Location: Portland, Oregon
Last year, my husband and I converted the two car garage of our '80s ranch home, into an apartment (an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, according to Porland zoning standards). With the help of our architect friend, we designed and built a beautiful, 1-bedroom, 360 SF apartment that we now call home. We love the space and the fact that we created it together from the shell of a former garage.
It is now a beautiful, modern living space modern with open plan, great daylight and highly energy efficient with many sustainable features. Highlights include re-used materials from Portland's Rebuilding Center; 11 inch thick insulated walls which maintain a comfortable temperature range year round; radiant heating under our concrete floor; solar panels; combination washer/dryer in one; and a barn door made from reclaimed old growth fir.
We replaced the driveway with a patio and garden so our home is now essentially a duplex, with two self contained units. We rent out the main house and were able to save enough money in our micro-home to allow us to spend 6 months living in Italy this year. We'd like to credit our friend, Asmund Tweto who helped with the design and construction, and his wife Jenny Tweto who helped capture the small space through beautiful photographs.
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Re-edited from a post originally published 10.25.13 - JL