Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are becoming a hot topic in the housing world. A solution to the issues of creating more space, promoting aging in place, enabling intergenerational living, increasing income, and working from home, ADUs are an old idea enjoying a renaissance in America. In fact, many communities such as Austin, Denver, Houston, Anchorage, Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix, and Philadelphia allow ADUs.

So, what is an ADU? An ADU is an additional small residence that shares a single-family lot with the original home. They come in many shapes, sizes, and formats – really, the possibilities are as vast as your imagination! An ADU can be built within an existing structure or built as an entirely new one. It can be located within the main residence such as a basement or garage apartment, attached to the main residence as an addition, or separate as a converted outbuilding or smaller home. You may already be familiar with ADUs by one of their other names: backyard bungalow, carriage house, granny flat, in-law suite, guest house, sidekick, or cottage.

The reasons for creating an ADU are numerous:

  • An ADU provides potential additional income sources for homeowners.
  • ADUs allow multiple generations of families to live together while maintaining their own space and privacy.
  • ADUs provide housing for live-in caregivers for children and/ or older adults.
  • ADUs offer entry-level housing in a single-family neighborhood setting.
  • ADUs provide affordable housing for adult children or recent college graduates.
  • There is no cost for an additional lot, making ADUs less expensive than building a new home.
  • Empty nesters may elect to live in the ADU while renting out their original home to a larger family or to a younger generation of their own family, providing additional income while also downsizing to a more manageable space.
  • ADUs make excellent guest houses for visiting friends and family.

RES Aging In Place Team

If you are considering building an ADU, look to Residential Engineering Services + Design (RES) to lead you through the planning process. RES utilizes Universal Design and Aging in Place concepts in all our designs. We will meet with you to plan, design, and engineer a home to live in for a lifetime. Contact us today.