As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, finding ways to add density to our existing cities is more important than ever. One way to do this is by building Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). ADUs are small living spaces that are attached to or located on the same property as a single-family home. They can take many different forms, from a converted garage to a guest house in the backyard. In recent years, ADU housing has become increasingly popular as a way to add density to urban areas without compromising the quality of life. And there are many other benefits as well. For example, ADUs can provide income for homeowners, help aging family members stay in their homes longer, and increase the overall supply of housing in tight housing markets. Given all these advantages, it’s no wonder that more and more cities are encouraging the construction of ADUs.
If you’re considering building ADU housing, here are a few things you should know:
What Is An ADU?
Accessory Dwelling Units, commonly known as ADUs, are small living units that are attached or detached from a single-family home. They can be used as a rental unit, in-law unit, or even just extra space for guests. In most cases, ADUs are limited to one bedroom, a kitchen, living space, and one bathroom. However, they can be larger if the local zoning regulations allow it.
One of the main benefits of an ADU is that it can provide additional long-term housing for family members like aging parents, kids, or family members with disabilities. It can also provide income for the homeowner. Renting out ADU housing to a sibling or your postgraduate child while they get on their feet can help to cover the mortgage, property taxes, and other expenses associated with owning a home.
Additionally, ADU housing can be a great way to accommodate and give privacy to extended family members or friends who visit frequently.
For those who are looking for a more permanent solution, an ADU can also be used as an in-law unit or guest suite. In this case, the homeowner would still have the option to rent out the unit if they choose to do so. Given the many benefits of an ADU, it’s no wonder that they are becoming increasingly popular in recent years.
ADUs Come In Many Different Forms
There are many different types of ADUs, so you’ll need to decide which one is right for your home and your needs.
Converted garage: \ As the name suggests, a converted garage is a garage that has been converted into a living space. In most cases, the existing garage door will be replaced with windows, and a new entry door will be added. The interior will be finished to include walls, floors, electricity, heating, and plumbing.
Detached ADU: This is an ADU house that is built completely separately from the primary residence. These ADUs are desirable because they are easier to construct that attached or garage conversions, create more privacy, and are ultimately valued more than ADUs that take up existing square footage in a primary residence.
Attached ADU: These ADUs are tired directly into your home, but not like a Garage Conversion. Instead, these ADUs act like huge additions to your home, tying into utilities, sharing walls, and requiring an upgraded fire safety level.
More fun ways you can use your ADU:
Guest house: A guest house is a standalone unit that is built on the same property as the main house. Guest houses can be any size, but they are typically small and single-story. They usually include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and living space.
Private gym: A private gym is a type of ADU that is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a great way to add value to your property and have a space for yourself to stay fit and healthy. It also saves you from paying a monthly gym membership fee.
Home theater: A home theater is another type of ADU that is growing in popularity. It’s a great way to enjoy movies and TV shows in your own private space. You can install soundproof walls and surround sound so you won’t disturb your neighbors or anyone inside the house.
Home office: A home office is a great way to create a dedicated space for work or study. It can also be used as a place to run your business from home. And because it’s separate from the house, that means that when you turn in for the day, you won’t be tempted to work late into the night.
Game room: A game room is perfect for those who love to entertain. It can include a pool table, poker table, dart board, or any other type of game you enjoy. You can also set up video game consoles and a big-screen TV for hours of entertainment.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to ADUs. So if you’re considering adding one to your property, be sure to do your research and talk to a professional about the different options available to you. With a little bit of planning, you can add an ADU that is perfect for your needs and your budget. The one you choose will depend on what you expect your ADU housing will be used the most for.
ADU Housing Can Increase The Value Of Your Home
ADUs are often used for multigenerational living. They can also be used as guest quarters, in-law apartments, or home office spaces. Building an ADU can be a great investment, as they can increase the value of your property by 10-20% on top of the value of the build. This is especially true if you build a high-quality home. In addition to increasing your home’s value, an ADU can also provide you with extra income and help to offset the cost of ownership, increase privacy, and give you more flexibility in your living arrangements. If you’re considering building an ADU, be sure to do your research and consult with a professional to ensure that it will be a wise investment for you. Also, check with your local planning department to find out if there are any restrictions on construction in your area.
There Are Many Zoning And Building Code Regulations To Consider
Building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) can be a great way to add extra living space to your home. However, it’s important to be aware of the various steps involved in the process.
If you’re thinking about adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to your property, there’s a lot to consider before you start construction. One of the most important things to research is the zoning and building code regulations in your area. Zoning laws dictate where ADUs can be built on a property and how large they can be. Building code regulations set standards for the safety and habitability of ADUs, including requirements for things like windows, doors, and electrical systems. Familiarizing yourself with these regulations will help you ensure that your ADU project complies with local laws and can be safely occupied once it’s completed.
Building ADU housing is an exciting endeavor, but it’s also a complex process with a lot of rules and regulations. These regulations can vary significantly from one municipality to the next, so it’s important to be aware of them before you start the construction process. The first step is to validate your project. Understanding your project’s scope of work and legal viability are critical before you consider hiring an architect or designer to put together your set of plans. Once that’s complete, you’ll want to engage with an ADU specialist to design your home and get your permit set of plans ready for submittal to your city or jurisdiction. Once complete, obtain a building permit (or better yet, have your ADU partner do it) from your local municipal office. To obtain a building permit, you must fill out an application. The application needs to include basic information about your project, such as the proposed location and dimensions of the ADU, as well as any special requirements that need to be met. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you’ll be issued a permit. This permit will generally be valid for a period of six months to one year, and it will specify the conditions that you’ll need to meet in order to begin construction. However, you’ll need to make sure that you comply with all the applicable building code requirements. Failure to do so could result in a stop-work order or even fines. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the relevant regulations, you can help ensure that your construction project goes smoothly.
With the permit in hand, your contractor (ideally an ADU specialist) who is experienced in building ADUs, will break ground on your plans. This will typically involve framing, insulation, drywall, and finishes. Make sure your contractor knows what they’re doing and can back up any decisions with years (or decades) of experience. If you’re located in Northern California, Acton ADU can do all of this for you. Acton ADU is a fully-licensed and insured general contractor specializing in the construction of accessory dwelling units. We’ve built ADUs inSan Jose as well as over 25 other Bay Area cities, and our team has over 30 years of experience and expertise to help you navigate the regulatory process. Contact us today to discuss your project, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
Planning doesn’t stop once the ADU is complete. Depending on what use you’re using your ADU for, you’ll need to furnish it and make it functional. That means buying furniture and bedding if your ADU is going to be used as a guest house. If you’re using it as a gym, you’ll have to do research to find the best prices and the equipment you plan on using. If you’re using your ADU as an office, you’ll have to set up a WiFi router and make sure there’s ample lighting for any virtual business meetings you’ll have. But once ADU housing is set up and functional, it can be a great asset to your property.
Building an ADU can be a great way to add density to our existing cities, generate rental income, and even increase the value of your home. If you’re considering building an ADU, keep these things in mind to ensure a smooth and successful construction process. With careful planning and execution, building an ADU can be a great way to add value to your home.
Two Types of ADU Housing
There are four types of ADU housing, attached and detached, as well as garage conversion and JADU (or junior ADUs) Attached ADUs are constructed as an addition to an existing home, while detached ADUs are built as separate structures on the same property. Both types of ADUs have their own set of benefits and drawbacks that need to be considered before making a decision. Garage Conversions are converted from your home’s garage, while JADUs or Junior ADUs are converted space within your primary home, an in, a large bedroom, living room, or attic.
Some of the benefits of detached ADUs include:
Detached ADUs provide more privacy for both the occupants of the ADU and the homeowners because it’s separate from the house, so the occupants can come and go as they please without disturbing anyone. You also have more room to work with in terms of design and layout. You can make it a more personalized experience with detached ADU housing. And because it’s detached from the main house, it can be used as a secondary dwelling unit for your elderly parents or friends and family that are visiting for an extended period of time.
There are also some drawbacks to both attached and detached ADUs that need to be considered. For example, attached ADUs may require more soundproofing in order to maintain the privacy of both the occupants of the ADU and the homeowners. Since it’s attached to the main house, your ADU lessens the independence of the occupant. They’ll have to walk through your house and possibly disturb someone if they need to leave for work or run some errands.
The bottom line is that there are pros and cons to both attached and detached ADUs. It’s important to carefully consider all of the factors involved before making a decision. Contact Acton ADU to talk to a professional builder about all your ADU housing questions.