What is an ADU and Why You Should Care
ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit and they might just be your next edited home. You might know ADUs by their other, quasi-affectionate names such as granny-flats, mother-in-law-apartments and so on. They are dwellings–either attached or detached from a main house–that exist on a lot with another house. Many ADUs are buit above garages such as the one pictured above.
ADUs have myriad benefits such as:
- Creating a secondary rental income.
- Increasing the occupancy of a given plot of land.
- Creating more communal living, while still providing autonomy and privacy for both homes.
- People who may have once needed a large home–e.g. parents whose children have moved out–can move into the ADU and rent out the main home.
ADUs are not lean-to’s; they are real homes that require building permits and some investment. A great resource is accessorydwellings.org, which goes into the ins-and-outs of ADU construction, financing, zoning for every state and other issues.
For those looking to install an ADU on their property, but who don’t want the headache of designing a custom home, there are many prefabricated options like the model above by Blu Homes.
What’s great about ADUs is that they provide a way of optimizing traditional the American home, whose lot size is often considerably larger than its home. We realize many people who want to live an edited life live in traditional American homes; moreover they neither want to move into a micro apartment in the city or a tiny house in the country. The ADU provides a great way of working with existing resources, while providing extra income, increasing the efficiency of a property and creating a more community-oriented lifestyle.
Do you have experiences living or building an ADU? Tell us about it.
Top picture by Pete Sloutos, courtesy of Peter Brachvogel, BC&J Architects