than it is. I am also very happy with the finishes, given a limited budget.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

I wish we would have planned plumbing into the garage so that space could be converted more easily in the future.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would wait on the construction phase until I late spring or early summer when I had more time to be involved.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I had no idea the project would take so long. It was a stressful year.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Make sure you plan for added expense and more time. If you think you will have the project ready to rent in three or four months and it takes a year, it can be a challenge to the monthly budget.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

There were no significant issues with permitting but the city was very slow to process the plans.
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8) Julie & Oren Bernstein

We are using the ADU as a guest space for family and friends and as a short term rental through Airbnb.

Type of ADU

Detached, new construction

Architect/Designer

Carly Boynton, Grain Design Build

General Contractor

Stephen Smith, Design Build Portland, designbuildportland.com

Heating System

Electric radiant – Comfort Cove.  WarmWire electric coils beneath the bathroom tiles.

When did you start the design work?

8/2013

When did you submit the plans to the City?

9/2013

When did you start construction

10/2013

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

11/2014

Total Square Footage

300 (ADU) + 170 (workshop)

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$119K (including the attached 170 ft workshop)

Cost/Square Foot

$253

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$23K

Other special project costs

Additional project costs included: new driveway ($1600)

new fence ($1k)

landscaping / patio + paths ($7k)

bike shed ($2k)

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

All of the parts we were able to create ourselves from salvaged materials saved from deconstruction of the prior garage (including the kitchen ceiling, loft floor, bathroom door, main door of the workshop, indoor trim, outdoor light boxes, shingles and kitchen bar) along with the reclaimed materials we found in town (the pre-ball bearing hardware for the bathroom door from 1891, the beam light, the ten dollar kitchen cabinets, the tiny stove).

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The loft, vaulted ceilings and skylights; the extra 1.5 inches of wall thickness for insulation with thermal breaks; the heated floor in the bathroom; the loft of the workshop that allows extra storage for our own stuff; the door between the two spaces (workshop and ADU) and the huge shop door.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Keeping our birch tree in the backyard was worth it for the shade and its loveliness, but cleaning the ADU gutters is difficult.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

We might not choose to begin the project when we had a six-month-old baby at home. (We envisioned time to work since one of us would be home with the kid anyway, but – as any seasoned parent would tell you and some tried to warn us – this proved rare to impossible.)

We would also do more of our own research on drywall options and pay the additional cost for thicker, sturdier drywall as well as more careful drywall installers (ours covered up several electrical outlets and the fire alarm box during installation).

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

We were surprised, for months on end, at how all-consuming this process was, and how many decisions needed to be made – some large, some tiny, but often quickly and without what felt like adequate time to research the options as well as we would have liked.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Julie: Do it! Despite the stress, it is so very lovely to have extra work and storage space for ourselves, and our family, friends, and renters have loved the private, cozy space we created. It’s nice to have the Airbnb income after so many months of hemorrhaging money, and wonderful to have a space for our parents to stay for days or even weeks at a time without feeling like we are stepping on each others’ toes.

Oren: This is a big project, especially if you are trying to save money by doing some things yourself and you also make an effort to make use of salvaged materials. The things we did ourselves feel more special, but the project has been all consuming over the whole year that it has been going on. Other than becoming parents, this is the biggest project Julie and I have taken on together. I’m pretty sure I would do it again if I had to make the choice a second time, but not 100%. Don’t jump in lightly.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We initially were hoping to raise or add on to an existing small, detached garage, but the city has stringent rules about not changing the footprint or height of existing structures if they are within the setback (as ours was). Instead, we opted for deconstruction of the garage and construction of a new detached space 5 feet from the side and rear property lines.

We also had an initial design rejected by the city because it called for a sloped shed roof instead of a gable roof, and the city requires roof pitch and type (as well as siding type) to match the main house for detached ADUs.
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9) Kelii and Katie Haraguchi

Katie’s mother, Judy, lives in the ADU year round.

Type of ADU

Garage Conversion

Architect/Designer

Design Build Portland, LLC, designbuildportland.com

General Contractor

Design Build Portland, LLC, designbuildportland.com

Heating System

Radiant hydronic

When did you start the design work?

8/2013

When did you submit the plans to the City?

10/2013

When did you start construction

12/2013

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

7/2014

Total Square Footage

540

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$125K

Cost/Square Foot

$231

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$0

Other special project costs

Upgrade our water service ($5k)

land use review ($2k)

installed tankless hot water heater in main house to share with ADU for hot water/heating ($5k)

buried our electrical connection because my mom hates to see wires ($2k).

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

I love the heated floors, kitchen counters, and the bathroom.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Open, bright floor plan. We also decided to keep a large kitchen and have a smaller living room area because my mom likes to cook. It has turned out to be a great addition to our main house to have a full-sized second kitchen out back. When we have parties or large groups for holidays, we can use the ADU kitchen for all of the last-minute messy stuff and the main house still looks great when guests arrive.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

I would have spent more time researching window options to get them entirely pre-finished before installation. We ended up having the interiors painted after installation, which was a little bit messy.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Nothing, we are thrilled with how it turned out and the process was pretty painless (for major construction!).

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

There are so many choices in custom construction. It can be really overwhelming. Keeping your focus on the end product and the big picture is hard, but worth it to keep things moving along. We feel it was really worth the trouble for the added space and flexibility our ADU gives us.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Find professionals you feel really good about. If you aren’t communicating well at the beginning, it is probably going to get worse before the project is done. We had to fire our first architect due to challenges communicating. It was a tough decision, but things were much smoother once we did it. Also, educate yourself about the process, even if you can’t be involved in the construction in a major way. It will help you and your builder to speak the same language a little.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We had to have a land use review (LUR) because our garage was in the rear and side setback and had non-conforming eaves.
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10) Richard Stein

Primary residence

Type of ADU

Detached, garage conversion

Architect/Designer

N/A

General Contractor

Don Kern

Heating System

Electric cadets

When did you start the design work?

5/2014

When did you submit the plans to the City?

6/2014

When did you start construction

6/2014

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

8/2014

Total Square Footage

400

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$46K

Cost/Square Foot

$115

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$3K

Other special project costs

N/A

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

Ease of use

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

It’s cabin-like feel

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

None

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Design in more lighting, and a heat exchanger

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

Block wall fire codes

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Get to know the design sense of your builder

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No
~Return to Top of page~

11) Thomas Hudson

(editors note: the address is incorrectly printed as 1135 NE Skidmore St in the booklet).

Primary residence. Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU

Detached, new construction

Architect/Designer

groundupdesignworks.com

General Contractor

Dan Maust Construction

Heating System

Ductless minisplit, electric cadets

When did you start the design work?

12/2012

When did you submit the plans to the City?

1/2013

When did you start construction

3/2013

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

4/2015

Total Square Footage

528

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$98K

Cost/Square Foot

$186

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$15K

Other special project costs

Many of the costs seemed high but it was hard to put things in perspective as this is the only house I have built.

I feel like you can’t really shop the construction costs around too much. All the good builders in Portland are busy so you really have to just accept that they are giving you somewhat of a fair price. When you don’t know the difference between expensive and fair it’s hard to swallow. I feel the costs are a little higher then they should be… just because ADUs aren’t normal and contractors are used to bidding larger houses.

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

I think the exterior details really match the NE Irvington neighborhood style

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The location. Its nice to build something in such a nice walkable and livable location.

It’s nice to make an investment in your community rather than investing in overseas mining operations or multinational corporations employing in countries with little or now workers rights.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Really not sure yet as I’m still knocking away at the interior finishes.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would probably put two bathrooms in the ADU. There is a stairway between the downstairs living space and upstairs loft…. it seems like it would be nice to have a bathroom in each space.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I enjoy working with the trades people who do this for their living; such as, carpenters, plumbers, roofers and such

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Just do it! Talk to your neighbors so they feel comfortable and interested in your project. Find an architect who you like to work with and has a lot of good ideas.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No
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12) Randal Groves & Adrianna Valencia

Primary residence

Type of ADU

Detached, new construction with garage

Architect/Designer

Randal Groves

General Contractor

Jacob Flory

Heating System

ductless minisplit

When did you start the design work?

3/2013

When did you submit the plans to the City?

6/2013

When did you start construction

8/2013

When did you get your certificate of occupancy?

1/2015

Total Square Footage

792

Total Cost (including sweat equity)

$135K

Cost/Square Foot

$170

Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above)

$30K

Other special project costs

Oil tank removal, new sewer line, new electrical service, new sidewalks, new retaining wall, new driveway.- $50K (not included in ADU cost above)

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

Steel Bridge Mural and the handrail system that emulates the pedestrian level of the Steel Bridge.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The feeling of a larger than 800 square foot living space.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Living Room is a little tight.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would have done my due diligence in the sourcing of sub contractors and I would have instituted a financial incentive for meeting deadlines.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

The City of Portland Bureau of Development Services was easy to navigate and people were helpful at every turn.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

-Benjamin Franklin

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No
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1) Jim Forristal and Ada Kardos

This ADU will primarily be used as a short term rental. Having a space like this that we can use for family and friends when they come to Portland is great. AirBnB allows us to ‘block off time’ when we would like the space for family and friends.  It makes a great birthday kids party venue too!

Type of ADU Detached new construction, garage below.
Architect/Designer Dave Spitzer, DMS Architects, adupdx.com
General Contractor Jim Forristal
Heating System Rinnai gas wall furnace
When did you start the design work? 2/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 4/2014
When did you start construction 7/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 1/2015
Total Square Footage 374 (ADU) and 374 (garage)
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $130K (including the attached 374 ft workshop)
Cost/Square Foot $174 (including the garage)
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $40k
Other special project costs Demolition of old garage and foundation (3k)Land use adjustment (2k)Additional retaining wall, stairs and grading (5k)
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The finished floor was done by an artist and is a unique and interesting piece of art.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Cathedral ceiling, skylights and bay window all make the small space seem bigger.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Everything seems to work in this space.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Complete exterior work during the dry season.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I was surprised at the difficulty getting a project through the permitting process with a land use adjustment. It will take more time than you think.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Think about the height of the finished structure, it’s orientation to the sun’s path, and the effect of having a large massing in that location. This is a two story structure – ours is 18′ to the mid-line on the roof with a 10:12 pitch making the overall height about 26′.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We had one adjustment for a setback. The standard 15′ setback for garages would have put the structure in an awkward place so Dave Spitzer made a great case with the city for allowing a 5′ setback.
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2) Constructive Form Architecture and Design LLC

Studio. Addition to ADU conversion. Converted to ADU in 3/2015

Type of ADU Addition to ADU conversion
Architect/Designer Constructive Form Architecture and Design LLC, constructiveform.com
General Contractor Citilites Builders, Inc
Heating System hydronic heating
When did you start the design work? 8/2010
When did you submit the plans to the City? 11/2010
When did you start construction 7/2012
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 1/2013
Total Square Footage 500
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $130K
Cost/Square Foot $260
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $20K
Other special project costs Tearing down old garage and foundation. Separating shared party sewer.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?
  • Natural daylighting – corner windows and roof lite. Very open and expansive feel for small and compact design.
  • Compact under stair bathroom with natural light, shower as a room, glass risers at stairs and borrowed interior natural light.
  • Use of robust interior finishes – exposed concrete for floor finish, Viroc cement board wall panels, ‘plaster’ like finish at shower and fir exposed floors and ceilings.
What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?
  • Natural daylighting – corner windows and roof lite. Very open and expansive feel for small and compact design.
  • Strong indoor/ outdoor connections.
  • High performance triple glazed wood, simple windows.
  • Exposed TG doug fir T&G structural wood floor and stairs.
  • All electric project, no fossil fuels used on site within ADU.
  • Energy efficient design with above code envelope, in floor and wall hydronic heating; high indoor air quality and human comfort.
What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Need to phase project due to costs – later phases to include completing exterior landscaping and patios and covered entry.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Would have the connection between the existing house and new addition more detailed (was a cost issue, more insulation and resilient channels) to minimize sound transfer between the main house and the ADU.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

City process was more efficient and easier than initially thought – was able to get an over the counter permit for the project.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Small houses, compact designs will likely be more cost per square feet than larger houses.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Shared sewer separation.

*Organizer note: This project was formally converted from an ‘addition’ to an ‘ADU’ in 2015.*
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3) Das Chapin and Amanda Punton

Rental and we have two wonderful tenants.

Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU basement conversion
Architect/Designer Das Chapin
General Contractor Das Chapin
Heating System electric cadets
When did you start the design work? 1/2013
When did you submit the plans to the City? 2/2013
When did you start construction 2/2013
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 4/2013
Total Square Footage 780
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $50K
Cost/Square Foot $64
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $25K
Other special project costs Separated electrical service (not mandatory) ($4K)
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

 How the rooms relate to each other. It is really cozy and still feels spacious.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Creating livable space out of what would normally be storage, laundry, and a little used guest room.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

More natural daylight in the kitchen and living room.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Be better informed with the city requirements before beginning.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

Though we had a lot to learn in terms of meeting the ADU requirements, the city was very helpful in showing us what we needed to do and how to do it.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Consult with a knowledgeable person about your overall concept before you make any large decisions.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Not any difficult issues to overcome, but we did have a learning curve on some of the details of separating the ADU from our part of the house, including plumbing, sound-proofing, blocking off the existing hot air ductwork and installing electric heat.
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4) Don Golden and Edith Casterline

This project was built with a few goals in mind:

  • We wanted a new shop space to replace an old, unsightly garage.
  • We wanted more greenery and less concrete to help beautify the neighborhood.
  • The roofline of our house wouldn’t allow for solar panels and a new building would.
  • We wanted the building to be financially self-sustaining.
  • We are currently renting the ADU long term and are recouping its cost.

Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU Detached, above a workshop
Architect/Designer Self designed
General Contractor Self general contracted with help from jragbc.com
Heating System ductless mini-split
When did you start the design work? 2007
When did you submit the plans to the City? 12/2009
When did you start construction 3/2010
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 10/2010
Total Square Footage 546 (ADU) + 665 (workshop)
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $160K (including the attached 665 ft workshop)
Cost/Square Foot $132
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) design, sourcing materials, construction, finding subcontractors, and swinging a hammer ($50K)
Other special project costs SDCs- they did this ADU just before the waiver.😦 ($10K)upgraded water and sewer line, metal roof
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

Most of the internal trim work is reclaimed wood from the previous structure. An ADU is small enough that trim and detail work doesn’t get overwhelming like it might doing a full size house.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

The comments we’ve had from neighbors and passers-by have been 99% positive, and the 1% of other made us laugh, so aesthetically I feel we did well. This is a building we knew we’d be passing by every day and we wanted to be happy with the look and feel of what we put in our front yard. Working around the existing bushes and trees was tricky, but having mature vegetation helps make it look like it’s always been in our yard.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

The thin shell concrete porches were somewhat experimental and the one most exposed to the weather is not holding up as well as I’d like.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Our framing subcontractors were decent at doing basic framing, but afterwards I did a walkthrough with James Ray Arnold of JRA Greenbuilding and he pointed out numerous ways that high- efficiency framing would have saved material costs and made the building far more energy efficient. We tried going green to a limited extent and I wish we would have gone further.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

A telephone was the best cost saving device for our project. The first bid for a sewer line replacement and tie in was about $10,000. We ended up finding a good company that did that work plus gas, electric and water line boring for about $4000.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Think about the whole picture, not just the ADU. Can you work in shop/ storage space, solar access, rainwater collection, better landscaping/ gardening, and ideally some sense of community space with future residents?

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We had to go through the land use review process and get variances for some design details as well as setback requirements. Code requirements are limited and narrowly tailored to common site layouts, and since our house is at the back of the lot we had to get a variance to put the ADU within 60′ of the front property line.
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5) Grant Sawyer

This is the second rental house on the property. Someday we may move into one of the two. We are currently renting the ADU long term and are recouping its cost.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer R & B Design Studio LLC, RnBdesign.org
General Contractor EcoPowerNW, LLC. Norm Yonemura ecopowernw.com
Heating System Ductless minisplit
When did you start the design work? 4/2013
When did you submit the plans to the City? 3/2014
When did you start construction 4/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 12/2014
Total Square Footage 728
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $187K
Cost/Square Foot $256
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $30K
Other special project costs Tearing down old garage. $3KNew dual meter base on front house. $5KRemove 4 good sized trees $4K
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The 5.2 KW solar pv system which essentially will (if occupants are paying attention) result in a net zero energy home.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

1)Tall ceilings, 2) passive solar heating, 3) very rugged polyaspartic concrete slab floor finish, 4) very air tight construction, 5) mini split heat pump, 6) roof/ceiling structure with: a. raised heel energy trusses, b. Spray in closed cell foam and blown in fiberglass insulation under pressure completely sealing and filling (no vented attic space) roof/ceiling structure, 7) Earth Advantage Path 4 certification, 8) high efficient Milgard windows rated U-2.5 with dual (not triple) pane glass, 9) fully ducted heat recovery ventilation system, 10) 2×6 studs 24″ on center & 5 ply plywood wall structure with roof/ceiling trusses pointed loaded directly on wall studs eliminating need for dual top and sill plates and all fenestration headers resulting a much more energy efficient walls, and 11) room for off street parking and a good sized raised bed vegetable garden.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

I have no problems with the design, it’s the cost that will kill you!

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would rob a bank first (like the banks robbed the taxpayers for their bailouts in 2008) to get the money to build. Then I would not need to worry about where the money was to come from.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I was surprised with the complete attention to details on the part of Portland building inspectors (which really protects the owner’s investment in the project).

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

If you want a super energy efficient house without spending an arm and a leg I would recommend this builder; Norm Yonemura of EcoPowerNW.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No
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6) Bryan and Jen Scott

Primary residence but also rent it short term for income while we travel/explore.

Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU Garage conversion
Architect/Designer Zenbox Design, zenboxdesign.com
General Contractor Zenbox Design, zenboxdesign.com
Heating System Natural gas fireplace
When did you start the design work? 7/2013
When did you submit the plans to the City? 11/2013
When did you start construction 11/2013
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 2/2014
Total Square Footage 480
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $85K
Cost/Square Foot $177
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) all design, management and much of the labor- $20K
Other special project costs

land use adjustment ($2k)

accordion door/wall ($11K)

high end chef quality stainless appliances ($6K)

spa-like wetroom bathroom ($7K)

What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

We designed and built almost every surface and detail by hand, much of it from reclaimed and locally sourced materials.  From custom cabinetry to a rolling island that transforms into a dining table to custom barstools.

That’s something we’ve always dreamt of… but simply wasn’t possible until the scope of our small home allowed it.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Our goal was a zen living space.  A minimalist lifestyle with the ability to entertain…and the design fits those goals perfectly.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Someday we want a rooftop garden and solar panels to supply our electrical needs.  Neither was in the initial budget, but we’re still looking forward to finding a way to make it happen in the future.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

The only change we would make is having done it a decade earlier.

Because we were very thorough and mindful in the design phase the result was exactly what we visualized, and we’ve created our perfect living space.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

How much it would change our lives and lifestyle completely.  Our ADU home has become the roof over our heads, our livelihood and our retirement plan.”

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

It’s always a good idea to spend some time in a space roughly the size of What you plan to build before breaking ground.  We usually recommend renting at least a few nights at a comparably sized small home or ADU to make sure you will be comfortable before making the leap.

Worst case scenario, you decide its better to live in the main house and rent the ADU or share it with family.  Best case scenario, you love the space, know you can downsize and have a few great takeaway ideas for your own project!

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We had to file an adjustment with the City to allow our driveway to be shorter than code typically allows.  The driveway already existed, but converting the garage to an ADU meant the current driveway no longer met code.
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7) Ann Wilson

Just moved into it and it will be my primary residence

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Ben Waechter benwaechter.com
General Contractor Ann Wilson/Ben Shook
Heating System radiant hydronic
When did you start the design work? 5/2012
When did you submit the plans to the City? 1/2013
When did you start construction 3/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 4/2015
Total Square Footage 800
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $175K
Cost/Square Foot $218
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $40K
Other special project costs I had custom cabinets made and wood wall panels. I also chose hardward floors that were significantly more than carpet. Tile work was also a great cost.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

I love the floor to ceiling doors and windows and the entire wall of cabinets and workspace

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Same as above

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

I do not have enough storage and I’m still working on that

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would do more research and learn more about the process so I could have been a better general contractor.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

I learned how important things being level, plumb, and square are, and how to make sure they stay that way during the entire process.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

I thought some things would be much easier than they were. I would say that every little thing is important and you have to be the one who takes responsibility and keeps a watchful eye.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Not really, lots of issues came up but usually by the time we called for the inspection all of the issues were resolved and planning and zoning was pretty smooth sailing
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8) Adrienne and Bob Stacey

Work was permitted as an addition, not as an ADU. First floor is a pottery studio; second floor is a large bedroom and bath. City code prohibits an ADU and a “type 1” home occupation on the same single-dwelling site; we plan to convert it to a 2-story ADU if or when Adrienne retires from pottery teaching and production.

Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Organizer’s note: This is not actually an ADU, but it is an ‘ADU-ready’ structure, much like site #2 (Constructive Form Architecture and Design LLC) had been before converting to an ADU from an addition. 

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Ken Klos, kenklosarchitect.com
General Contractor Nicholas MacDonald
Heating System one wall mounted cadet forced-air heater and three wall-mounted radiant gas heaters (no fan or blower, to avoid stirring up clay dust in studio)
When did you start the design work? 7/2000
When did you submit the plans to the City? 5/2001
When did you start construction 9/2001
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 1/2003
Total Square Footage 800
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $185K
Cost/Square Foot $232
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) 0
Other special project costs Demolish existing concrete garage and retaining wall; major excavation for new larger garage and +/- 70’ long retaining wall along E property line; construct new retaining wall and storm drainage system; remove/decommission old underground oil tank; new electric service; expand gas service; exterior concrete slab and pavers for pottery kiln area; construct 10’x20’ rear deck on ground floor and approx. 100’ of perimeter good neighbor fence.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The upstairs is light and bright in just about any weather. It’s a great space.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

High peaked ceiling in bedroom; large sliding glass doors (with “Juliet” balconies) on both floors, producing great natural light; provision for future addition of a lift from garage to first floor; creatively designed (and attractive) connection between existing house and addition; clever “pocket” half-bath under stairs on first floor; custom steel railings on stairs and balconies; great relight and skylight touches; bamboo flooring

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

Floor tracks of sliding doors are difficult to keep clean

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Adrienne would have preferred to have a second-floor balcony on the west side, which we voluntarily deleted from the design to address a neighbor’s privacy concerns

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

In a project this big and complex, there are bound to be surprises—such as what a huge job it was to replace the old failing retaining wall north of the new addition—and how the project couldn’t be built without doing that really big piece.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Advice? Get an architect as thoughtful and creative as Ken

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

We needed an adjustment to the garage street setback (code required 18 feet) to move the two-story addition away from the neighboring property owner (who nonetheless objected to the adjustment) and retain a portion of our rear yard. We needed a revocable permit from Transportation to rebuild our side-yard retaining wall one foot from the sidewalk rather than two.
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9) Joan Grimm and Rita Haberman

We just completed the ADU this spring. Near term, it will be a short-term rental. Ultimately, we plan to rent it long-term to friends or family members.

Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU Attached- conversion of existing main floor footprint- “carve-out ADU”
Architect/Designer Owner-designed
General Contractor RS Wallace Construction, rswallace.com
Heating System ductless mini-split heat pump
When did you start the design work? 4/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 8/2014
When did you start construction 9/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 4/2015
Total Square Footage 220
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $55K
Cost/Square Foot $250
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $25K
Other special project costs The ADU’s new entry and covered porch required a setback variance  application fee ($2K).The primary residence full bathroom became part of the ADU, so we built a new one to replace it. Also staying with the footprint of the original house, we converted the back, covered porch (4’ x 5’) into a full, wet bath. Compact fixtures to fit well within the space and water-proofing and drainage details all added complexity and cost.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The ADU’s new covered porch, built primarily of durable, Oregon-sourced Restoration Juniper, is welcoming, functional and aligns architecturally with the original house.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Creatively carving-out 220 square feet from the main floor of our house saved design and construction costs (vs. detached ADU) with no significant compromise to the livability of our home. A full kitchen – stove, oven, frig, freezer, dishwasher, counter space and storage space – all within an 8-foot-long wall works well.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

We don’t know yet, but we are concerned about the sound transmission. We implemented some reasonable acoustic control measures to the ADU-primary house shared walls and ceiling (resilient sound isolation clips (RSIC), second layers of gypsum board, insulation, putty packs around electrical boxes), but its effectiveness is to be determined.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Nothing really. We went into it with a well thought out design and relatively detailed drawings and an excellent general contractor, Richard Wallace, who navigated the process and any unforeseen issues.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

We have a lot of experience renovating old houses (including this one), so there were no big surprises. We, however, remain astounded by the number of and the level of details related to good design and construction—and the smaller the space, the more the details matter.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?
  • Spend the time and resources necessary to develop and document a good design concept
  • Meet with BDS staff to review your preliminary design to identify any potential issues of concern/deal-breakers
  • Choose experienced contractor(s) you trust
Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Due to the vicinity of the new entry porch to the property line, Planning/Zoning required approval of a setback variance, and fire-life safety required over-engineering of the porch timber framing

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10) Jeff Payson & Lisa Gray

Long-term rental with the intention of housing an aging family member in the future.

Type of ADU Detached new construction
Architect/Designer Design by Eamon Brennankos, plan drawings by Design Build Portland
General Contractor AK Bulders Inc. akbuildersnw.com
Heating System Electric cadet heaters
When did you start the design work? 8/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 10/2014
When did you start construction    11/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 3/2015
Total Square Footage 675
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $100K
Cost/Square Foot $148
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $15K
Other special project costs None
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The flow of the main space and staircase.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

Vaulted ceilings, large exposed beams, custom art piece from my contractor.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

The second floor is a bit crowded by the size of the bathroom.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would more closely vet the services associated with plan set preparation and negotiation with the City of Portland and work more closely with the person completing those plans to ensure all details were finalized prior to submission.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

The most surprising thing I learned is that I really enjoy construction.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Educate yourself; talk with other people who have built ADUs, take the ADU class, plan-plan-plan and pay attention to all the little details but mostly, select a quality contractor who you like and can work with!

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

No.
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11) Kristy Lakin, Woodstock Gardens

The ADUs will be sold as separate dwelling units; they are part of a six-unit shared space community. Read an extended blog post about this project here.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Jill Cropp, Studio Cropp, studiocropp.com
General Contractor Ethan Beck, Ethan Beck Homes, ethanbeckhomes.com
Heating System Ductless minisplit
When did you start the design work? 1/2014
When did you submit the plans to the City? 7/2014
When did you start construction 11/2014
When did you get your certificate of occupancy? 6/2015
Total Square Footage 610
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $175K
Cost/Square Foot $287
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $0. Professional designer/developer full time.
Other special project costs Due to the fact that the ADUs are part of a larger development project, it is hard to parse out the exact costs. Construction alone (sans lot costs, planning costs, design costs,etc.) is probably around $100K per unit. I had land division/planning costs.And  I was required to install fire sprinklers in the ADUs given their distance from the street (over 150′) which was a substantial cost.
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

My goal, which I think I met, was to provide a high quality, well designed and affordable housing option.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

For small spaces, they feel open and bright due to open floor plans, abundant windows and vaulted ceilings.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

I genuinely like everything about them.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

Most of my “if only I had…” thoughts are related to the overall project’s design and development process. I’m quite pleased with how the ADUs themselves turned out.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

Being a bit claustrophobic myself, I was surprised at how livable and spacious 650 sq. ft. can feel.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

Focus on quality design and layout. Open floor plans, abundant natural light, tall ceilings, light colored finished, etc. can all help a small space feel large.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

There were neighborhood association issues during the land division process. There were also issues with the Fire Department requiring sprinklers in the ADUs which significantly raised costs.
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12) Kristy Lakin, Woodstock Gardens

Total Square Footage 735
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $175K
Cost/Square Foot $238

Otherwise, same responses as project #11.
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13) Candace Kramer

I live in the red cottage in front of the ADU, it is used for short term rental and my college bound son uses it in between the academic calendar. In the future it will be my retirement home and I will rent out the red cottage.

Type of ADU Detached, new construction
Architect/Designer Emily ReFi Waterleaf Architects & Candace Kramer
General Contractor self general contracted
Heating System ductless minisplit
When did you start the design work? 10/2012
When did you submit the plans to the City? 1/2013
When did you start construction 2/2013
When did you get your certificate of occupancy?       8/2013
Total Square Footage 400
Total Cost (including sweat equity) $85K
Cost/Square Foot $212
Sweat Equity estimate (part of the “Total Cost” listed above) $15K
Other special project costs Putting a french drain along the side of the red cottage at the same time to waterproof the basement. This was the same trench used for plumbing/water lines to the ADU ($8k)New driveway to replace the driveway that was destroyed by the heavy equipment ($6k)
What is one feature in your ADU that you are most proud of?

The scale of the Studio to the the red cottage and garden, it does not overpower the lot or overshadow my neighbors yard. I also like large shower with the rock floor that has no curb.

What design aspect of your ADU are you most happy with?

I like the pine ceiling, it could’ve been just sheetrocked, it adds texture and warmth with the vaulted ceiling. I also like the privacy of the space from the other home and the back patio that looks on to the garden.

What design aspect of your ADU are you least happy with?

I would of liked to put in heated floors on the concrete- but it came off the list because of expense. The concrete is very easy maintenance- you just need to wear slippers.

What would you do differently, if you were to start over?

I would of done it two years earlier!

What was the most surprising thing you learned during your design/build process?

Since my background is design/build, I understand the process and now help many of my clients with their homes or find them a home with ADU potential. I started a blog – downsize my space during the recession since many of my clients were looking for a simpler lifestyle.

What advice would you offer someone else building the same kind of ADU?

The driveway and landscaping needs to be part of the BIG picture, think big scale of how the ADU sites on the site and will impact your neighbors. Be sure to figure architects costs after when they hand you the plans, there are site visits and changes that will occur.

Were there any significant issues with planning/zoning BDS that made your project more difficult to get approved?

Working out shared sewer separation, be sure to have survey and engineer and architect all communicating to each other.
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One comment on “Spring 2015 ADU project profiles

  1. Pingback: Follow up to Spring, 2015 ADU Tour | Accessory Dwellings

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