What Areas Of The Property Can Be Converted To an ADU/DADU/MIL Suite?

The Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a legal term for a secondary dwelling unit on your property. ADUs can be used as secondary houses or single-family dwelling units with their living room,
kitchen, bathroom, and entrance.

Lolark Contractors has been has already assisted multiple homeowners in adding extra livable square footage to their home. We make it simple to plan, hire, and construct your ADU/DADU/MIL. The most important decision is whether to construct a new unit from the ground up or convert an existing one. Everyone’s scenario is different, and the best option is determined by your specific circumstances and requirements. This article will help you determine which areas of your home are most suited for conversion into an ADU/MIL suite.


Which Parts Of The House Can Be Converted To ADUs?

An ADU can be constructed out of any semi-attached building or from scratch. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, which may include the following:

An ADU, regardless of its type, is considered a part of the property on which it is constructed. The owner can’t sell the ADU separately because he or she owns both the ADU and the main house.


Types of ADU Conversions

1. Basement ADU Conversion

Also known as basement apartments, a basement conversion is the most common ADU solution that requires the least amount of physical change to your property. Your basement is near to your main living areas and provides easy access to utilities like plumbing and electrical systems.
The amount of work required for a basement conversion is largely dependent on the layout of your house. While remodeling an existing basement into a living space requires just a few improvements and maybe an extension, building a new basement from the ground up is one of the more expensive choices.

2. Backyard Houses/Detached Unit

Backyard houses, as the name indicates, are tiny dwellings that are entirely separate from your home and are suitable for independent living. While their amenities vary, they often include all of the necessities, such as a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living space.
Backyard houses, often known as Mother-in-Law suites, are an excellent option for elderly parents who wish to be closer to their children while preserving some freedom. Because these apartments often have only one level, they are optimally more accessible than certain ADUs that may have two levels and necessitate ascending stairs. Less complicated projects have lower initial investment costs and more smooth variations. These can also be very conveniently used as Airbnb units.                                                                                                                                                            Beware of additional site utility work  that might be required to be done and allowance around your property lines.

3. Garage ADU Conversion

Another section of your home that may be transformed into additional living space is the garage. Garages are usually spacious and have a well-built infrastructure. Because the walls (and maybe even electricity and water) are already in place, the garage conversion is a relatively fast, economic, and cost-effective ADU alternative. Garages give the same degree of accessibility as backyard dwellings and do not require parking because they are positioned on the street level.
The most challenging part is adding a bathroom. You may need to install new plumbing and add to existing HVAC to fully support that bathroom expansion.

4. Attached Additional Unit

Attached ADUs, also known as “Bump-out” ADUs can be built above or next to a garage or workshop. It is an add-on — functionally distinct unit that is typically built from the ground up but is still physically attached to an existing property. This is one of the more expensive ADU options because it necessitates new construction, especially when compared to conversion projects.
Building an attached additional unit from the ground up, on the other hand, provides you more control over the design and construction.
Rather than having to make the best of what you already have, you may plan carefully from the start to ensure that the new unit precisely meets your needs. However, constructing a whole new addition is pricey. Expect the total cost to be around $50,000 to $100,000.

5. Accessory Structure Conversion

The conversion of an attached or detached structure, such as a backyard storage shed or a greenhouse, into a dwelling unit is known as accessory structure conversion. This normally necessitates the installation of cooking and bathing facilities, as well as electrical and gas supply. As a result, it’s usually more expensive than a garage or basement conversion, but less expensive than building a new unit from the ground up.

6. Converting an Unused Room Into an ADU (Internal ADUs)

Converting an unused room in your home into a secondary suite is the most cost-effective way to create an accessory dwelling unit. According to estimates, you could complete a project like that for as little as $9,000. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind if you decide to go this path. For starters, you can’t turn every spare room into an in-law suite.
Keep in mind that the space you’re converting must be large enough to accommodate both a bedroom and a bathroom. If whoever occupies that space has to leave whenever nature calls, there is no point in having the addition built in the first place.

7. Converting Attic Into a Secondary Unit

After a while, attics often become unused spaces, and you may be annoyed that such a large part of your home is going to waste. The good news is that attics can be converted into secondary suites.
The bad news is that the cost of doing so can be quite expensive beased on structural requirements, roof reconfiguration, adding of extra heat, electrical and plumbing. According to estimates, converting an attic could cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.


Given the number of significant changes that will need to be made, it’s not surprising that a project like that could cost a lot of money. Note that these are not exact estimates, the conversions may cost lesser or more depending on a variety of factors. Partner up with Lolark Contractors to get a cost estimate for your ADU, and let us help you create the best in-law suite possible.

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