We believe your new home should be a reflection of you, not your builder.

If you haven’t already, start visualizing your home. Figure out a good layout for your everyday living purposes (best to focus on function, then aesthetic).

Making sketches, collecting magazine tears and pictures found on the internet can help you focus the home environment you want to create. Spend some time getting familiar with available building materials to create the look you’re going for, picking and choosing your materials in a way that will keep costs down while still achieving an aesthetic that is appealing to you. This can be time consuming but is necessary! Your final total project cost will depend A LOT on the material choices you make. This goes back to focusing on function before style. Think about how you might feel about your finish selections in 20-30+ years, you can paint the walls anytime, but needing or wanting to redo the entire floor in 5 years because of a bad material choice is no good.

We have familiarity with building materials and can help you make the best choices for how you will be using the house, and for your budget, before we focus on styling it your way. We can work on this together.

Pricing/estimates-how does it work?

Pricing/estimates-how does it work?

Rule of thumb-raw material cost is about 40% of the whole contract. (So designate about 40% of your budget to acquiring the materials that will clad the frame, in and out, making it liveable.)
Market prices on materials fluctuate, unforeseen conditions sometimes arise on site, owner-requested improvements/changes to the orig. plan/design (more often than not) occur during construction, and even weather conditions are some Variables that cannot be controlled for when estimating the time and final cost to complete any project. So, just keeping in mind that deviations from the original plan may occur implicating additional time and cost, You’ll stay pretty close to the estimated cost if you stick with the plan that got you to that estimated cost. (Does that make sense?)

What’s the difference between the higher-lower bidder ?

What’s the difference between the higher-lower bidder ?

How costs get cut: downgrading the quality of materials to be installed and installer expertise -which is not good.

An inaccurate estimate can result in progress being stalled when in reality costs go above a poorly figured bid or when a desperate contractor lowers the bid by a nominal amount to get the job.

It is ultimately up to you (the homeowner) what kind of investment you are willing to make into your property.

Get several estimates for the project and Be cautious with an unusually low price for this type of work, you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to your home.


Accessory Dwelling Units are HOT!  They are the modern solution for comfortable family living arrangements. Please check out this super informative post from to learn all about just what ADUs are and why people build them !

This site is amazing, here are some photos from an article on a real-world ADU in Portland,Oregon.

duong-adu-main-house-2 duong-adu-setback duong-adu-at-twilight duong-adu-dining-kitchen-bathroomduong-adu-floor-plan



Quick Facts

  • Setting: urban
  • Neighborhood: Beaumont Wilshire, Portland, OR
  • Type: stand-alone detached unit (new construction)
  • Use: long-term rental
  • Square Footage: 400
  • Year Built: 2015
  • Owners: Kendra & Victor Duong
  • Designer: Kendra Duong (503-853-2006)
  • Builder: John Gray Design
  • Total Cost: $120,000

Making spaces conducive to you

Take control of the environment physically. set up your personal environment to encourage your own functionality Create spaces dedicated to the practice of your individual interests. Purpose- designed interior and exterior spaces.

How Important is Light in the Living Room?

Proper lighting is essential for any home. It is important to maintain balance between personality and the functionality of the room when it comes to lighting the living room. One can transform the entire atmosphere of their living room within the proper use of lighting. One should remember that lighting not only has aesthetic and mood enhancing values, but play an important functional role in illuminating important task areas in the living room.

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