ADU’s are hot. High land costs and permitting concessions from the City of Portland have made the thought of building an Accessory Dwelling Unit popular among homeowners and want-to-be homeowners in the last couple years. Have you ever thought about building an ADU?
Over the course of our past couple articles, I’ve talked about reasons most people want to build an ADU and a few things that surprise most people who start the process of designing and building an Accessory Dwelling Unit.
Today, I’d like to wrap up our series on Accessory Dwelling Units by sharing a few tips that may help you in the design and construction process. Some of these tips are covered in our free “ADU Inspiration Book” so I hope you’ll download that free guide if these articles have piqued your interest.
1. Think about WHY you’re building an ADU
This is the tip I can’t stress enough. You need to understand WHY you’re building an ADU before you do anything else.
Are you building a place for your parents to live so they can be close to the grandkids? Are you providing a home base for your parents when they’re not traveling? Are you investing in a unit to list on AirBnb? Are you creating a backyard apartment? Are you building a home so you can downsize?
Whatever the reason, WHY you are building an Accessory Dwelling Unit will dictate many of the design and budget decisions you make. Let’s get that nailed down first.
2. Tiny Houses really are tiny
Tiny houses can live large. We set out to design Accessory Dwelling Units so that they are comfortable and livable similar to any other home, but ADU’s in Portland, Oregon are limited to 800 square feet in size.
That means, we have to make smart decisions and set real priorities. Are you willing to give up a full size refrigerator and stove to gain a dedicated work space? There are lots of tiny options out there. We need to figure out what’s really most important to fit into your tiny house.
3. Understand your budget
If you read “5 Biggest Surprises our Clients Discover when Designing and Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit in Portland, Oregon” you know that, although tiny houses are tiny, they don’t necessarily come with tiny price tags.
You need to understand your budget. How will you finance your ADU? Is it an investment property? Will you split the cost with your parents or tenants? How much money do you have available?
Once we’ve determined a realistic budget, we can talk about priorities and ways to maximize your tiny house.
4. Educate yourself
The best consumer is an educated consumer. The same goes for ADU clients.
As you decide WHY you want to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit and start to understand your budget, look around. What are other people doing in your neighborhood? Do a little research. Download our free “ADU Inspiration Book”. Understand what you like and don’t like; what you need and don’t need. Be proactive, talk to an Architect, understand the process.
This can be a lot of fun, but it’s a journey that can be full of surprises if you’re not prepared.
5. Your Architect is better than your best friend
Even though it sounds a little self-serving, this is my favorite tip. An Architect may be a total stranger, but we can help you make the best decisions in what can be an emotional process, especially if parents and family are involved. An Architect is sometimes your counselor.
Talk to an Architect sooner than later. As you decide why you’re doing this and you get a sense of what your budget, we can help you dial in what you can really do and what you can really afford. We’ll help you be proactive, we’ll provide research, we’ll guide you through the process of creating your Accessory Dwelling Unit.
I hope this series of articles about designing and building Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Portland, Oregon has been interesting and helpful. If you missed the previous articles, you can click here to read “Why do You want to Build an Accessory Dwelling Unit in Portland, Oregon?” You can click here to read “5 Biggest Surprises our Clients Discover when Designing and Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit in Portland, Oregon”
If you haven’t already, please download our free “ADU Inspiration Book” and start dreaming about your Accessory Dwelling Unit project.
When you’re ready to get started, give me a call at Propel Studio by dialing: (503) 479-5740