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Considering an ADU for your Portland landscape?

Posted on: February 13, 2020

Considering an ADU for your Portland landscape?

Popular Portland ADUs in need of landscape design

The large windows of the new apartment work with the flow of the existing home. Photo shows nearly completed remodel.

Are you thinking about turning your home or property into an income producing situation with an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)?

Is your ADU a long term investment or a way to add value to your home for re sale? Do you want a mother in law apartment or do you need to provide living quarters for an adult child with the idea of renting it out to others once the need passes? These are some of the reasons Portlanders are building ADUs – Accessory Dwelling Units at a rapid pace.

What’s my first step you might ask?

Mother in law suite addition before landscape was redesigned for Portland home.

Before: Keep the existing roof and expand  house walls to gain square footage for a mother in law apartment in this North Plains home.

The first step is to find a design build expert on ADU with an emphasis on design. As a landscape designer (and perhaps you are one of my clients?) you have seen the value of design and know that sometimes it boils down to where we want the BBQ or how many steps down from the kitchen to the back yard that divines our final design. It is the same with adding an ADU, whether it is in the basement or a stand alone structure.

There are a myriad of practical details to consider for a successful integration of old and new. You want to gain a desirable ADU, and add function to your existing home and landscape without losing privacy or functional space.

Privacy fence designed for ADU landscape in north Portland, Oregon

An interesting screen design creates privacy between the original home and the new ADU.

Plan landscape integration along with the ADU design

Design with both properties needs for privacy and outdoor functions.

When we are designing a free standing ADU, the landscape goals for the existing home need to be taken into consideration. The best of all worlds is an ADU design/build contractor who works regularly with a landscape designer for collaboration. So bring me into the initial design meetings with your contractor.  My spouse brings me into the initial planning stages of his ADU designs, although he has always thought of the landscape as a full partner to the success of the project, (must be the company he keeps).

Finding a design build contractor with an emphasis on design is necessary to learn what the potential of your property will yield. There may be multiple ways to site the structure and exploring options with both your design build contractor and your landscape designer is the path to a great design that fits you and your property.

Bob is your Guy

My husband Robert designs and builds ADU’s.  We create great spaces together….I collaborate by helping him with options for placement of a patio or point out the advantage of moving a door. Sometimes we surprise the client with a nifty use of space that improves usability of both landscapes. And he is so aware of the potential of the landscape that he sometimes does these things without my assistance…..so if you are looking for an excellent someone to transform a dank old basement into a sparky desirable  apartment or ADU,  convert your garage or build a separate ADU structure in your back yard……..Bob is your guy.

His clients love his work and like the way he takes their ideas and makes them work beautifully (like I do with your landscape).

Bob Lindsay 503-539-5943.  Urban Renaissance LLC 

He has a web site which does not show much about ADUs. It shows one or two remodels but mostly shows the tricky hillside homes he designed and built up in Willamette Heights before 2008.  After the crash in 2008, he transformed his company into a residential design and remodel service.  He especially enjoys ADU’s, studios, and basement remodels.   Call him, 503-539-5943 to talk more about your project.

Here are few of his ADU projects from the past 2 years.

North Plains – add a full apartment for an elder parent.

Design and remodel this home, taking the space of the porch overhang and adding it to the apartment.  This left the original entry to the home untouched and gave wonderful light to the apartment.  After completion, the house still looks like a single family home.

Basement ADU in NE Portland

Design and remodel the basement of this charming bungalow in NE Portland to add a full apartment for use as guest housing or as a rental.

“I hired Bob and his crew to do my kitchen remodel and then again for my basement remodel (into an ADU). They brought a very high level of home building experiences, creativity, integrity and sustainable building practices to the project. The results speak to those attributes and I could not be happier. The entire process from design budgeting tear down to build up was well communicates and efficiently implemented. I highly recommend Bob and his Urban Renaissance team to help you make your dreams become reality.”  Bill B.

Simple adu was built in the deep backyard of a house which faced on the street behind . This adu is designed for ada compliance. and is fully wheelchair accessible.

2 free standing ADU’s -North Portland

Both of these ADU’s are fully ADA compatible, (The American Disabilities Act)

This client has hired Bob for many projects over the past 20 years, kitchen remodels, and their home remodel of the living room and entry.  The most recent were these 2 free standing ADU’s built to be rentals.  Both are wheelchair accessible and comply with the American Disabilities Act.

Thinking of adding an ADU to your backyard or home?  Contact me Carol Lindsay for a thoughtful landscape plan that we create together at your kitchen table.  Working together makes the best designs.