A family turned a two-story, single-family home into a three-story, multifamily residence to add a basement rental unit

By lifting the house and digging beneath it, designers, engineers and builders turned a two-story, single-family home into a three-story, multifamily residence.

TEACHING MOMENT: “Here’s a very welcome breath of fresh air, especially in the face of so much gentrification that is going on in Portland!” declared Mark Lakeman, principal of Communitecture, an architectural, planning and design firm, about the pictured remodel. Writing on his company’s website, he says the project provides a lesson in how to “adapt and reuse our precious historic houses so they can accommodate more people while also providing more income to support the existing home.”

HOW’D THEY DO IT? To add a basement rental unit, engineers lifted the house. The resulting ADU is roughly four feet underground and four feet above.

THE ACHIEVEMENT: Adds Lakeman: “Unlike the seemingly pervasive method of simply tearing down existing buildings so that new, giant ones can be built, this approach achieves upgrades in energy efficient living places and adds density while retaining the continuity of our beloved historical urban environment.”

Design: Communitecture
Home Lift: Emmert International
Builder: Tom Champion

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