A Wise Financial Move
Recently, we completed a gorgeous ADU (additional dwelling unit) for our office manager. She is a single mamma with her youngest heading to college and she was looking for ways to increase her income passively. She has been part of our team now for around 2 years and she has seen us create some unique spaces and had a first hand look at how we treat clients, how we manage our budgets and the quality of our work. Knowing all of that, she chose to hire us to take her garage and create an apartment she can rent out to help pay her mortgage.
Before joining our team, Ellie has been our friend, and more like family for over 20 years. We were familiar with her home already and when we went to our first meeting to dream up a plan, we had the idea to include a bonus room that was located directly behind the garage. This gave us about 300 more square feet to work with.
Since the garage had a house entrance into the kitchen, we closed that off as well as the walk through from the main house into the bonus room. We removed the back yard access through the sliding glass door that had been in the bonus room and replaced it with a window that was previously in her dining room. We then moved the slider into the dining area to give Ellie access to her private backyard and garden space which will not be shared by the tenants.
The bonus room was made into a large, spacious bedroom with lots of light coming in the windows. The garage door in the front of the house was removed and the entire face of the house was closed in and made to look as if it’s the way the house had always been. We put high windows across the face of the apartment to make the space bright.
Inside the garage, we framed-in a bathroom and laundry closet then designed a kitchen to fit in beautifully at the front end of the unit with those high windows. We made an access doorway into the bedroom and added a step up rather than lifting the garage floor. Lastly, we used the original side door into the garage and made it into a front door to the new ADU. Ellie made a little gravel seating area beside the house for a private outdoor space for her renters as well.
When we finished, we were within the original budget we quoted, the design was celebrated and our team worked well throughout the process to keep our schedule intact and full communication flowing.
In order to pay for this remodel, Ellie took out equity in her home. It only slightly increased her monthly payment. Our team was able to complete her entire project in 7 weeks. Within a month of finishing, Ellie was able to find a renter who was very excited to move in. The rent she is getting from the ADU nearly pays her entire house mortgage! And somewhere down the road, when her son graduates college, she may move into the ADU and rent out the main house and make more than her monthly mortgage payment which will significantly set her up for retirement.
We’ve included some pictures for you to look through, before and after the work. Our passion is to help people “change the way they live” and Ellie expressed that this is truly an example of that. The way that she lives is drastically improved for years to come as a result of creating a beautiful ADU in her home.