Accessory Dwelling Unit 101 from Expert, Kol Peterson's ADU Home - Tiny House Blog
October 18, 2019

Accessory Dwelling Unit 101 from Expert, Kol Peterson’s ADU Home

What’s all the hub-bub about ADU development? It’s a kind of infill housing that continues to pick up significant steam across the United States. Several years ago, Portland, Oregon, became known as the standard-bearer for cutting-edge implementation standards. Co-founder of the Caravan Tiny House Hotel Kol Peterson has been apart of the local movement since the beginning. He’s a well-respected accessory dwelling unit expert and now the author of Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development.


Kol and his wife built a beautifully designed ADU. In fact, it’s their dream home. It’s 800 square feet, or as they see it, 400 sqft per person. They live in it full-time in the backyard of their big house rental property. The rent from the primary dwellings pays for the entire property mortgage. In the above video, Kol gives us a tour of their extremely well-thought-out space, inside and out. Additionally, he shares insights into why ADUs are so important for the environment and to create housing equity.

As he discusses, available land is limited, so densification is just practical. Most importantly, it can be done in a way to respect the privacy of all the ADU dweller and all their neighbors.

One thing, Kol, is quick to points out the differences between ADUs and tiny houses on wheels. While a THOW can be one, if placed in a backyard, that is still not allowed in most US cities. Though, the laws are changing, slowly but surely. For instance, San Diego just moved one big step closer to officially allow movable tiny houses as ADUs. For Kol, he would like to see the model ADU guidelines followed to ensure long-term success.

Don’t miss Kol’s upcoming ADU workshop in Portland!

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