The Garage

My 1929 house, located in the Irvington Historic District in Portland, came with a small 18×11 ft. garage. It was no longer used as a garage and had been converted into a garden studio by a previous owner.

There were structural issues: the concrete slab was cracked, it was below grade and there was continual water infiltration resulting in dry rot in the mudsill and studs. The bump-out at the back of the garage, which had been added to provide storage cabinets, was open at the bottom resulting in a rat and invasive bamboo infiltration.

The garage, while nicely decorated, was going into rapid decline and it had little utility having no plumbing and only a rudimentary electrical feed.

The City wants more ADUs

Portland is facing a housing shortage and the city is waiving System Development Fees for ADU construction. This runs to typically around $15,000 for an ADU. This fee covers additional city public infrastructure for the increasing city population – parks, bike paths, water supply and so on.

I attended a weekend workshop, toured some Portland ADUs, and decided to convert my garage into an ADU.

I will use this blog to document this process.

Published by

Bill Dickens

I grew up on a hill country farm in New Zealand, then lived and worked in Hong Kong. I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2009. I'm presently renovating my 1929 "English Cottage" house in the Irvington Historic District.

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