Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gained Some Girth, Have You?

Of all of our plans there are a few that stand out as stellar.  Maybe they don't have gorgeous granite countertops or three car garages.  Maybe they're not opulent McMansions.  But they do sell well.  The Montavilla 2532 has been our second best selling plan.  But it's not the plan itself that is always sold, it sometimes is the idea.  We've several times been asked to add two more feet into the width of the plan.  This is a great idea as it helps give some space to the garage and staircase.

In response to this we have released a cousin to the Montavilla called the Villamont (see what we did there?)  The Villamont and Villamont A are both 27' wide versions of the Montavilla plans.  We could have called these the Montavilla C and D but they are unique enough in their own right to get top billing.  Both plans add 306 more square feet as well to round out at 1674 square feet.

This is a great example of an Istockhouseplans offering adapting to customers' needs.  If you have any other changes you'd like to see in our plans, leave us a note in the comments or contact us directly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ADU, Do You?

Here at Istockhouseplans we have been pleased to be consulted for several local Accessory Dwelling Unit (AKA ADU, granny flat, lane housing) projects.  Most, but not all, of these projects involve the homeowner creating an ADU space to move into so that they can rent out their house.  We would expect the other way around.  We've designed a 12x24 garage conversion, are working on turning a bonus room into an ADU, and are drafting up plans for an addition and ADU.  Most of our work is in the Great Northwest but the ADU projects are very specific to Portland.  Portland has very graciously extended two huge benefits to ADU builders.  The first is square footage requirements.  Used to be that you could build an ADU to 30% of the house square footage, max 800sf.  Now that has increased to 75% of the house, still 800sf.  This means smaller 1000sf homes don't have to try to work living space into 300sf, they can shoot for 750sf.  But really, 300sf is still doable.

The second benefit is the temporary elimination of systems development charges on a permit when building an ADU.  In some cases this fee can be thousands and thousands of dollars.  But in order to try to encourage higher density (and avoid sprawl) the fees are reduced or in most cases eliminated for a while.  The one caveat with all ADU spaces is that the property owner must live either in the house or the ADU.  Not allowed to rent out both.  Not that that stops folks from doing so.

If you've been considering an ADU on your property, let us know if we can help.  We already have a host of plans that could be used for an ADU as well as garage options with living space.  Of course every property is different.  If nothing works for you let us know.  We are eager to design small and beautiful.