Morales Utility Shed

Morales Utility Shed

This small backyard building in urban Bellingham was designed for multiple uses: yoga studio, brewery, workshop, and cycle storage. While not built to be a living space, it does have a bathroom. The entire project was built for just $120,000, with the client doing much of the finish work. With its south-facing roof, this building is ready to become net-zero-energy with the installation of solar panels.

Specifications

  • 360 square feet
  • 6.5” SIPs walls
  • 8.25” SIPs roof
  • 4” R-20 foam under 4” concrete slab-on-grade for thermal mass
  • R-24 insulated concrete forms perimeter stem-walls below grade
  • Terracotta colored floor from red dye within poured concrete slab. Scrubbed, polished, sealed.
Bellingham Gentle Density DADU

Bellingham Gentle Density DADU

TC Legend Homes demolished an existing one-car garage and re-purposed the available space with a cozy, high-performance, 775 square foot, detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) that includes an attached single-car garage. The RE Store handled the structure demolition to maximize recycling opportunities and minimize waste.

The DADU was designed from the ground up to be net-positive-energy, meaning it will produce more energy on an annual basis than it requires. TC Legend Homes applied the same approach and many of the same building techniques to this DADU as it does to any of its other homes.

Key Features

  • A simple design to minimize exposed surface area

  • Orientation and window placement to optimize active and passive solar

  • Slab on grade with 4” under-slab insulation & Insulated concrete forms

  • Structural Insulated Panel construction (vice traditional framing) to reduce possibility of thermal bridging

  • Triple-pane windows

  • High-efficiency mini-split heat pump for heating & cooling and high-efficiency heat pump for water heating

  • HEPA High Efficiency Whole House Insulated Filtration System

  • 5.4kw photovoltaic solar system

  • Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPLUS, and 5-Star Built Green Certified

  • Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is negative 16!  (A typical new home has a rating of + 62).

Whatcom County DADU

Whatcom County DADU

 All photos courtesy of Jared VanderGriend

This family needed some room for the big kids to spread out. TC Legend Homes designed and built this accessory dwelling unit to meet their needs. The family gained a large garage, with 576 square feet of living space perched above, accessible to the main house via 2nd-story bridge.

Key Features:

  • A simple design to minimize exposed surface area

  • Orientation and window placement to optimize passive solar

  • Insulated concrete forms

  • 2nd floor Structural Insulated Panel construction (vice traditional framing) to reduce possibility of thermal bridging

  • Double-pane windows

  • High-efficiency mini-split heat pump for heating & cooling

  • Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPLUS, and 4-Star Built Green Certified

  • Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is 46.  (A typical new home has a rating of + 62).

Issaquah Rental Home

Issaquah Rental Home

Rick had plenty of building experience, so when he decided to construct a detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) on his large lot in Issaquah, he wanted it to be a hands-on project. TC Legend Homes built the highly insulated SIPs shell, and Rick took it from there. These photos show what an excellent job he did with the finish work. While the home does not have solar panels installed yet, it is oriented to make the future addition of PV simple.

We like this project because it shows how an owner who wants to get involved can save on construction costs and still end up with an air-tight, well-built structure that will last for generations. We also like how Rick made excellent use of his beautiful treed lot, adding another home near his main residence that will bring him rental income and add value to his property.

Sand Point Retreat in the Trees

Sand Point Retreat in the Trees

Wanting to downsize, the owner of a large home in Seattle’s Sand Point neighborhood contacted us about building a small cottage above her garage. Lynda’s plan was to move into her new detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU, as they are called in Seattle) and rent her larger home.

Lynda was originally looking for an architect to draw up plans, but TC Legend Homes was able to handle the design work in house, saving her money. In the process, we were able to save the original garage, reinforcing it and using it as a base for the cozy backyard cottage above.

The resulting structure combines old and new and beautifully captures the industrial aesthetic that Lynda wanted. Carefully finished dimensional fir lumber creates an inviting interior space, while also helping to cut costs. Our crew used exterior-grade fiber-cement siding panels for the tub surround, a method that not only saves money but creates a durable, waterproof surface reminiscent of stone or poured concrete. Small balconies open the living room up to the outdoors and give the elevated, energy-efficient home an almost a tree-house feel.

To celebrate her new house, Lynda threw a housewarming garden party with all her friends and the TC Legend crew. Dante’s Inferno Dogs, a favorite local food cart, was on hand, and guests wrote their congratulations on the chalkboard wall by the front door.

“Smooth sailing in your sky schooner,” wrote one nautically minded neighbor, and we couldn’t agree more.