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Will an ADU Add Square Footage to My House?


Will an ADU Add Square Footage to My House?

Accessory dwelling units are becoming more popular as a way for homeowners to increase their income and offset the high expense of homeownership in today’s market. A supplementary housing that is either connected to or located apart from the principal house is known as an ADU.

This article will describe what an accessory dwelling unit is, how it may be used to extend your home’s square footage, and the steps you need to take to ensure you comply with any local ordinances.

ADU 101

ADUs are separate dwelling units attached to a house but sharing the same lot. It has its living quarters and is linked to or separate from the main home.

The ADU’s ease of use makes it possible to increase the variety of dwellings available to those who don’t want to be tied down by the constraints of conventional single-family residences. It’s a unique option for those who wish to use their land in a manner that benefits the community.

Although the ADU may seem like a little outbuilding that adds nothing to the overall value of a property, it may be the catalyst for positive change by giving people or families a place to settle down and make a home.

How does an ADU add to a home’s square footage?

Accessory dwelling units, often known as ADUs, are a common solution for expanding a home’s footprint. Some of how ADUs might expand a household:

  • Detached ADUs

A detached ADU may be placed anywhere on the property, including the rear or side yard. The addition of a small ADU like this one may provide an extra 1,200 square feet of living space. A separate ADU of up to 1,600 square feet in size may be allowed in certain areas.

  • Attached ADUs

Attached ADUs are those that are added onto an existing structure, such as a garage or a basement. An ADU may increase a house’s total square footage by as much as fifty percent. A three-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot home, for instance, may benefit from a 750-square-foot ADU.

  • Above-Garage ADUs

Adding a dwelling unit on top of a garage is a great example of an ADU. It is possible to gain up to 600 square feet of usable space by adding one of these ADUs to an existing house

  • Basement ADUs

A basement ADU is a unit that is built in an existing basement. The addition of a small ADU like this one may provide an extra 1,200 square feet of living space.

All accessory dwelling units must adhere to the zoning and construction regulations in effect in the area in which they are located. To construct an ADU legally, homeowners must get all required permits and follow all applicable construction codes.

How much square footage will an ADU add to my house?

Whether an ADU is attached to or detached from the main house determines how much more space is added to the property. If your ADU is attached to your principal dwelling, it can’t be any bigger than half the size of your home.

If the main house is 1,600 square feet in size, the ADU can’t be more than 800 square feet. Yet, a detached ADU or Granny Flat increases the value of a home more than an attached one.

What an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) contributes to the value of a home is contingent on factors including the unit’s square footage and the amenities it offers. If the ADU is well-designed, it may recoup between 20 and 30 percent of the value of the main house.

An ADU may add between $100,000 and $150,000 to the value of a home, so if your home is now appraised at $500,000, you might get an additional $100,000 to $150,000 if you sell it.

Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) value may also be determined by comparing the present market value of the home’s square footage to the anticipated market value per square foot of the ADU. Yet, only 30%-40% of the value per square foot of the original home is typically recovered by an ADU.

To sum up, the combined footprint of a principal dwelling and an attached ADU cannot exceed 50%. This is why it’s better to choose a detached ADU rather than a connected one. The size and amenities of the ADU determine the potential increase in property value, which may be as high as 30%.

Other ADU Benefits

ADUs offer a multitude of advantages, not just for the homeowner, but for the larger community as well. Here are just a few of the benefits that ADUs can provide:

  1. Increased housing options: Several urban areas have a shortage of reasonably priced housing options. Since they represent a new kind of dwelling, ADUs have the potential to ease this shortage. Those who can’t afford a bigger house or apartment might benefit from their smaller size and lower costs.
  2. Multigenerational living: ADUs are great for multigenerational families that want to live under one roof. It might be a place for an aging relative to live near other loved ones who can help them out if they ever need it, such as a child or grandchild.
  3. Rental income: ADUs may provide homeowners with a useful source of rental income. The elderly and those living on a fixed income may benefit the most from this.
  4. Increased property value: The construction of an ADU may raise a home’s resale price, making it more appealing to prospective purchasers. It may also increase a home’s adaptability, letting it evolve with the demands of its owners.
  5. Reduced carbon footprint: The carbon footprint of a property may be lowered by adding an ADU since these buildings are often designed to be as energy-efficient as possible. In addition to being beneficial for the planet, this may reduce energy costs for individuals’ homes.
  6. Reduced traffic: ADUs may assist alleviate congestion by lowering the number of workers who must commute great distances to their jobs.
  7. Community building: More possibilities for neighbors to interact with one another are one way in which ADUs may aid in the development of vibrant communities. A homeowner may, for instance, create a more dynamic and varied neighborhood by renting out their ADU to a young family.

ADU Takeaway

ADUs provide homeowners with a versatile and affordable option for expanding their living space. ADUs, whether linked to the basement’s main house or stand-alone in the rear, are a great way to maximize your home’s potential and profit.

You’ll be able to accommodate more guests and maybe even make a little more money if you add a few bedrooms to your house. Additionally, an ADU may be constructed in a couple of months because of how easy the procedure is.

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