Q&A with SQFT Studios

This month, I was able to talk with the founders of SQFT Studios, Schuyler Silva and Eli Green. SQFT Studios is a local Portland business specializing in the design and construction of freestanding custom Home Studios. The Q&A provides insight on a new type of living and workspace expansion that can add incredible value to your home and may be a better option than remodeling. Let me know if you have questions about home expansions. I am always happy to help.
Five things you need to know about Home Studios:

  • Home Studios are freestanding accessory buildings, separate from the main home or commercial space.
  • While similar to ADUs, home studios are more versatile structures perfect for home offices or studios.
  • One month is all it takes for Home Studios to be designed and installed using a proprietary modular construction system, keeping impact low on the property and the homeowners.
  • Building a new, distinct structure is a more cost effective solution than converting an existing space.
  • Flexibility is key in the design of these Home Studios–and this flexibility adds to the value of the home. While adding square footage overall, charm and utility make the homes standout.

To learn more about SQFT Studios, check out the interview below!
FoundersWhat exactly is a Home Studio? What are the benefits of this type of expansion for homes where space is limited?
A home studio is a freestanding accessory building, separate from the main home or commercial space. Whether it is a home office, a body work studio, or a guest room, our Home Studios are custom designed for our clients’ needs.
People often ask, “are Home Studios like an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?” They are similar, but a home studio is a more versatile structure with myriad uses; not just as a dwelling unit.
How long does it take from initial consultation to the final product? What time frame can clients expect from a Home Studio build?
A Home Studio can be designed and installed in as little as one month. Our Home Studios use a proprietary modular construction system where most of the construction is completed in our shop and the rest is performed on site. This minimizes the impact on the home owner, and the property throughout construction.
Is there a difference between this type of building than, say, a garage workspace? Are there instances where you convert these types of spaces into full Home Studios?
A garage, or other adapted space, will always underperform compared to a space designed with a specific use in mind. We have found that the cost of converting an existing structure into a habitable space is more costly in the long run. In order to meet modern seismic and energy codes, extensive retrofitting is required. This new structure can be designed to match the existing structure to maintain the architectural integrity of the property.
These Home Studios seem to be fairly flexible in their use. What have your clients been able to do in their own Home Studios?
Flexibility is one of our tenets. Making these spaces for your specific use is critical, but adding value to your property is just as important. Who knows what the future buyer of your property will want to do when it’s their turn?
One of our first clients needed a home office for his photography business, but also needed to maintain some existing storage in his yard. He had set up a desk and his computer in a functioning 5’x5′ coat closet. After meeting with him and discussing his needs (and dreams), we were able to design and deliver a split structure with a spacious office (equipped with all the modern accommodations) with integrated shed storage.
What can clients expect to spend on their Home Studios?
We understand the cost is always a major factor in our client’s decisions. Quality and sustainability are other major factors. Keeping costs low while maintaining a high quality has been a cornerstone of our design language. All that being said, our units start at around $150/sqft. This is of course dependent on design, finishes, and options.
This is an investment and an asset that not only will improve your lifestyle, but will increase the value of your property as well. The square footage of your Home Studio gets added to the square footage of your property. Finally, it adds charm, flexibility, and uniqueness that many buyers are looking for.

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