Homeowners are recognizing the untapped potential of maximizing a property’s square footage by converting unused areas into living space. Basements and attics have long been hot spots for
Accessory Dwelling Units: Game Changer for Homeowners & Communities
Dated: January 16 2020
Homeowners are recognizing the untapped potential of maximizing a property’s square footage by converting unused areas into living space. Basements and attics have long been hot spots for these transformations, but now so are backyards. Accessory dwelling units— small, detached outdoor structures built for living quarters—are sparking nationwide interest. The appeal of ADUs is that they’re typically more affordable than a large addition. They also offer numerous living possibilities, from a grown child returning home after college to aging grandparents who want to remain independent but close to family. An ADU could also house a caregiver and provide more privacy than a room inside the home. They’re the equivalent of a small apartment a stone’s throw away.
6 Key Facts About ADUs
- Use. The prime uses for ADUs are split between rentals and family needs.
- Size. ADUs are larger than tiny houses, which measure 400 square feet or less and may rest on wheels to travel. ADUs must be smaller than the main house on the property, though the main house can grow to accommodate a larger ADU on the site if the local code permits.
- Construction. ADUs can be stick-built or prefabricated. A modular design can be built quickly.
- Cost. Costs vary depending on size, construction type, and the labor market where the ADU is built or installed.
- Return on Investment. To date, there is not enough data to calculate how ADUs increase a home’s value.
- Municipal Regulations. Any homeowner who’s thinking about constructing an ADU in their backyard or carving out space within their home must check their municipality’s regulations since they vary widely.