2019-12-01 19_55_16-Window

I actively run a website called BuildinganADU.com. This site has two in-depth blogs about ADU development, and this site also hosts information about my book and web course.

Here are some of my latest posts on that website.

  • The Birth and Evolution of Mobile ADUs December 2, 2019 9:37 am
    This post offers a first-hand inquiry into the relative ease, flexibility, and affordability of mobile ADUs over all other housing forms allowed in residential zones, including conventional ADUs. In my most recent property endeavor, my wife and I have installed infrastructure and a gravel parking pad for a tiny house on wheels (THOW). We added water spigot, a sewer cleanout connection, and a 50 amp electric connection. I’ll cover these development elements in more detail as well as the personal economics of this approach, but first I want to cover some important policy remarks about the concept of THOWs on residential properties and compare and contrast them to ADUs. 
  • BUILDING AN ADU IN L.A.- PART III October 12, 2019 7:40 pm
    Back in June, 2017, Los Angeles burst onto the ADU scene a record-breaking number of ADUs in the first quarter of that year. It was the beginning of an explosion of ADUs in Los Angeles.…..As a result of this suite of 2019 state legislation, California is now bound to be part of the largest backdoor revolution that the US has seen.
  • ADUs from an Investor's Perspective- Part III December 10, 2018 4:15 pm
    This is Part III of ADUs from an Investor's Perspective. This third installment is written by an investor who builds and holds ADUs on some of his residential properties. Arthur Donaghey is a real estate investor, general contractor and landlord in Portland, Oregon. He has built and manages four ADUs. All of them generate positive cash flow every month.
  • Landscape Design for ADUs November 6, 2018 4:00 pm
    While small space design almost has a dedicated language that has been formed for the design of liveaboard boats, tiny houses on wheels, apartments, and ADUs, good principles for ADU landscape design simply haven’t been codified yet. I visited an ADU site with a fantastic and beautifully integrated landscape, and immediately realized the potential that landscaping had to accentuate and augment the relationship of two structures on a lot. Here’s an interview in which we explore this matter in some depth.
  • Manufactured Homes as ADUs and Insights into the Prefab ADU Business Model August 21, 2018 12:58 am
    Steve Vallejo is the owner of a company called Prefab ADU. His company has now built roughly 120 ADUs, making him the most prolific builder of ADUs in the country (I believe). This alone merits an interview with Steve, but what made me want to interview Steve specifically, was his knowledge about manufactured housing. Steve’s company builds ADUs with manufactured, modular, panelized, and site built, stick-framed homes.
  • ADUs from an Investor's Perspective (Part II) January 13, 2018 6:02 pm
    Most homeowners are not professional real estate investors however, so I wanted to dive into a deeper understanding of how a professional investor would think about ADUs as an investment option. While investment isn't the sole reason that people build ADUs, it is commonly a large driver. To gain some perspective on how ADUs perform as a real estate asset, I interviewed a local real estate investor in Portland, Oregon, Dani Zeghbib. This is a complex topic, so this will be a multipart post. This is Part II
  • ADUs from an Investor's Perspective (Part I) December 22, 2017 1:00 pm
    Most homeowners are not professional real estate investors however, so I wanted to dive into a deeper understanding of how a professional investor would think about ADUs as an investment option. While investment isn't the sole reason that people build ADUs, it is commonly a large driver. To gain some perspective on how ADUs perform as a real estate asset, I interviewed a local real estate investor in Portland, Oregon, Dani Zeghbib. This is a complex topic, so this will be a multipart post. 
  • Chapter 7: What Is Distinctive About Developing and Inducing ADUs October 30, 2017 7:25 pm
    I'm pleased announce that my book, Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development, is going to be available in January, 2018. 
  • Building an ADU in L.A.- Part II October 19, 2017 12:00 pm
    In a previous post, we discussed how City of L.A. was making a dramatic appearance on the national ADU scene in the first quarter of 2017. But, 2017 has entirely changed the landscape for ADUs in California at large. And, L.A. has done something that no one expected.  Drum roll......
  • The First National ADU Summit on November 3-5th in Portland October 4, 2017 11:02 pm
    The Build Small Live Large Summit is the first ever national gathering of leaders in ADU policymaking, design and development. ADU industry practicioners across the country will convene to share and showcase emerging best practices regarding the development of this rare housing type. If you are an ADU enterprenuer, designer, builder, policy-maker, or advocate, you should attend. 
  • How to Save Money with a Garage Conversion ADU July 26, 2017 9:24 pm
    While building a new detached ADU is almost always very expensive, there are some rare occasions where homeowners are able to convent a pre-existing structure into a legal permitted ADU at a cost that is significantly less than the average cost of building an ADU from the ground up. This post is going to dive into the factors that can help a homeowner feasibly convert the garage into ADU for a modest out of pocket cost, $40K-70K for a 325-600 sq ft ADU.
  • Building an ADU in L.A. June 28, 2017 1:12 pm
    All signs point to Los Angeles becoming the next great frontier for the development of ADUs. Here's the backstory and an interview with one of the pioneers of the movement in L.A.
  • Quick tip: Salvaged materials May 9, 2017 5:38 pm
    Salvaged materials can be a great way to be eco-friendly during the building process. Here's an example of how I used salvaged materials when I built my ADU.
  • Design Principle: Long site lines May 6, 2017 4:47 pm
    The further you can see, the better. Creating long site lines from one corner of the space to another–and ideally out through a window–gives the sensation of being in a large space.
  • Design Principle: Tall Ceilings May 6, 2017 3:15 pm
    Having headspace puts you in a better headspace. The higher the ceilings, the bigger a space feels. This is especially true in smaller spaces. 
  • Quick Tip: Wide Ceiling Joists April 26, 2017 3:11 am
    In cold weather environments, it's all about getting plenty of good insulation into the roof, which is where the majority of heat escapes a structure. That's why you're well served by having wide ceiling joists. See what that means right there.
  • Quick Tip: Rough-In Sewer Connections April 26, 2017 3:07 am
    When it comes to plumbing, there's nothing pretty about it. And never is it uglier than when you're running a main sewer line through the yard. Here's a glimpse of this nasty project in its full glory.
  • Quick Tip: Ductless Mini Splits April 26, 2017 3:03 am
    When it comes to heating and cooling ADUs, there's a trend towards ductless mini-splits. Here's an overview.