The home was a modest late "Victorian" in Hosford Abernethy. Kinda near the train tracks and right behind a huge blue concrete warehouse.
At the time I worked for Rejuvenation and they carried a wide range of millwork. I ordered pre-primed "Dutch Lap" Fir siding to match. The cost with my discount was still in the thousands. I seem to recall somewhere in the $4000 range. Rejuvenation no longer sells any millwork but the company that milled it for them is still in business. However Blasen & Blasen does not sell direct so you have to get it through a retailer like Brown's or Milwaukie Lumber.
A few years after this initial restoration, shown above, I replaced the roof and added 2 skylights. All told the garage with it's siding and roof cost more than the house to restore. Closer to $7000. In 2008 I moved away and rented the house. Here's where the ADU process begins.
In Spring 2016 I decided that I needed to go down to the 1900 SW 4th Ave Building and ask a few questions. I wanted to know if the old garage *could be used as an ADU. I was directed to 2 people. I don't remember their names or specific departments but I remember what they said. The first guy looked at the property's location and building size and footprint and proximity to the whatever and said yes. I asked the second woman I met with "is the garage good enough to be an ADU". She seemed perplexed by my question. Again I said "is it built well enough". And her answer, still confused by my questions, was quote "so long as it passes inspection when it's done it's fine". To be honest that wasn't really the answer I was looking for. I wanted some person to come out and give it a stamp or a certificate or something. That is apparently not a thing. So I was off.
The space needed to be designed so I could get it approved and get construction started. The city at the time was still waiving those huge $10,000 permit fees for ADUs so the time to start was NOW. The good friend of mine that lives in the house actually hand drew all the plans. She is a kitchen and bath designer and the ADU is basically half a kitchen and bath so off we went. The plans went back and forth to the city. She had designed the South wall with 2 sets of windows to define the "bedroom" and "living space" (keep in mind all told this garage is just shy of 400 sq ft). Not using the original header and adding 2 new ones meant hiring a structural engineer. So I took some strips of paper and a glue stick and covered over those windows. Back to the original! We also needed an insulation plan which she had never done before but someone at the city basically said just copy the on-line drawing in the shape of your building and it'll be fine. It was. The building is 6" from the blue behemoth's property line so it needed a 1 hour fire wall. I kid you not the approved firewall plan was a circled page from the city website. I didn't circle it. The city did. And then they stamped it.
Construction began in November of 2016. It took quite some time to get people lined up. Oops. Again, I don't really know what I'm doing!
The first step was to get water service run to the house and ADU and add a sewer hookup. The house had original EVERYTHING (plumbing from 1910) so it was logical that a new drain and water service for the house would be done at the same time. The city signed off on the sewer which was 2 separate drains until about 15 feet from the sidewalk and then they were combined together. This is NOT a "party line" since this is the same property. It was something I had to get approved but there was no fee as I recall. The new drain and water lines ran about $3600. That's almost 100 feet of trenching and concrete removal in the garage.
I did the necessary mechanicals like venting for the stove and bathroom. Did you know there was such a thing as UL rated tape? It's thick and weird and expensive. I became very familiar with a local sheet metal place. A few hundred in metal and a 4" bit to cut 2 holes in the ship lap. After one failed attempt I got all the mechanicals approved. Other than structural you can fail as many times as you want without paying additional costs.
Next was insulation. The ceiling got spray foam and the walls got batt. Since this was an existing structure the roofs 2x4's were able to be grandfathered in. I didn't need to feather in 2x6 framing to accommodate more insulation which is current code. This is one of MANY benefits to using an existing structure. Total cost for all insulation was about $1700 and it was professionally installed. I think that was a really good price. They even wrapped the beams in plastic since the spray foam is super sticky and it would never come off had they not.
Now lots of trim, a closet, and PAINTING. Oh my so much painting. All of which I did myself.
Once the paint was pretty much done it was time for the "fun" part. Or at least the pretty part. I restore and sell antique house parts for a living so this is my jam so to speak. Most of the maerials used in the project were antique or at least used. That's all doors and windows, most all hardware, all light fixtures, casing, and even the tile was mostly Pratt & Larson seconds room. There were some rare items from my personal hardware collection like the doorknob from the 1896 Morning Oregonian building and a fairly rare Linde antique copper sash lift used as the pocket door pull. I figured better to have them out and being used than in a drawer. The Murphy bed was free. I actually acquired it almost a year in advance and stored it in the garage up until the drywall wend in. I just hired Portland Closets for $150 to install it. I originally wanted to find a used or antique kitchen but finding something that fit the space was impossible so I went with IKEA. The kitchen and counter tops were about $2700 and then add about $1300 for the Denby fridge, Midea dishwasher, Kohler sink, and vintage stove. I did all of the assembly and installation myself less a friend that came to sit on the counter tops so I could screw them down. There's a washer/dryer (used for $350) and a new water heater ($380) and the heating system was a DIY Mr Cool mini split for $1300 with bracket. The shower door was $2200. It's the fanciest thing I've ever bought but I love it. Lots of incidentals costs that I know really add up. I can't remember all of them but this gives you a good rough idea. Finished product below.
Did I accomplish my goal? I think pretty much yes. It look longer than I expected and even though I was on a budget I spent more than I really wanted to. Even though I moved out of the house I love it. I still love it's funky Italian history, and now from the street you see the exact same structures. No trees were cut down. A formerly wasted garage now comfortably houses a person. Projects like this as well as lifting old homes and building apartments underneath are so important to save what it is we love about this city. I'm not a huge developer with a huge budget that can create a multi-million dollar adaptive reuse project but I did this to see if I could and to eventually make a little bit of money once I pay off my bills. Would I do it again? Maybe.
Edit October 2018: In regards to increased property taxes which was a question I got A LOT on the tour. It's hard to calculate down the the cent but this project added about $1000 per year to my taxes.