Detached ADU’s

How to Stay Involved with the Small House Movement!

Build Small Live Large 2015. Photo by Love Ablan.

Five hundred designers, builders, planners, realtors, students and homeowners gathered in early November to learn how powerful and important it is to build small. The day was packed with people looking for new ideas for homes that match the needs of our current population: homes that can be flexible as families grow and change, homes that allow new ways to live together in communities of all sizes, and homes that are safe, legal and affordable. Here's how to keep that momentum going.


Small Home Designs We Love

Rainbow Valley Design and Construction Krause CottageA small house doesn't have to be crowded, spartan or "simple." One of the goals of the Build Small Live Large Summit is to show people that homes under 1,000 square feet can not only save them money and lighten their environmental footprint, but be fantastically-designed as well. Here are some small home designs we've been enjoying lately.

Introducing Keynote Speaker Alan Durning

Alan Durning Sightline Institute at Build Small Live Large Summit 2015 Alan Durning, a long-time sustainability leader in the Northwest, is newly fired up—and for good reason. Since founding Sightline Institute in 1993, he has written more than ten books on issues that connect sustainability to home, transportation and city design, and he has even lectured at The White House. But Alan’s recent work on a Seattle housing and livability committee convened by the mayor is particularly timely as Northwest cities like Seattle and Portland enter development booms. And one of his key messages is that building small is one of the best ways to create affordable, livable housing in the cities we love.

Susan Moray’s ADU: Updating History in Ladd’s

Susan Moray’s ADU features French doors onto a private courtyard

Susan Moray first learned about ADUs from a realtor friend who had taken Kol Peterson’s ADU Class for Homeowners. The next time Kol’s class was offered, Susan attended and she soon decided to convert the garage of her Ladd’s Addition home into an accessory dwelling unit. There were several factors influencing Susan Moray’s decision: flexibility as her housing needs changed, income potential, and the option of having family close by. Additionally, Susan was motivated to build sooner rather than later because she knew that Portland’s waiver of System Development Charges (SDCs) for ADUs was set to expire.

James Michelinie & Kyra Routon’s ADU: A Starter Home

Michelinie-Routon ADU James Michelinie and Kyra Routon first learned about ADUs when they were house hunting as newlyweds. They’d been renting a house in the Alberta Arts District for the past two years and they were looking for a property they could afford in a neighborhood they loved. They knew they didn’t need much space to start since it’s just the two of them and their two dogs. However, they wanted flexibility and room for their family to grow. Eventually, they decided to stay right where they were.