Backdoor Revolution:

The Definitive Guide to ADU Development

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Now available for purchase

ADUs, commonly known as granny flats, backyard cottages, inlaw suites, and accessory apartments, are a form of residential infill housing on the precipice of a massive revitalization in the US.

Unique to this form of grassroots housing, both permitted ADUs and informal ADUs are developed largely by amateur homeowner developers rather than professional developers. This presents challenges and opportunities. Through anecdotes, interviews, images, first hand anecdotes, literature, case studies, and data analysis, Backdoor Revolution covers these challenges and opportunities in detail.

This book will cover ADU costs, financing, design, the development process, zoning barriers, and regulatory loopholes. If you’ve considered building an accessory dwelling on your property, want to understand the costs involved, financing strategies, want to encourage a greater variety of affordable housing choices in your neighborhood, or are curious about the legality of alternative dwellings on residential properties such as tiny house on wheels, this book is for you.

Backdoor Revolution provides a framework for understanding the large-scale, informal ADU housing phenomena that exists in cities throughout United States, but which hasn’t been clearly explained till now. The predominant presence of informal ADUs is a grassroots housing solution developed largely in response to restrictive municipal regulations present in the vast majority of US cities and towns, which hinder homeowners from developing formally permitted ADUs. The book offers insightful analysis of municipal and institutional barriers for permitted ADU development in American cities, as well as a succinct advocacy and regulatory prescription for addressing the key barriers.

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The author, Kol Peterson is an ADU expert based in Portland, Oregon, who has helped catalyze the exponential growth of ADUs in Portland over the last decade through ADU advocacy, education, consulting, policy work, and entreprenuership. He is the owner of Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel, the first tiny house hotel in the world, and organizer of Portland’s popular ADU Tour.

As an ADU developer, dweller and consultant in Portland with a background in both government and entreprenership, and a masters degree in environmental planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Kol offers a unique and personal perspective on what a homeowner can do build wealth and lifestyle flexibility by building an ADU, and how doing this can incidentally address systemic policy challenges locally and globally.