Introduction to ADU’s
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or Mother-in-Law Suites (MIL) is a secondary housing unit on a single property. They are also known by other names like multigenerational homes, granny flats, laneway houses, or backyard cottages. An ADU is a concept that has been around for quite some time (think of tiny cottage houses you see in grand old Seattle homes or the old alley apartments), they fell out of trend in the mid-20th century. Now, they are coming back in style.
Some of these units can be fully functional stand-alone 1-2 bedroom apartment called DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit). It can also be built attached to or in your existing home and simply include kitchenettes, sleeping spaces, and bathrooms called ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). They are called “Mother-in-Law Suites” (MIL) because they are a wonderful way to provide your parents with a comfortable, secure place to live. This can be a more convenient solution compared to retirement homes while optimizing space on your property and long-term resale value.
ADU’s can be built above existing garage, in a basement apartment, in attic or as a tiny, detached cottage in the backyard. An ADU is legally part of the same property as the main house. This means that the owner of the ADU is the owner of the main home, and it cannot be sold or bought separately, unlike a condominium or a house on wheels.
Why do people build ADU’s?
Here are few reasons why people consider building ADU/DADU/MIL Suites:
- Such a dwelling can be used to house an aging family member. Most people like the independence of living alone but the support and security of having relatives close by.
- ADUs can also be used to house adult children, giving them an independent and private living area. You could also have your best friend live with you.
- Likewise, an increasing number of aging homeowners are building ADU’s to accommodate a future live-in caretaker. This kind of informal support and housing flexibility could go a long way to help as the nation’s population ages. An ADU could help aging people satisfy their needs without having to move.
- In many cities, you can legally get rental income from a licensed ADU.
- If you’re staying alone, you can choose to live in the ADU and rent out the residence as a means to generate passive income.
- The flexibility provided by ADUs makes sense for environmental, lifestyle, and financial goals. Though many people build or buy houses and live in them for decades, their housing needs might change over time.
- Many travelers and tourists want to forgo the traditional hotel experience and make real local connections instead. Because of this, many homeowners are becoming interested in renting out their homes via online vacation rental services like VRBO and Airbnb.
- In addition, an ADU can be used as a work area, more like a home office or workout area.
Benefits of ADU’s?
- City planners see them as a means to quickly and effectively alleviate the need for affordable housing. The entire state of California and Seattle have recently passed new regulations that make constructing an ADU much easier for homeowners.
- Moreover, people want housing that is closer to work, school, and other places they spend more time. However, most of these places tend to be in some of the most expensive areas to live in. ADU renters have the advantage and flexibility to find affordable housing in these expensive areas.
- Numerous areas of the US, especially in major cities, are currently undergoing an affordable housing crisis. The cost of building houses is on a steady surge against the demand. Thereby, making the available homes for sale even more expensive. ADUs are beginning to be considered a possible solution to this problem.
- We are at that point where space is at a premium, therefore ADUs provide homeowners the chance to maximize their land by building an extra home on their property. And consequently, add an extra income stream with a modern rental space.
Who do you hire to build an ADU?
When considering building your ADU, you’ll want to hire a team of professionals to help you oversee the project from start to finish. An architect or interior designer can help you map out the plan for a beautiful and functional space. If you need help finding the right architect or interior designer for your ADU project, we would be happy to connect you with an expert in our network.
Once the design is finished, you’ll need a general contractor to make the architect’s plans come to life. General Contractors will manage every aspect of the construction. At Lolark Contractors, for example, we hire and manage each craftsman, pull the right permits, help you navigate your local regulations, and ensure everything is on track according to your budget and schedule.
How much does an ADU project cost?
It is important to know that taking on an ADU can get expensive due to variable jobsite conditions. It is recommended that you budget at least $60,000 to $100,000 for an ADU project. A DADU project will potentially cost between $225/sqft to $350/sqft depending on where the utilities are to be brought in from and terrain of your land. Also, remember to consider the design, engineering and permit fees.
Want to learn more?
If you’re planning to build an ADU on your property and would like to learn more request a free consultation. We hope this article helps. And we are happy to answer any questions you have about the ADU planning or building process.