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Home Visit: Internal Main Level ADU

Portland, Oregon | 220 square feet

Internal ADU

Photo courtesy of Billy Ulmer

The steps and side entrance (top) lead to the studio apartment ADU, which was crafted out of an existing space. The covered porch to the right leads to the primary residence. The ADU contains a kitchen, small dining and living area, sleeping area, bathroom and laundry area.

Kitchen ADU

Photos courtesy of Billy Ulmer

The bedroom (top) and kitchen.

Even small homes can have enough space for an ADU. An underused main floor bedroom in this 1.5-story, 1,500-square-foot bungalow was transformed into a studio apartment.

AH-HA MOMENT: According to Joan Grimm, who owns the home with Rita Haberman: “What we were looking for in terms of a community and aging in place was right under our noses. Remove a fence and create a shared open space. Build a wall and create a second dwelling unit. It doesn’t have to be complicated.”

REAL LIFE: “Creatively carving out an ADU from the main floor of our house saved on design and construction costs,” Grimm adds. “It provides an opportunity for rental income, with no significant compromise to the livability of our home.” 

Design: Rita Haberman
Builder: RS Wallace Construction
Cost to build: $55,000 in 2015 (with some work done by the homeowners) 

Adapted from “ADU Case Studies” by Lina Menard on and The ABCs of ADUs, by AARP.


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