Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Realism: It took 2 years to not justify ADU

As you read this, realize I would seriously consider this an ADU build if I had an extra 15 grand around. To keep this at 15k or less, I must make some concessions.

It became clear to us that the city will require changes that really are cost prohibitive, and changes that are not even quite sensible for our needs.

In some cases it is better to just add a bath room. Our garage is already fully insulated and has electric.

My main concern is a place for mom to stay in the summer time to see her grandson. That is it. Besides a work out room, and place we can do crafts with the boy. We need it for that, but all the requirements for a room used maybe a month and a half per year? Nope.

It is not just SDC's. There is plenty to deal with. Much I am not even mentioning here. ADU is the wrong product.

They wanted a water heater. Why? our home has a great gas one with lots of capacity. With only 200 sq ft, every bit of space counts.. I don't particularly desire an electric one (it will be all electric) out there when I have capacity and one day will want a tankless to power the home and garage bath room. Energy savings should count. We are simply recirculating the water heater and adding plumbing for the sink and toilet.

Another sub box. No thanks. I have both circuits already ran out there, plenty to power the basic needs of a bath and microwave with coffee pot set up.  Seeing I won't have a stove or heating wired, it seems like this is over kill too.

A firewall. I cannot even get to the wall adjacent to the chain link fence. Not an option. Plus the expense makes it a non happenin. To add fuel to that frustration, the city had some people telling me every wall needed one.. which makes zero sense.. be nice if everyone knew what was needed and not just made up what they thought was needed? It made me nervous because there is only so much room we have to budget for this, I cannot have sudden surprises due to lack of professionalism/knowledge on construction requirements. The home adjacent on our property line is over 25 ft from the garage I wanted to make an ADU. No chance of a fire impacting them in any way.
* IF I could build a firewall or meet the requirements without taking the cedar shake off and squeeze into the fence line, from perhaps the inside(?) I would do it. Under the circumstances, unless a TV series does a documentary and helps pay a little bit of the project ( I was hoping we would be approached), the additional work will make it a few grand more than we can spend. I would seek equity line of credit, but not an option. Our home is just barely worth above what we paid in 2006.

I like that I could just put a wall heater. Nothing wired in. Like an Envi. I don't care for forced air and Kadett was the only affordable option. No way I was putting in a heat pump for so little space that was not even constantly occupied. Also I would need to up the home's 100 amp house panel to do it anyway (more expense).

So, a bath room. No 2nd sink in the bath room, just a work sink outside of it. I guess I could also sign a covenant, but I just don't care if there is 2 sinks. No stove, because I cannot have a stove line if it is not an ADU. That is fine. Even the little 21" stove I bought takes up valuable relestate in 200 sq ft.

It took me 2 years to get real about this and decide I want to keep it a garage with a sink and toilet/shower combo. But I am glad I did not dive into it because I would have just had a partial project not finished sitting there.

We also figured if we add a French Door that opens nice and wide to allow a car to park in there, and the bath is tight enough against the opposite wall in the corner, it could be a car parking spot for my classic GTI. We have no drive way. I think this could decrease the value of the home if there is zero parking aside from the street. I bike all the time, but want the flexibility of having a garage anyway.. and that was the final deal breaker to just add a bath and make a work space.

Oh, and the cherry on the top.. they might increase our taxes if we add an ADU. NO Bueno. We are here for life as long as it is affordable. I cannot guarantee we want to rent all the time, I want full flexibility and cost savings on every level. Another $600 a year for a little 200 sq ft place with a special name just does not Jive with me.

Things to consider folks. It is not all "here you go, make it happen".  Once you begin the venture from desk to desk with the city planning dept, get opposite info, wrong info, etc... it makes it daunting and stressful. I just don't need that in my life. My visit will be "I want a bath room in my garage, the sink will be on the outside wall of it with a place for my microwave". Done. Place for mom a few weeks a year and extra play space for the kiddo, a place I can DJ, park some bikes or my car... much better than the ADU IMHO.

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