DADU then House

Starting with the easier stuff

An urban home that is decades old has seen a lot over the years and sometimes when you are considering remodeling  it or building something new, well new construction can be a lot easier. You don’t have to deal with all the unknowns of an older home.  This was the decision my client had to make. She decided if the newly constructed backyard cottage came first, it would give her some place to live while her existing home is being remodeled. DADUs, or backyard cottages, can be tricky to construct because they are in the backyard and access to those yards is sometimes down a 5′ wide path down the side of a house.

Alley and a corner lot?!

However, my clients lot happen to be on a corner and came with an alley! These are two things that can make building in the backyard much easier and make access to the home easier for its inhabitants. In this case building the DADU first was the right decision for them. An existing garden was preserved throughout the construction process (as much as possible) so that when all the mess of construction was complete all the garden view windows would have a beautiful view.

Natural light and garden views

These two features were a requirement all through the design process.  Because of the urban setting the homes are very close even on a corner lot so we made sure windows were aligned with views and captured as much light as possible on this heavily treed lot.  Sight lines are very important in smaller living spaces. We need to “borrow” the exterior spaces to make the interior rooms feel more spacious.

Planning for both

Because we knew a new house would be forthcoming the outdoor spaces for the DADU were designed with this in mind.  Some private, garden space for the DADU was created but also a centered outdoor space the two homes could share. It can be difficult to plan for something that is not yet there but as long as we make sure to always keep it in the conversation the two spaces will blend beautifully once constructed even though they will be built years apart.

There is a lot of conceptual thinking and overall planning that goes into many of my projects before any designs get put to paper.  All of the information collected in the early stages; prior research on your structures and lot that I do, the onsite consultation and the programming collected in Phase 1 of your project are so important to the overall design.  To start the process; read through the 1AD Studio blog and Project Gallery and follow us on Instagram to see the most current projects and design ideas to use on your project!