What Is An ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)? Understanding The Basics
July 20th, 2020
ADU is an acronym that’s short for Accessory Dwelling Unit. This is a secondary housing unit that can be built on a single-family lot – and while this encompasses a wide variety of different types of dwellings, the term “ADU” is typically used to refer to all of them. Let’s discuss the details about ADUs now so that you can learn more about them, and find out if an ADU would make a good addition to your property.
The 5 Most Common Types Of ADUs – Your Options For Accessory Dwelling Units
The defining element of an ADU is that it has all of the things necessary for someone to live in the unit – including a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and a living space. Beyond this, they can be quite flexible in design, and can be either free-standing or a part of an existing structure on your property.
Here is a brief overview of a few common types of ADUs.
- Detached new construction ADUs – Commonly known as “granny flats,” these are usually “tiny houses” that are built on a foundation on a single-family lot, and are completely detached from your home.
- Garage conversion ADUs – In this type of ADU, a garage is retrofitted with a kitchen, bathroom, living area, bedroom, and other elements required to turn it into a separate living unit.
- Above-garage ADUs – Loft space above a garage may be converted into an ADU, or a new addition can be built on top of the garage, in some cases.
- Home addition or “bump-out” ADUs – In this type of ADU, a home addition is built that contains all of the essentials required for someone to live separately and independently from the main property.
- Basement conversion ADUs – Basements are commonly converted into ADUs by adding a kitchen and a bathroom, and retrofitting the area to provide the proper living space and bedroom area.
- Interior conversion ADUs – This is similar to a basement conversion ADU. It involves reconfiguring your existing home and living space to add a kitchen and other required elements of an ADU.
Why Build An ADU? The Benefits
Wondering why anyone would choose to build an ADU on their property? Here are a few reasons.
- Multi-generational housing – ADUs are very popular for multi-generational housing. Older or younger family members can live on the same property, while still maintaining their independence. Whether you’re a new parent and need childcare or you’re an older adult aging in place, this can provide a variety of great benefits.
- Generate income through rent – An ADU can typically be rented out for additional income, though this partially depends on local municipal regulations, so keep this in mind before building an ADU.
- Add more value to your property – In most cases, any kind of ADU will result in a property value increase, so it may be more desirable and you may be able to sell your home and your ADU for a higher price in the future.
Unique Attributes Of ADUs – What You Should Know
There are some things you should know about ADUs before you begin thinking about building one on your property.
- May require additional permits – Because ADUs are considered to be “habitable lying space,” they will always require unique permits from your municipal authorities – and in some areas, the building of ADUs is not allowed, so it’s important to learn more about the laws in your area.
- Not legally considered a separate property – Even a detached ADU is considered to be part of the same property as your main house, and cannot be bought or sold separately from your home. However, the ADU can be rented out to a tenant, in most cases.
- May involve significant alterations to your home – A detached ADU will not involve any work on your home, but a garage ADU, basement ADU, or an add-on ADU may require major alterations during the construction process that may interrupt your lifestyle.
Interested In An ADU? Contact Mettle Construction Group Right Away!
At Mettle Construction Group, we have experience building ADUs of all types – so if you’re interested in the unique benefits of building an ADU in California, we’re here to help. To get started, contact us online, or give us a call at (805) 361-7403 for a free, no-commitment consultation.
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