Home Improvement

What Are the Different Types of ADUs That Are Buildable Today?

Are you considering a home addition? Are you wondering how you can create an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on your property?

Believe it or not, every secondary dwelling unit isn’t the same. And the best ADU for your family will depend upon how you plan to use it. You’ll also want to think about your budget and property size.

Here are some types of ADUs you’ve got to know about.

Detached ADUs

When folks hear about an ADU, they most commonly think about a separate backyard cottage. Yet ADUs are technically defined as extra dwelling units on single-family lots. So they can take several different forms.

Stand-alone cottages offer the advantage of being fully detached from the main home on the property. They often come with their own bathroom and mini-kitchen. Some also have more than one bedroom and their own garden.

The advantage of a detached ADU is that your relatives or friends can reside on your property with complete independence. Yet they can also call on you if they need help. This is what makes them such a popular option for those with elderly parents or adult children who need to live at home for a period of time.

Detached units also make great rental units. Tenants are usually more comfortable knowing they won’t be disturbing anyone if they vacuum or work out in their own homes. In addition, you may choose to rent the unit out only occasionally on lodging marketing sites.

A separate unit can also create a private space for dancers, artists, or musicians who want a semi-private space where they can create without worrying about who is listening. In recent years, they can also be used to accommodate a growing number of households with remote workers by creating private in-home offices.

Folks get quite creative when coming up with amenities for an ADU. Talk to a professional, such as Acton ADU, about what’s possible. You may choose to add vaulted ceilings, walk-in closets, or even a separate hot tub space. Make sure you’re thinking carefully about what daily life will probably be like for whoever is planning on living there.

Interior Conversion ADU

Believe it or not, all ADUs aren’t detached completely from your private residence. With an interior conversion ADU, you convert a part of your existing home into a separate dwelling unit.

An interior ADU could be something like an attic or basement that gets finished. You can add a kitchen or bathroom so a relative or tenant can have their own private living space.

The interior ADUs also have separate entrances. If you plan on renting this type of ADU out, you may need to create two separate entrances that fork away from a common door. Or you may need outdoor stairs that lead to a basement or attic.

It’s also important to create fire and sound separation from an ADU that’s attached to your house. If you’re a new landlord, this could be a great way to learn the ins and outs of property rental. You can learn to maintain a property that you were already taking care of because you live there.

One of the main benefits of an interior ADU is that you’ll be using the water, heat, and other utilities that are already in place. They are also less expensive to build than a detached ADU.

Above-Garage ADU

Some folks choose to save a bit of money by creating an ADU above an existing garage. You won’t need to build a separate structure, and you won’t need to take up much more of your backyard space.

People get quite creative with these ADU structures, adding kitchens, dining rooms, and bedrooms that make the space liveable and cozy. You will likely need to add a new roof.

Attached ADU

An attached ADU shares at least one common wall with the rest of the house. For example, you may expand your home into the backyard with a small extra apartment that has its own bathroom and kitchen.

Like an interior ADU, an attached ADU offers the advantage of using utilities that are already hooked up in the house. You’ll need to make sure to get a permit from your local municipality and you’ll have to add a separate entrance.

The Benefits of An ADU

An ADU can be a bit of an investment to build. Yet many folks find that it’s one of the best financial decisions they’ve made.

If you rent out your property, you could have a steady source of passive income for years to come. It will also increase your property value.

Having an ADU you aren’t renting means you’ll always have the perfect place for relatives or grown children to stay when they visit. Everyone can feel like they are a part of the family without imposing on your living space.

An ADU also provides an environmentally-friendly option, as whoever is living there will be using fewer resources than if they were investing in their own single-family home.

If you are looking for a way to improve your home’s value while making it more welcoming, you can’t go wrong by creating a separate ADU on your property.

Types of ADUs

An ADU is an adorable way to create extra income or provide a cozy, private living space. And with so many types of ADUs available, you’ll find one that will work with your home’s structure in no time.

Don’t stop getting smart about your home and lifestyle now. For more great advice, read our blog today.


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