Off We Go!

A few developments have happened, here’s where we’re at:

1. We have officially started the initial phase with our architect! He made a site visit over the weekend to take measurements of our house and garage, snapped a lot of photos and took a few minutes to talk with us about any new design considerations we might have. It’s exciting to know that we’re now going down the path to have the ADU designed! On some levels we don’t feel the design will be anything extraordinary, or needs to be, but never the less, can’t wait to see what he comes up with based on our initial input.

2. I signed up for the Portland ADU Tour this May. It’s going to be a great opportunity to see local ADU’s that have been built and, hopefully, I’ll be able to gather a lot of resources around builders, contractors, budgets, etc. I will also be on the lookout for creative design solutions for things like storage, stairs and materials.

3. We had Ian from Design Build Portland over to our house today to pick his brain about scheduling, timelines, budgeting, etc. We’re still very early on in the process, so it was reassuring to know that we’re ahead of the curve talking to contractors. Design Build Portland are very much one of the go to ADU builders in town, with quite a few under their belt. I’m hoping that I can visit a couple ADU’s they are working on in the next couple of weeks.

One aspect of this project we’re evaluating is wether we should act as the general contractor. I clearly see the value in hiring a general contractor, as Ian put it, a lot of what you’re getting from that is their established relationships with sub-contractors. The whole process would go smoothly and, importantly, be coordinated well. On the flip side, you pay for that service, something in the world of 20% I hear. We could save money and learn a lot of critical building details with this route. I’m welcoming any input on this topic as I talk to everyone.

4. I’m reading this book about how to manage a home building project or major renovation. There are chapters such as “how to work with an architect” and numerous resources on establishing good contracts with contractors, building good schedules, etc. My hope is to be as educated as possible going into this.

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