Blog Stories Backyard "shack" for a teenager

Backyard “shack” for a teenager

By Tracy Dau, June 28, 2019

I work with many clients that are squished at the seams.  Our house conversations often question whether they should add on to their home, remodel their basement, or sell and go bigger.  That conversation is the same one I have with myself.  Like my clients, my own 1905 bungalow that has served my two children and I very well over the years, but we too, are over-flowing our spaces.  My son and daughter share a room, we have one full bath, our living room is our shared space where we all hang; we have gotten used to living on top of one another.  Our 900 sqft of living space has made for one tight-knit-family.  We see our “tightness” as a really perk and wouldn’t give that up for the world. But come late summer/fall we will began our house hunt to make space for a fourth to entry our tribe.

But until that time comes, meet the “shack”.  This tiny-wee-bitty shed that we built for summer slumber parties years ago, has become my teen daughter’s summer room.  Its fits only a double mattress (It was an expensive one we’d bought though; click here to know the details). When she gets sick of her brother and I, or needs her own space, she can sleep outside or chill with her girlfriends.  It allows her to ‘be’ more independent.  It allows her to spread her wings, which are growing everyday and are quite beautiful.

The only pitfall so far, have been the raccoons that run over its roof at night and play with the extension cord but sound like giant beasts that want to EAT you.

Working on housing solutions for family, friends and Portland.  Give us a ring for some creative thinking.


Tracy Dau

Broker | Earth Advantage | OR


When you meet Tracy Dau, it doesn’t take long to realize where her true passions lie.  She loves houses and loves matching her clients with the place that’s perfect for them.  Ask her clients and they’ll tell you she’s a whirlwind of energy, a juggler of projects, a creative force, a good listener and a tireless advocate.  She comes to the job with a vision for what’s possible and the background to make that happen. Maybe it’s because she grew up in the breathtaking town of Juneau Alaska, where it rains 250 days a year.  It’s the kind of place where you either give into gloomy weather or dig deep and find the will to preserve. Maybe it’s because her folks instilled in her the drive to succeed. For the past sixteen years she has gutted and restored many houses, using any opportunity to work with her hands. Blending her formal training as a fine artist and designer with her experience as a builder, these old-house remodels have become her creative canvas. Her time as a product developer and architectural consultant at Rejuvenation House Parts introduced her to a community of like-minded folks who encouraged her to become a REALTOR®. She is drawn to vintage homes. The artist in her is drawn to their detail, the builder in her to their craftsmanship. Their charm and imperfections make them all the more fascinating and soulful. That’s what drew her to her first home. Stripped of all her painted-lady features, she sat sadly on a corner lot in SE Portland waiting to be loved and cared for. She had a yard full of shopping carts, a tree that had grown through her facade, motor-oil soaked mattresses and a basement full of the neighbor’s missing car parts, and yet, in spite of this her husband Nate and Tracy bought and fixed her up. This renovation lead to the next house-love-affair, followed by another and another. It only made sense to apply this knowledge and the valuable lessons learned along the way to help others looking to buy or improve their own homes. Which brings me to why she became a REALTOR®. Tracy chose this job because she is passionate about houses and loves the chance to develop relationships with her clients. When you choose to work with Tracy, she will advocate for your best interests, guide you through the home buying process and protect you from the stressful moments as they inevitably arise. She will advise you every step of the way to enable you to make good decisions, stay centered and reach your goals. Even after your  transaction has come to an end, Tracy is still available to answer your questions and help with your home projects. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. Her hobbies include teaching her children, Lander and Olivia, about nature, hunting for sea creatures, spotting birds, drinking bourbon in the winter and gin in the summer, eating chocolate and traveling to warm destinations.
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