Insulating the Attic

Insulating the Attic

If you can only insulate one of the six walls in a box house, the most important one is the ceiling/attic. This wall is where a house loses the most heat energy in the winter months. 

On a rental unit, there is not necessarily much financial motivation to insulate well, because the tenant is generally responsible for the bills. However, weatherizing a home is always a good thing to do. 

Project Managing an ADU

Project Managing an ADU

Project managing the development of an ADU is complicated and overwhelming. In this case, I am juggling concrete cutters, concrete contractors (two different specialties), plumbers, electricians, painters, a builder, and two sets of concurrent city inspectors. While I get input from each of them, I must also coordinate their input with the designer's feedback. The following post is a snapshot into the complexity of managing this project.  

Visualizing the basement ADU

Visualizing the basement ADU

When lay people view 2D floorplans, it can challenging to understand what a space is going to look like. Fortunately, most CAD programs now have built in tools to help designers spit out 3D visualizations of what a place is actually going to look like when it's complete. Here's some snapshots of the great room layout for the basement conversion ADU. 

Same Day ADU Permit!

Same Day ADU Permit!

Things are moving along fast. Very fast. 3 months ahead of schedule. 

Let me explain. ADU permits typically take 10-12 weeks. But, sometimes, when you're converting a pre-existing structure to ADU, the City of Portland can actually do all of the permitting the same day. That's what happened in this case. Granted, it took 5 hours to speak with all of the different bureaus, but I walked away at the end of the day with a permit in hand. Here's the official online record of the permit.

Demo and Infrastructural Upgrades for the House

Demo and Infrastructural Upgrades for the House

This week is a blur of activity with the renovation. Demolition, hauling waste, building a new structural wall for a washer/dryer, plumbing, electrical, drywall, interior painting, insulation, HVAC installation, and more. 

There's a lot of different actitivities happening simultaneously. I'm serving as general contractor/project manager, ensuring that everything is running on schedule. I'm leaning heavily on the various tradespeople to guide the work, as much of the specifics of the process is new to me. 

Prepping an Application for a "Type II Land Use Adjustment"

Prepping an Application for a "Type II Land Use Adjustment"

We are putting together the documentation for an adjustment, also commonly known as a variance. This means the ADU application is a process that I haven't personally dealt with before. It's effectively a 'conditional use' application at this point, where there's a chance that I won't be granted permission to build the ADU as I'd like. But, based on conversations with City officials, I'm fairly confident that permission will be granted once my application is reviewed.  

Visiting the Permitting Center

Visiting the Permitting Center

One of the very first steps anyone should take when determing whether an ADU is going to be even possible for a given property, is to visit the building permitting office.

This is my 7:30am visit to the local permitting office in Portland. I left a mere 5 hours later after getting most of my questions answered by a variety of different municipal bureaus.