Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh snap. Gotta lower the roof.

Just found out that our roof is 2ft too high according to Portland guidance, and we'll need to revise the roof design, and in turn, the 2nd floor floor plan. Shoot.

About to leave for the winter holiday, but I'll be doing work on this project.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hiring an Architect to Get the Stamp

Next, I sent out this model to three architects with CAD design skills who could put these plans into CAD in a format that would pass muster with Portland Bureau of Development Services. I chose the architect who came in with a reasonably priced bid ($2k) for this design work. 

Despite my attempts to make a solid design, my architect made some significant changes to the floor plan in order to simplify the plan and minimize the overall square footage. 

Here's his first cut at designing the first floor in CAD.

 And here's the 2nd floor.

There are some more design changes underway. I've decided to put the bathroom on the 2nd floor instead of the first floor. But, this is more or less the general design of the property.

SketchUp Models of ADU design

To get a permit for an ADU, you need to have design plans. This step is typically handled by an architect and an engineer, but in my case, I wanted to do the bulk of the design work myself. According to planning rules in Portland, ADU's have similar unique design constraints to which they must adhere.
  • The roof height can be no greater than 18ft. 
  • The roof pitch must match the existing roof pitch. 
  • The siding, windows, and details, must visually match the existing house.
  • The total square footage must be less than 800 sq ft.
And there's some other guidelines related to how far the ADU must sit from the property lines and existing house. I spent many hours experimenting with a variety of floor plans, and with my father, girlfriends, and friend's help, put together what I thought was a viable plan.

Since I was going to be constructing a building from scratch, instead of renovating an existing structure, I decided that it made sense to build a larger structure than I had initially imagined building. The structure would be closer to 800 sq ft, big enough to accommodate two people, with some kind of creative sleeping option  for overnight guests.

ADU Schematic drawings_Dec 8th, 2010

When the design is placed in the based model, it looks like this.
From ADU Schematic drawings_Dec 8th, 2010

SketchUp Model

Before I'd even closed on the property, I wanted to get a base model of the property done in SketchUp, a 3D modeling tool, to help me get a sense of where an ADU would best be situated on the property.

I am pretty good with SketchUp, but I hired a pro to do a base model for me. After about five hours of work, my hired gun built a very slick 3D model for me, including the landscape, the existing house, and the surrounding neighbors.

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