Laura Master and MIchael Draper turned their garage into a small green home in their backyard. Initially intended to be an art studio, the 480-square-foot unit doubles as a second home on their property.
Adding a loft that extends above the roof helped turn this garage into an accessory dwelling unit at SE 48th & Division.
You can see the original rafters of the garage in the ceiling; they were raised a foot to provide more vertical space inside.
The roofline of the original garage was extended to create a patio space facing the garden. Six of the sliding doors were salvaged from Rejuvenation and the other three were hand-built to match by Hammer & Hand. Water from the gutters is dispersed into a rain field in the garden instead of going down a drain into the sewer system.
The bathroom will be completely tiled to allow the whole space to get wet. That will allow for shared shower, toilet and sink space.
The flooring in the loft is made of sustainably harvested bamboo. The curtain rods were made from bamboo plants that were removed from the backyard.
The railings in the loft were recycled from an old oak wine barrel.
The kitchen space – including an old salvaged farm sink – is tucked in a corner next to the ladder leading upstairs to the loft.
The stairs on the ladder up to the loft were made with salvaged wood from the Lewis & Clark College bleachers.
The driveway alongside the main house now leads to a small living space. An old car that used to be stored inside was sold.
Laura Master and Michael Draper have a 2,800-square-foot home in southeast Portland. Until recently, they were using their garage to store a vintage car that needed work. But they decided they’d rather use the space as an art studio. So they sold the car and spent $130,000 to turn their garage into 480-square-foot green home.
The garage-turned-cottage was one of several small, backyard living spaces on this weekend’s Build It Green tour in Portland. They’re part of a thrifty and eco-friendly trend that the city of Portland has encouraged as a way to curb urban sprawl. Under city code, they’re called accessory dwelling units or ADUs, and the city waived the development fees for building them in 2010.
Many homeowners adding ADUs are either living in their homes and renting out the smaller units or moving into the smaller units and renting out their homes for income. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reports the easiest way to build a greener home is to build a smaller home. So, in addition to increasing urban density, these ADUs also win green points for using fewer building materials and less energy.
Up-cycling an existing structure as Master and Draper did with their garage further reduces the amount of new building materials required – and the overall carbon footprint. Check out the slide show above for details on their project.