ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS
Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs are small, usually free-standing cottages that homeowners have constructed in their backyards. They can provide housing for renters or family members and are gaining in popularity across the United States.
ADU’s can provide rental income for owners of single-family homes and provide also multigenerational housing options called "granny flats" because they are frequently used as housing for older family members, and also the flexibility they offer as home offices, guest rooms and short-term rentals.
It is important to understand your municipality or governmental position on ADU’s. There are different types of limitations that can exist for ADU’s. These include regulations, which "regulate the size, shape and facilities of an ADU, as well as its connection to the broader city utility networks;" occupancy restrictions, which can dictate who's allowed to live in an ADU.
However, there is a major trend in cities across America in allowing ADU’s for the purpose of improving the availability of affordable housing options. At a time when many housing markets are experiencing severe supply constraints and housing affordability is under stress nationwide, accessory dwelling unit legalization represents a low-profile free-market solution that requires little from government actors beyond getting out of the way
Most households in the United States are now 1 and 2 person households which now represent 62% of the country’s households. Only 38% of the nation's households have more than 3 or more people in them.
There’s a lot of reasons that municipalities may want to spur ADU development. Here’s a few common reasons:
Economic: ADUs provide flexible dwelling options in central city neighborhoods, utilizes existing governmental infrastructure (e.g. roads, sewers, schools), and reduce the demand for expanding infrastructure in far-lying reaches of a developed metropolitan area.
Environmental: ADUs provide housing with a relatively small environmental footprint. New, detached ADUs provide rental housing that is 44% smaller per capita than standard, new single-family rental units. And new ADUs overall provide housing that is 33% smaller per capita than standard, new single-family units. In a building lifecycle, smaller residential spaces use less energy in construction, deconstruction, and habitation.
Social: ADUs provide more affordable housing options in residential neighborhoods without dramatically changing a neighborhood’s character as much as other new housing forms may.
Start your build today. Let our experienced designers and engineers help you every step of the way, from drawing up plans and assisting in sourcing a construction company to place your ADU in your backyard.