The state of construction

The construction industry, as we head in a post-pandemic economy, is radically changing. For those who like to stay on top of industry trends I’d like to offer Autodesk’s “Construction Outlook” as a resource. Autodesk is an industry leader in design software and most famously is the developer of AutoCAD.

Locally, costs have been rising due to both high demand for materials (particularly plywood and OSB) and delays in manufacturing and shipping of those products, but many are hopeful that this will level off or even drop some thru the year. Still there remains a shortage of housing nationwide and Bend remains a desirable town in which both to live and invest.

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Environmental Center presents the 2020 Green Tour

This years Green Tour is virtual and will take place from Sept. 17 thru the 26th. On the 24th at 5:00 pm there will be a live panel discussion about ADU’s and how they are changing the urban landscape. Robb Kerley is pleased to be a guest speaker on this panel. If you’re considering the possibility of adding an accessory dwelling to your property this event might be informative for you. Contact the Environmental Center for more information.

Update: watch the video here: Building an ADU in Bend, 2020 Green Tour

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The Lodges at Bachelor View

Rogers West has just completed and listed these two new homes, Lot 18 and Lot 20, in the new Northwest Community of The Lodges at Bachelor View. Follow the links and be sure to look at the inside photos as well, as the builder paid a lot of attention to detail.

Lot 20 Lodges at Bachelor View
Lodges at Bachelor View Lot 20

Both homes are spacious with 3 bedrooms plus open loft bonus rooms and additional upstairs offices, designed for the large active family. Lots and homes these sizes are not so easy to come by in most Bend neighborhoods.

Lot 18 Lodges at Bachelor View
Lodges at Bachelor View Lot 18

The Lodges at Bachelor View is a new neighborhood on the west side of Bend, just 5 minutes from downtown and only 17 miles from Mt. Bachelor. Adding to the development, next summer Rogers West will have two more homes in this community, each with a backyard ADU (accessory dwelling unit, or 2nd small home)! These are amazing as guest quarters, room for live-in parents, or higher end rental income.

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Modern take on the classical prairie style

It’s not two-story- those upper windows frame the 16′ tall living room. A build like that is no problem for YCH Custom Homes. They’ve put extensive care into their construction to present classical styles with modern influence. The result is a unique home that feels much larger than it is (1542 sq. ft.) and sits perfectly on it’s corner lot. These photos of our newest completed project are from the realtor listing. Check it out for more pictures and details.

Modern prairie at the entrance to Clearpine
Modern prairie at the entrance to Clearpine
Prairie design with modern style
Prairie design with modern elements
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Once again Bend-Redmond ranked ‘best-performing’ small metro area

For the third year in a row, Bend and Redmond together as a ‘metro area’ (which is really all of Deschutes County) has been named the best-performing small metro area in the U.S. based on a variety of economic data. The Bulletin reports that “Bend-Redmond, an area that comprises all of Deschutes County, secured the top ranking with all variables in the top 20, the Milken Institute noted in its report. Bend-Redmond was first in job growth over the five-year period 2012 to 2017 at 19.9 percent. The area was also first in wage growth for 2011 to 2016 at 25.2 percent.”

The local economy continues to diversify and gain strength years after the last recession in measurable ways. The full report from Milken, which has interesting comments about the local tech industry, can be found here.

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Work options changing as Bend changes

More and more people who move to Bend work for technology or media companies, or are themselves sole proprietors. And more and more companies are allowing people to remote work. A recent article by the Source details new options for workers who live locally, as well as the self-employed, to have access to comfortable and beautiful spaces when a home office isn’t practical or desired. These spaces offer great access (as well as socialization) in a warm and inviting atmosphere. All have conference space and some even host events.

If you’re wanting to move to Central Oregon but weren’t sure how your work-life could move with you, consider the growing number of remote work sites as an attractive alternative to the old home office.

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Clearpine in Sisters is developing nicely

Clearpine in Sisters is a small but growing community that will eventually be home to approximately 100 individual residences. Phase 1 is finishing now, and we’ve had the privilege to work again with YCH Custom Homes to design for several lots. The first two to be finished are also adjacent to each other. These smaller mid-century modern style homes really show off the entry to the community (and sold quickly).

Mid-Century Modern in Sisters

Lots 13 & 14 phase 1 Clearpine

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New Homes from AllyBrooke

AllyBrooke Custom Homes recently completed two new homes we were pleased to be able to design. The owner has a history of building quality mid to upper range homes that really present a lot of curb appeal.

This home is a Mid-Century Modern style with a two-story ‘butterfly roof’. Located in the newer SE Bend neighborhood of Hidden Hills, The darker color vertical panels above and below the windows and cable rail porch emphasize the simple elements of modern design.

Mid-Century Modern in Hidden Hills

Mid-Century Modern in Hidden Hills

Just off the canyon in Redmond in the appropriately named Canyon Rim Village, AllyBrooke also finished this single level Craftsman with a large front porch framed with stone columns. Little details like the small corbels over the porch show off the builder’s commitment to the style, and large windows fill this home with light.

Craftsman Style Home in Canyon Rim

Craftsman Style Home in Canyon Rim

We love designing classic style homes. If like these and you’re interested in building in Central Oregon, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss designing your home with you.

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More homeowners building ADU’s

The Bend Bulletin interviewed us about the rising number of accessory dwelling units being constructed in Bend. Thanks in part to a code change last year, ADU applications now outnumber duplex applications by about 5:1. (There are zero triplex applications this year, interestingly enough.) The City is reviewing the code again and may soon make it even less restrictive.

It’s great that more and more property owners are making use of their land and space both to provide housing for family members and to earn rental incomes, and building an ADU is a very customizable and comparatively affordable option. If you are interesting is building one, please contact us and we’ll be happy to visit you and discuss your options.

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It’s time for the new code update

Oregon just voted to adopt the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (called the ORSC) for 2017 based on the 2015 International Residential Code. This usually happens every three years and Oregon always modifies or removes sections of the code to make it’s own. This new code takes effect October 1 and there will be a 3 month grace period where projects can be submitted either under the new or old codes until it is fully in force starting the new year.

Codes never seem to get more simple or less restrictive. If you’re planning on a new building project please contact us for a free consultation.

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Small footprint, large presence

We’re excited to be partnering with YCH Custom Homes again, this time on their new series of smaller homes on unique lots. This 1754 sq. ft. fresh modern design is situated in the community of Rabbit Hills in northeast Bend. The main level has tall ceilings and expands onto a courtyard, and views of both Mt Bachelor and Broken Top can be enjoyed from the spacious loft and balcony. Always taking their work to a higher level, YCH had these great renderings done of the home which is currently under construction. For more images and updates, as well as purchase information, please view the MLS listing.

Modern Style Home in Rabbit Hills

Modern Style Home in Rabbit Hills

Tall ceilings and ample light

Tall ceilings and ample interior light

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Garages and shops, shops and garages

Wanting more work and storage space remains a strong driver for remodels and additions. Garages for new homes have gotten smaller over time, and for those who have room on their property a new garage or shop addition is a great way to add functionality and build equity.

We just recently completed the design of a large addition that will be a shop and full size coach bay, but with the added twist that the existing residence is a southwest adobe style set higher up on a bluff, and the new structure will have stucco to match the home and a solid (no folding segments) 14′ tall swing out aircraft hangar door. The large door will also have false panels that make it appear from the street to be a shorter roll up door. This new addition is over 2000 sq ft. and attached to the home by a wide breezeway.

SW stucco style home with large addition

Stucco home with large garage and shop addition






But most RV garages and shops are more straightforward. This design is currently under construction near Eagle Crest and is typical of what most homeowners need- just enough room for their camper and some shop and storage space on the side. These are simple to build, require little engineering, and with the style matched to the existing home they are usually easy to get approval from a community HOA.

A typical detached RV garage

A typical detached RV garage




However large or small your need is, we can design a space for you that meets your specific requirements and blends into your property.

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Cool living in the the high desert

Roger Phillips of RLP Custom Homes built this large 2800 sq. ft. home that sits on a sloped lot in Eagle Crest. Intended to be a retirement home for his client, we worked together to take advantage of all the potential of the property. The pictures show the mountains, but can’t really capture the panoramic views spanning from Mt Bachelor to Smith Rock. If you have land that has unique opportunities, please contact us for a free courtesy consultation.

Eagle Crest offers a dry climate with great views

Eagle Crest offers a dry climate with great views

Panoramic views

Panoramic views up on the hillside

Interior view living room

Open living area with high ceilings and windows

Building continues after the harshest winter in years

Central Oregon experienced record winter weather early this year which caused quite a few insurance claims, but newer homes built by updated codes did well. The Bend Bulletin reports: “Billy Staten, who works in Bend’s building safety division, said with the exception of the old Ray’s Food Place on Century Drive collapsing, the city hasn’t received any reports of buildings constructed with modern city codes that failed. Other roofs that collapsed, including that of the gym at Highland Magnet at Kenwood School, were built before current codes were adopted.” No one was hurt with the gym roof collapse, but this season only underscores the importance of having construction work permitted and inspected.

Building continues in all seasons and another home we designed was recently completed by Bryan Ball of Brookwood Homes. Bryan specializes in building in Redmond and the quality he puts into his work is evident. This new home is in the Fieldstone Crossing neighborhood where you can have a large yard and still be minutes away from downtown.

2488 sq. ft. Craftsman

2,488 sq. ft. Craftsman style home in Fieldstone Crossing





craftsman style foyer

Quality details everywhere

large yard Craftsman home

Large yards are possible in Redmond

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Bend needs 7500 single family homes

Bend continues to grow and the City estimates it will need about 13000 more units, of which 7500 are supposed to be single family homes with the rest being duplexes and apartments. This combined with steady job and wage growth means that things still look good for the region, though economic slowdowns in other parts of the country mean that government officials are being cautious.

We think the outlook is good since Bend’s economy is more diversified than it was before the last recession. A new university is opening here, and the City is preparing to expand the urban growth boundary adding 2300 acres of land for new development.

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Small homes are great homes

It’s just been too busy of a summer to remember to post updates, but I recently received some pictures of a newly completed small home. Only 1532 sq. ft. and single level, it’s a great retirement home for it’s new occupant. Oh, and it also has an oversize garage that’s much bigger than it appears from the street for extra storage and a nice shop area. This cute craftsman was built by Cascade Custom Homes. Small homes are a pleasure to design, and if that is all you want or need, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Craftsman style single story home

Craftsman style single story home in Redmond

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Avoiding bad deals

During busier times it can be easier for unlicensed contractors to appear legitimate. You can help protect yourself from possible scams by using resources like the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) license search. It’s easy to search by CCB number, owner name, and business name. You can also call 503-378-4621 to verify information and ask about any complaint history. Having an active license means the contractor has a surety bond and insurance which can offer some protection should problems arise. Note that the law also requires a written contract for any projects costing over $2000, and all new home projects must include an offer of warranty.

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Modern in Tetherow

I’m excited to show this newly completed home located in the Tetherow golf community just southwest of Bend. It is the latest project by Bob and Choi Yelas, who are one of the area’s most talented and experienced builders of high end modern style homes. The design process was challenging, and a home that is over 4200 sq. ft. takes time to build, but the final product is very rewarding. This home has 4 vehicle bays, a large shop, 4  bedrooms, 2 offices, and both front and rear balconies. For more pictures including interior photos, and to see their other work, visit their site at Yelas Custom Homes.

modern home in Tetherow

Front view in the daylight

modern home in Tetherow

Balcony and great views

modern home in Tetherow

Expansive outdoor living areas

modern home in Tetherow

Front view at evening

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An apartment in your yard

In the City of Bend an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, is a popular way to add space for guests or a family member or even provide monthly revenue by being a long term or vacation rental. These homes are tiny enough to fit even on compact properties and can be built for usually between $50,000 and $100,000. Getting a permit to build one, though, used to be a difficult and time consuming process. A fee of $2500 just for the review and coupled with design standards and the sending of neighbor notices (and collection of neighbor feedback) was required. But increasing density and affordable housing has been on the City’s mind for quite a while and so just last month the guidelines were loosened for the ADU permit process. Units of up to 800 sq. ft are now allowed depending on the size of the property, and City approved design standards have been removed for units 600 sq. ft. or less. Furthermore, the approval process now only requires the simpler “Type 1” application and a normal building permit. Rarely do we see the City lessen requirements for anything so this is a great advantage both for property owners and for renters seeking small and private apartments.

Here is a picture of a just finished (and already rented) 480 sq. ft. studio complete with an upstairs storage loft. If building an ADU is something you’re considering, please contact us and we’ll be happy to consult with you.

Newly Built Accessory Dwelling Unit

A newly built ADU on a small city lot in Northwest Bend

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Redmond gets some attention too

As neat as it is to see all the positive reporting that Bend gets, it’s great to see Redmond get noticed for it’s merits as well. It’s being reported that TripAdvisor has scored Redmond a 4.17 out of 5 based on over 500 reviews. The site goes on to list several positives about the community, calling Redmond a “winter gem”.

Redmond has been putting a lot of investment in infrastructure and it’s downtown area over the last few years and it’s paying off. There are more and more reasons to choose Redmond as a place to build or buy. Oh, and the One Street Down coffee shop is fantastic!

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