adu designs

Everything You Need to Know About ADU Designs

People need a place to live. Whether it’s an apartment, a house, or a sprawling ranch, everyone dreams of having a place of their own. Unfortunately, an urban shortage of homes along with a global housing crisis has made this dream increasingly more challenging. 

Accessory dwelling units (or ADUs) can solve the housing crisis and give people a roof over their heads. When you think of a granny flat or a guest house, thoughts of cookie-cutter designs with no real personality come to mind. Current ADU designs, however, keep the owner in mind. The world is your oyster when you’re designing an ADU for your property. 

Keep reading to learn about all the possibilities when building an ADU. 

Options for ADU Designs

ADUs come in all shapes and sizes. Technically speaking, an ADU is a broad term that covers all types of construction from the apartment above a garage to a free-standing small house in the backyard. When building an ADU, you have three location possibilities.

  • Detached: a standalone building like a cottage, cabin, shed, or garage. 
  • Attached: a structure added to the main house. 
  • Interior: a converted space like an attic or basement

In each of these cases, the ADU serves the same purpose. It provides a space for individuals to live. You may have an aging relative who needs to be close to family or a college-age student who needs their own home. 

You can even opt to use the ADU as a passive income for your family in a tight economy while providing another family with a place to live.  The ADU can also serve personal purposes such as a home office away from the house, offering you the convenience of working from home but the privacy that allows you to focus on your work. 

ADU Designs that Maximize Space

The typical ADU today ranges from as small as 300 square feet to as huge as1200 square feet. The size of your ADU depends on your property and budget. With that said, small square footage does not necessarily mean you’ll feel cramped. 

Here are a few ways you can make a small space feel much bigger. 

Smart Storage

The key to having the things you need and living in a smaller house lies in where you put those things. If you have smart storage options, then your living items won’t clutter the living space. 

Use your vertical space for storage. Embed stacks of drawers, hidden cubbies, and built-in shelving in the walls to keep your floors clear of clutter. 

Look above your closets for storage and create storage lofts you can reach with a rolling ladder. You can even transform these small nooks into play areas for kids. 

Use hooks and brackets on the ceiling to keep bikes and outside gear away from traffic areas. You can use custom storage platforms with electronic rails and a pulley system as well to store your items. 

Then look under your stairs. Install deep built-in shelving or large storage cabinets under the stairs to store your seasonal items. 

Dual Purpose Furniture

You can save space by employing your ceilings and walls as much as possible. Then look for ways you can use furniture in multiple fashions. 

For example, you can save space by hiding furniture or having furniture with dual purposes. For example, with beds, you can use a murphy bed that folds up and disappears during the day. You can employ trundle beds that slide under other beds. 

Use a corner desk to serve as both a desk and a nightstand if you have a large sleeping area. 

Do not use big entertainment centers that take up unnecessary floor space. Rather, mount the televisions on the wall. Hang sconces on the walls and lights on the ceiling rather than using floor space for big floor lamps. 

Employ nesting tables so you can tuck tables underneath each other. Instead of using a coffee table, use an ottoman with storage or a trunk as your coffee table. 

Whenever possible, make one piece of furniture work as two to maximize your space. 

Bathroom Ideas

A small house does not necessarily mean you should have a cramped bathroom. You can maximize your space in the bathroom with the following ideas: 

  • Use a long and wide shallow sink rather than a double vanity to maximize your counter space
  • Use an oval sink instead of a square sink or a rounded vanity rather than a big block one
  • Trick your eyes to make the bathroom feel larger by running the same style and color of tile from the floor into the shower stall
  • Use a glass shower door rather than a shower curtain to open the space visually

You can make the bathroom feel larger by using rounded corners that maximize space rather than big square pieces. Invite light in as much as possible as well to create an airy feeling in the bathroom. 

Kitchen Tweaks

You can maximize your kitchen work and dining space with a few small, inexpensive tweaks as well. For example, when you design the kitchen countertop, use one large countertop rather than several small pieces broken up by appliances. Employ a cutting board that rests over the sink to add even more countertop space. 

Then install an island that will double as dining and workspace. This allows you to ditch your bulky dining room chairs and table. Use a portable island you can wheel away to the side when you’re not using it. 

Look for appliances that work hard but don’t take up big chunks of space. For example, an 18-inch dishwasher has the power to wash dishes just as well as a 24-inch dishwasher. 

Then maximize your cabinet space. Install a pull-out corner shelf rather than installing a dark corner cabinet you can’t access. Build your cabinets to the ceiling, and then use your high shelves for seasonal dishware storage. 

Smart ADU Designs, Beautiful Living

These ADU designs will help you maximize a small area that makes your ADU an attractive living space. You can create the perfect spot for an aging relative or a would-be renter. Best of all, you’ll be creating a beautiful home for someone who needs a place to rest their head. 

Would you like to add an ADU to your property? Give us a call. We complete the entire process from designing to building. At the end of the project, you will have a long-term investment plan right on your property. 

Contact us today and let us help you build your ADU.

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