Building Design

I love thoughtful intimate spaces. There is something magical about a well designed efficient place. It is welcoming, comfortable, and fits you and your sensibilities. I enjoy working for people who have their own ideas of that space and want help in bringing those ideas to fruition. My design expertise focuses on how people relate to their immediate environment and how to create a space that reflects their lifestyle and ideals. 



My specialty. Accessory Dwelling Units are a wonderful opportunity to expand. Whether a new detached unit, garage conversion or basement remodel they give you an opportunity to increase your living space for your family, create a rental property, or to lend a helping hand to those in need.

ADU Basement Conversions

The first ADU I designed was a basement conversion in my own home. It now pays the mortgage. Because of my experience I was able to keep the cost under 50k. However, even if you need to hire a contractor it is still one of the best ways to add value to your home and a potential source for income. I have designed many basement conversions and can help you create a nice comfortable place for extended family or a unit for short or long term rental. Some clients have expressed concerns over renting out space within their own home, however the basement ADU is required to be separated from the rest of the house from smoke and fire and meet noise reduction measures. My personal experience is that I don’t even know when my renters are home. Basement ADUs also are very energy efficient, easy to heat in the winter and by definition cool in the summer.

ADU Garage Conversions

The Oregon DEQ recognizes that the most efficient use of energy resources for housing is to renovate existing structures. Common sense, right. Housing the car is getting less and less important. What to do with that garage? Converting your garage can be tricky, but also an economical, resource saving, income producing, family expanding addition to your property. Many of the garage conversions I have designed are for parents with grown children who want to help out the kids and the grandchildren with the house while they age-in-place in the new ADU. Family is close, but everyone gets that bit of separation that allows for some personal space. They also are a great rental property or a new place to live while you rent out the house for passive income.

Detached ADU

A new space on your property. Up to 800 square feet of whatever you want, within the limits of city code of course. I bring my 40 years of design experience to helping clients build their dream ADU. Your dream might be a single story age-in-place dwelling, an energy efficient family expansion solution, or a simple yet beautiful structure that meets a tight budget. While more expensive than a conversion you get to start from scratch and build the ADU that follows your aesthetic, meets your needs for increased housing, fits with your existing home and lot, and reflects your personal style.






Create new living space from your attic or basement. Add a bathroom, redesign your kitchen, or add a dormer or addition to expand living space. Good design makes all the difference.

Permit support

The building department on SW 4th Ave in Portland can be anything from a little intimidating to downright terrifying. I can help you navigate the permit process from the very simple bathroom remodel to a new detached ADU. 

Construction Consultation

Since 1978 when I created my first piece of furniture, to my experience overseeing construction of 25 million dollar homes I have been building in one way or another. I have built with strawbales, logs, hand hewn post and beam, standard frame construction, and steel. I was a licensed contractor/construction foreman in Mass and am a licensed contractor here in Oregon. My knowledge is not theoretical, but hands on and spans 38 years. I offer consultation services for clients who want to be their own contractor or need help understanding the construction process. I have helped clients with new construction solutions, interpreting the mystifying language of subcontractors, and how to understand what is needed to complete a project.

Be your own Contractor

Be involved, be in control, and save some dollars. I can assist you in being your own contractor. I work with quality subcontractors and can help guide you through the process of construction no matter what size the project.


General Contracting

I work with my son Justin Chapin and his partner Trevor Stewart who own JnT Design and Build, LLC., a full service general contracting company. There is a difference between design and build vs design then build. Most people are more familiar with the standard of custom home building of design first then find a contractor for a bid. Then go back to the design, then back to the contractor etc. With design and build the contractor is in it from the beginning working alongside the designer and the client to solve budgetary and design parameters as they come up. This creates a better flow and a better final product.

CCB License number 206030