Currently, we can observe the trend of enlarging the space of the primary residence by building new rooms or even backyard cottages in the rear yard. Luckily, residential neighborhoods across the country usually have enough square footage to make it possible to allow an accessory dwelling unit, which is also known as an in-law suite, granny flat, guest house, or backyard cottage.
ADU types available for homeowners
There are different types of ADUs that can be potentially added to your main house, and below you can see some of the most common ones:
- An attached ADU shares a wall with your primary dwelling unit. Usually, if a family needs an extra kitchen, a master bedroom, or just a storage room to declutter the main house, this is the option to go for.
- A detached ADU with a separate entrance is for those who have their own backyard, and the number of square feet allows new construction, standing independently of the primary home. Typically, detached accessory dwelling units serve as in-law suite provided it meets all the zoning requirements.
- Many homeowners aim to avoid a long-lasting construction process, so they are reluctant to start building an accessory dwelling unit. Instead, they may redesign the already existing structure into something entirely new. For instance, converted garages work perfectly for those who wish to have a home cinema or gym or simply want to have more space in their principal dwelling unit.
- If you still need your garage, either to meet parking requirements or to keep your backyard clear of vehicles, you might consider basement apartments. This is also a kind of conversion, but this time it is not a garage ADU, but the basement one. The look and the design of it would greatly depend on the intended use, but with the right job done, you could turn your basement into a comfortable accessory structure.
As you can see, anyone can find housing options that would improve the quality of life of the whole family on the same property without buying another house or flat. Below, we are going to show the benefits of accessory dwelling units, explained simply, and we’ll mostly focus on detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as accessory apartments.
Why have an accessory dwelling unit as a secondary home?
Every single family has its own needs and ideas for building an accessory apartment. However, there are some common reasons behind doing so. Here are just a few:
- First, an already existing home can become too tiny for a family that has just had a newborn or is expecting older relatives to move in. Many families embark on a journey of having accessory dwelling units to allow more privacy in the living space.
- Second, it is a well-known fact that both attached and detached ADUs add a lot to home value and can be beneficial when you decide to sell your house later.
- Third, it can become a source of additional income since you can rent out a detached unit to a decent tenant.
- And last but not least, in case you need more privacy for doing your job when working remotely or space to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet without leaving your house, building accessory units is a go-for among affordable housing options.
Attached ADUs and detached ADUs – what is the difference?
If you have made a decision to have an accessory unit on your private property, there are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the type of it. Most importantly, you need to think of zoning regulations, building codes, and other local laws that are effective in residential zones. Not only that, but the type and the maximum size of your future ADU will also depend on the budget and the square footage of your current property.
With this in mind, let us take a look at some peculiarities that differ a detached accessory dwelling unit from an attached one:
The desired size of the property
Apart from meeting the requirements that most jurisdictions have related to an accessory dwelling unit, the size of an ADU will greatly depend on its primary purpose of it. For example, if you simply need to extend your bathroom, you will not need to build a new house for that. However, when planning to move in together with aging parents, tiny homes are the best decision in terms of having their own entrance, kitchenette, and bathroom and ensuring maximum comfort.
It is natural that building a detached accessory dwelling unit will cost you more than an attached ADU. This difference in cost stems from the fact that detached units, which are also called backyard cottages, need to be built from scratch, whereas attached ADUs do not require any support structures or foundations. But, detached ADUs add more potential resale value as well as an increase in potential rental income, so here you need to choose whether you wish to save up now or invest more and receive a bigger return in the long run.
Before you decide on a type of accessory dwelling unit, it is important to get familiar with parking requirements in your area. It is true that detached ADUs add more value to the main property, but may also require a parking space. In case you do not have enough square feet in the rear yard to park your car, you might have to use off-street parking, which can become a source of potential extra expenses.
Once you have considered all the factors mentioned above, we are sure you can make an informed decision on which type of ADU to build. If you are still in two minds about which option to go for, you can always contact ADUMAXX for help, and we will be happy to provide you with all the necessary details about your property.
Increase your property value with ADUMAXX
When it comes to building accessory dwelling units, many people ask general contractors for assistance because either building a new home or converting a carriage house will require a lot of things to plan and consider.
For instance, different jurisdictions in your state are most likely to have their own regulations, and if you are considering your house for a potential resale, it becomes even more important to abide by the local zoning code and meet all the requirements set in your city.
Although the legality of construction is one of the most important reasons to contact a contractor, there are additional arguments in favor of working with an experienced professional like ADUMAXX so that your newly-built unit can serve you for many years to come.
ADUMAXX professionals for hire
Take a look at what the clients of ADUMAXX value the most about their partnership with the contractor:
ADUMAXX has been operating in the field of construction for already twenty years, which has made it possible for them to deal with projects of any difficulty and scale. The team consists of designers, engineers, builders, and architects who will be pleased to help you create the home of your dream.
- Level of Expertise
It has to be mentioned that ADUMAXX has all the required licensing and knows the ins and outs of the construction process, regardless of the type of ADU. Since all the communication and purchasing will be done by the contractor, you will not have to spend huge amounts of time searching for the right person to speak to or material to buy.
- Construction costs awareness
ADUMAXX will provide you with detailed estimates on your future project so that you know exactly how much everything will cost. ADUMAXX will never provide you with some potential hidden expenses, and it will be crystal clear what budget to allocate to the construction from the very beginning.
- Support along the process
You can be sure you will not be left all alone with improving your primary residence. You can count on ADUMAXX to be by your side at all stages, starting from planning and finishing with the final touches of your home. You will not have to deal with any permits, authorities, suppliers, or any other companies yourself – ADUMAXX will take care of everything needed to be done.
In other words, if you wish to make your life easier in terms of building an accessory dwelling unit, it is high time you made an appointment with ADUMAXX!
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
What does detached ADU mean?
A detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a structure that stands separately from the main house. For example, it can be a tiny home located in the backyard or a converted detached garage, but the main idea of it is that it does not share any walls with the primary home. There are many terms that are also used for such types of property, e.g., guest house, granny flat, and so on.
What is a detached ADU vs. an attached ADU?
An attached ADU is a construction that is adjacent to the house where you live: it can be a bump-out, a converted basement, or a garage that does not stand alone. Opposed to that, a detached ADU is a totally separate construction with its own entrance and, most likely, all the structures typical of a house, like electricity and plumbing systems.
What’s one drawback of an ADU?
Despite the fact that accessory dwelling units are beneficial in terms of adding home value, giving more space, and increasing rental income, they can still be expensive to construct. This is perhaps the main drawback of adding an extra room or house to your property area; however, having an ADU is potentially advantageous in the long run.
What is the meaning of ADU?
An accessory dwelling unit is a type of property that is either attached to or detached from the main house. It should have a smaller size than a primary residence and meet local zoning requirements. An accessory dwelling unit can serve as a workshop, gym, home cinema, home office, or extra living space.