Nobhill ADU

5 Bedroom
5 Full, 2 half
8,095 SQ FT / living area
9,549 SQ FT / covered area

When our clients approached us about this project, they initially hoped to build a new garage. Their 1917 home in the West Hills of Portland had been fully renovated, but their existing garage was still the original. They came to us with a simple plan for a single-story garage. Unfortunately, they had not come to us during their architectural design phase, so they were unaware they could build a two-story structure. They had been misinformed that the structure had to be ‘like-for-like”. This was simply not true. We asked them if they had a need for an ADU, and they jumped at the chance. 

Although this was not a complex structure to build, it came with its unique challenges. The first challenge was the unique-sized lot and the need for more space; the garage could only be about 14 by 22 feet in dimension. This is the bare minimum to fit a vehicle, and since that was one of the main objectives, we needed more room for an interior staircase. We did, however, have some space to dig out a little more of their sloped lot and made room for an exterior spiral staircase. We also made enough space for some plantings and a bench, and what was once a problem became a charming space and a very cool architectural element to the structure. 

The next challenge was matching the existing 1917 homes’ charming exterior. As you can see, we were up to the challenge, and what now exists is a perfect match to the existing homes character and charm. We matched the soffits, roofline, exterior trim package, and siding to the exact specifications of the original structure. The interior of the space is super clean, and one of the cool features is the box beams we built custom using material from a local vendor, Integrated into one of those beams are two vintage industrial-style light fixtures the client had been holding onto and hoped to use in the space. By building the beams on-site, we could easily run wiring in the interior of the faux beams and hang the lights from the beams. 

What once was just a normal ho-hum garage has now become a multi-functional space for the family and their guests to fully use and blend perfectly with their existing structure.


  • Studio
  • Full Bathroom
  • Custom Box Beams
  • Custom Nautical Lighting
  • Spiral Staircase

We are not just another contractor

When you hire RR Chandler, you have someone on your side who has been doing this for a lifetime. RR Chandler has over 30 years of expertise in building and renovating luxury homes for families in the Portland and the Willamette Valley area.

RR Chandler offers:

  • Build thorough real-world budgets and timelines.
  • Best practice building materials and procedure.
  • We use a reliable, loyal, and high-quality subcontractor base. Many of them have been with us for over 30 years. They have been part of our renovations and our new build projects which you can view in our Gallery of projects.
  • A dedicated team to oversee every aspect of your construction.
  • Daily and weekly updates are customized to your preferred method of communication.
  • A collaborative and respectful relationship with your chosen Architect & Designer.

If you are starting to think about a project or are ready to get one started, reach out!  Starting the process in the beginning stages can and will make the difference between a potentially confusing and frustrating experience and a smooth and stress-free process!

We look forward to talking to you soon.

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