Accessory Dwelling Units: What They Are and Why You Want One

Accessory Dwelling Units: What They Are and Why You Want One

little house on the corner

An accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, is a secondary habitable structure on the same property as or connected to an existing home. It is smaller than the main house and provides auxiliary living opportunities on the property.

The building and use of ADUs is governed entirely by local zoning laws and building codes. Every city and municipality will have different requirements for the size of the structure, its use, setbacks from the main house and hooking it up to the utilities on the property. Check with your local code and zoning office to see what you can do in your neighborhood. Images of ADUs can be found online.

Use of space

There are multiple potential uses for an accessory dwelling unit. Here are a few ways you could incorporate one into your home.

~ Studio, workshop or office: For individuals who have a hobby that takes up a lot of space or who work from home, a small structure outside of the main house is an excellent way to have some privacy. The ADU could serve as a home office or could be a dedicated space for writing or painting.

Guesthouse: If you frequently entertain guests but your primary dwelling does not have the best accommodations, an ADU may be an excellent choice. This would also give your guests some additional privacy and they could feel less like a burden on their hosts.

Elder Housing: Another popular use for an ADU is to provide housing for aging members of the family. In the past, ADUs have been referred to as mother-in-law suites or granny flats. This additional building allows the aging family member to still have his or her own space but be near enough to the family or caretakers if there are any emergencies or assistance is needed.

Are you interested in an accessory dwelling unit?

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