Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Landscaping Revised

The Cherry Tree that both plagued and complimented the backyard where we built our ADU, was starting to die. It was with mixed emotions that I hired an arborist to cut it down.

On the one hand, I had explicitly bought this property and built the ADU partly because of the allure of having a large tree outside my bedroom window. On the other hand, after living in the ADU for several years now, I've come to realize that I wanted more natural light. While it doesn't rain all the time in Portland, it is overcast a lot. And, the tree to the south of the ADU was the biggest culprit in blocking natural light.

It's sad to look out the window and see a gigantic, organic mass missing from the yard. On the other hand, seeing more sky is a pleasure. And indeed, with the tree now gone, the ADU does get more natural light.


Also, I can't play hookie anymore. :(

Meanwhile, the permeable pavers we laid along our pathway to the ADU needed some attention. The pathway border edging I had used, composed of salvaged 2"x 8"cedar boards from an old deck I removed when clearing room for the ADU in 2011, had started to rot out.  The pavers had begun to sprawl outwards, busting through the rotting wood, and creating many widening cracks. So, I removed the rotting borders, and replaced that wood with pressure treated wood, and braced the edging with 4x4 posts, anchored in concrete. I reveled the pavers and they're looking great again.



I figured that these two landscape updates, while somewhat mundane, were noteworthy enough that I'd post about them in my attempt to fully convey the details of ADU development.

On a less mundane note, I'm proud to announce that I'm working on a book about ADU development. I've completed the first draft, in fact. It's been quite a process to write so far, and it's still a ways from being complete.

But, when it's done, it's going to be good, noteworthy, and valuable to people who are interested in developing an ADU. It will also serve advocates, wonks, officials, and regulators who would like to understand the ins and out of municipal policy and regulations that dictate the potential of ADUs in a given jurisdiction. It will be the first book of its kind, focused on ADU development.


  1. Will you please let us know when the book is available for pre-order? :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your tips! This is very helpful and informative! I’m looking forward to seeing more updates from you.

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