Accessory dwelling unit. That sounds fancy, doesn’t it? But what is an accessory dwelling unit? And do you need one? Understanding what an accessory dwelling unit is, how it can help you and whether it’s a good option for you is important before you commit to it.

What Is an Accessory Dwelling Unit

Continue reading this article and we will help you figure out all of that and more.

What An Accessory Dwelling Unit Is

An accessory dwelling unit is an additional housing unit that is built on a single-family residential lot. You may have heard people referring to these residences as ADUs vs. its lengthy name. Just as there isn’t one design for a primary residence, there isn’t one design for ADUs. There are some primary styles that you can look into but you’ll notice there are some major differences you can choose depending on what you desire for your own family. Working with companies like Acton ADU will help you understand and choose the type of design that you want and need.

Detached New Construction ADUs

Depending on your location, detached new construction ADUs may be called granny flats, laneway houses, backyard cottages or other slang. They are exactly what they sound like and are a totally independent structure in your yard.

Above a Garage or Workshop ADUs

If you have a garage or workshop, you might choose to build a living space above it. It will most likely go with the home pretty easily and you’ll already know where it is going to go vs. trying to figure out where you’re going to put your new construction.



Garage Conversion ADUs

Do you have a garage that you barely use anyway? Garage conversions can be less expensive than going the new construction route or building atop your garage or workshop. Think of a garage conversion as an extensive renovation. Depending on the setup of your home, you might need to put in some additional plumbing and rewire your home.

Addition ADUs

Have you ever looked at a home and thought — was that built with the original design? You’re likely looking at an addition ADU. These ADUs are just what they sound like — you’re adding to one of the sides of the home. With the addition ADU, these feel more like they are part of the home than other options.

What Is an Accessory Dwelling Unit - backyard ADU

Basement ADUs

You’ve likely seen more than a few finished basements. Many of these basements already have all the necessary plumbing and some even have kitchen units that make it easy for you to convert it to a basement ADU. If you have an easy way to access the basement from its level, this makes it an even more ideal place for an ADU.

Commonalities Between ADUs

While there are different options for ADUs, there are some commonalities between these ADUs. ADUs are in a unique category of housing. All of them are accessory and adjacent to a primary home. ADUs are also considerably smaller than the primary home. ADUs are usually owned by the same owner as the primary home. There are a lot of laws that you must follow when you’re planning out your new ADU. Make sure to check with your zoning laws and anything else that might affect what you’re building. You’re likely to find that there are more informal ADUs vs. legitimate ADUs because of the regulations many people don’t want to have to deal with.

Benefits of Having an ADU

Depending on the person building them, there may be different benefits. If you have a family member that is aging, one of the benefits you might experience is that of being able to keep them close to home but still allow you and them to have the space to feel independent. Another reason many people look into ADUs is for the income. If you don’t want to pay a lot of money for your housing, you might consider renting out your ADU so you can earn income on the secondary dwelling. People that choose to rent out their ADU make sure to build it in a way that there is a separate entryway in order to keep the spaces separate. ADUs can be helpful when you have a child that has reached adulthood but they may be in school and not ready to move out yet. You don’t want them coming in at all hours of the night and they don’t want you monitoring their activity. An ADU can be the perfect solution for your challenges with your college-age child without having to pay for an apartment near the college.

Which ADU Is Right for You?

As you’ve read through the content above, is there an ADU that stood out to you? Do you see one that would make your life easier with a parent, child or maybe help you earn additional income? As time goes on, your need for an ADU might change. While it might be for an elderly parent in the beginning, once they pass, it might turn into an office or a rental space. Think beyond your current needs and you might find additional benefits.

Ready for Your Own Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Now that you know more about what an accessory dwelling unit is, are you ready to get your own? Maybe you want to learn more about other options for additional space? Our site has many articles that can help you as your working to create a perfect space for yourself in the world. Why not check out some of our other reads today? Browse our site, navigate to your favorite section and come back soon.