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DADUs, Backyard Cottages and Small Living in Seattle: Can you DADU too?

The greater Seattle area is growing! Are you up to date on what you're able to build in your backyard? We’ve had a lot of interest lately in small buildings from clients and several that we’d like to discuss. These have been garages, studios, and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), sometimes called backyard cottages. In each municipality and in single-family zones, there are specific rules governing these structures, as they are on the same lot as the principal structure (usually a single-family residence). The benefit of an additional occupancy unit is three-fold: for homeowners who rent out these units to another family, it's extra income every month. It's also a place for elderly family members to stay and retire, as size requirements can make DADUs great for aging-in-place. And beyond rental benefits, having a DADU can significantly increase the value of your home and the investment can provide generous tax benefits depending on your personal

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Yarrow Creek Rambler | CTA Design Builders 13

Mid-Century Modern in Seattle: Tips on Transforming a Typical 60’s Rambler

As we have been remodeling so many Mid-Century Modern homes, we thought we'd highlight a few remodels that demonstrate our Mid-Century values. Owning a 60’s era homes usually means our client has an appreciation for the architectural features of the house; it becomes important to honor or even highlight these classic mid-century features when updating the house.  This translates to several things when we think about design moves: exposing structural elements; creating open spaces that are light and airy; providing textural interest in materials; and connection with the landscape (inside-outside connections). Structure and materials are the two key disciplines of the period – and disciplined we must be when considering a true-to-the-period remodel. An example of retaining values might be maintaining proper proportions and massing when redesigning a more contemporary roof, replacing a solid wall with an exposed column and beam, or emphasizing horizontal elements when designing new siding or interior trim. An important design value we stick to is subtlety. We think the

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Framing the Lake House Remodel - Blog #3

Deep into our construction at the Lake House Remodel, we've straightened and supported the house (see blog #2 - Behind the Scenes), so we can now begin to implement our design. It was extremely important to make sure the house was level before we started our next phase: framing, electrical, and plumbing. We do this because an improperly framed house, or a house that has uneven settling, can lead to terrible problems down the road when it comes to drywall, furniture and cabinet installation among other structural issues. With it cleared up, we can move onto framing. dfgngsafld;kfg One of the more exciting parts of this new phase is the completion of the floor framing for our owner's attic "creative space". Beams and ties were needed to be put in place to jack up the roof from its current sag, so we used that as an opportunity to create a (quaint) 4th floor with

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Behind the Scenes: Lake House Remodel - Blog #2

CTA Design Builders is in the midst of a 3-story home remodel on Lake Washington belonging to a wonderful family with four kids. The home was originally built in Kirkland and was transported by barge to it's current location by it's previous owner, who also added a large addition. This would be an example of what we call "mismodeling", and we began our work undoing the stylistic changes made to the home, and surgically demo-ing the rest. Usually in the case of a remodel, we have good bones to work from, but in this case, and likely due to its transportation and settling, walls were not plumb, floors were not level, foundations were leaking and ceilings everywhere were scribed to the uneven floors. In the photos to come, you'll see where we have new joists, beams, and studs (not just the carpenters!) in combination with the existing structure. At this point we bring up the question, is

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