Friday, December 28, 2012

Top right is my favorite floor plan so far. Original reason for wanting to work with the back door was because it is already there anyway, I thought it could be an outside storage. Now I am thinking it would be better to use the entire area inside, maybe make it some kind of clear window for some sunlight?

Our ADU - Converting a 200 Sq Ft Garage into a Home

For 2 years I have been contemplating how to make this happen.

I even created a Vision Video of my dream Portland Tiny Home. (as attached)

Finally, we are just going to go head first and figure it out along the way.

I will share with you the journey. Seek advice and guidance from the online and local community. Likely see about a Barn Raising, invite folks to help make this a reality.

I am very lucky to have a close friend that shares a passion to see this through. I provided him my nice garage cabinets ((that I will have no use for)) in return for his help with creating this.

I realized that the chances are I won't be able to hire someone to build this place. My job is pay check to pay check. I have a $6000 total budget.

To achieve this goal of not exceeding $6000 for everything necessary, to make this a turn key place with a kitchen, bath, and living area,...I plan to use as much repurposed or free/donated materials as humanly possible.

So far I have a 24" double steel sink coming.
2 white over head cupboards.
I might have some vinyl flooring for the bath room that a friend has rolled up. I may also add 3 feet by 5 feet of it in front of the kitchen area by the living room. A pedestal sink is said to likely be available from a neighbor as well.
Plenty of Oak moldings from another friend that I will need to pick up in Sacramento on a future road trip.

What I need to find:
32" shower enclosure
Medicine Cabinet
Towel Holders
Counter for the kitchen
Various faucets for the bath and kitchen
1 double pane window for the area where the garage will go.
1 double pane window in the bath area.
A door for the garage door area, including locks, deadbolt, frame. Seen these at the Rebuilding Center for $150 ish complete.
28" Stove (used for $100 or less, or new for $300)
Flooring for the remaining living area.  (The Whole place is just over 200 Sq Ft, I need little flooring)
Window Coverings
Drywall for throughout the unit (might be able to reuse some of the bits removed)

It goes without saying I need to find the stuff above for free, or very close to it.

What I think I need to buy new. and likely should:
35 gallon electric water heater. $250 range likely.
Low flow toilet, seen these at big box stores for $125.  Maybe Portland can reimburse/Energy Trust?
LED canned lights in various areas, I know this will likely hit $300 for the lights and hardware.
Solar Tubes for the ceiling (it needs light, our home blocks the South facing sun). Hopefully used, but I hear Costco has a decent price for them.
An electric radiant heating source for the wall that plugs in. Heard of one's that are pretty efficient for $165.
Small, if not a mini college style fridge. $265.
Bathroom fan on a Timer, about $100

Visiting the city to find out more details about creating our ADU revealed that the total costs would be under $500 for permits. Not a deal breaker. Now, had the original System Development Charges (SDC's) been a piece of the pie to be a legal ADU, this project would likely simply not happen, at least until I won the lottery or acquired a high paying job.
Those charges were $10,000 in fees to get the proper permits.  No wonder 80% of ADU's were done illegally until these fees were waved. Last I heard only 30% are not legally built now. Likely the city makes more by charging less.  If no one files for a permit that means no revenue.

The piece of mind that will come from doing this legally is well worth the $500. My one concern has been that they will spring some odd, unexpected fee, that would put this to a grinding halt. But I need to not worry so much!, Right? (insert panic here). Unless you know of something I should be aware of?  Some local guys in the hardware stores got pretty Huffy about dealing with the city, and frankly, scared the heck out of me. Held me back until I spent an afternoon at 4th and Hall, and on the phone with the permit lady.

Two fees additional, came up as possibilities. One is some kind of additional line for the plumbing to be able to add another sink or two. This part was about $150. I might not even need it. It is related to having more than a certain number of faucets in the home.

The other was to request a variance. For some reason, I need to add a Fire Wall to the Eastern wall next to my neighbor's home. The set back is about 2 feet closer to his home than would allow avoiding a Firewall. This fee could be $260. It would allow me to not take the outside cedar shake off when building a simple firewall (a major unnecessary additional expense, and a PITA) Not sure if it will need to be a 1 or 2 hr wall, but I will find out soon enough.

So as long as some odd ball fee that they were not transparent about comes up, I should be able to keep permit fees below $1000. Believe me. I went to every department I could to ask about what fees could be incurred. That will be tight on my budget, no doubt at all, but won't stop this from happening.  Will there be any permit fees for plumbing, sewer, or adding an electrical box? I think that was part of that $500 general fee dealio.

Budgetting Wise:
$2000 on new needs (water heater, toilet, lighting, solar tubes in the living and bath, heater, fridge)
$1000 Permits and Fees Related
$1000 for a plumber to add plumbing from the main line to the bath area, hardware, and connect to sewer.  We can dig the massive trench to keep costs down. I found a possible inexpensive plumber.
$650 Electric Box (there is electrical in the unit, just need to move some plugs and add the sub box)
$300 for an electrician to add the box, maybe assist us a bit, we will handle the rest of the electrical.
$300 for any other insulation needs in the roof and wall (hope to find some repurposed/unused).
$300 2 Pocket Doors
$400 Misc electrical hardware, plumbing pipes, paint, locks, door knobs, wall needs.

= $6000-$6500 Range

Needing to buy windows and or a stove new would easily push my budget to $6500+. Add a new shower enclosure and I would be set back enough to just make this take a bit longer to do than the course of a year that I set as a goal.  But still... not a deal breaker by any account.

If anyone has anything they can offer to help us create this living space, I would be extremely grateful.

Physical help from folks who have had some building experience would also be a HUGE asset. Especially (obviously) one's that have created an ADU, Tiny Home, or has a plumbing/electrical back ground.  I will feed folks that are part of the barn raising.

Thanks for any advice or help!