What’s an ADU?
ADU is an acronym for Accessory Dwelling Unit. Also called: Granny Flat, Backyard Cottage, DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) and other terms. Check your planning or zoning code for availability and current requirements, they’re frequently revised.
Are There Different Types of ADUs?
When permitted the typical range is:
● Detached or freestanding. New construction on the site of an existing single family dwelling.
The only type of plan/design we offer.
● Within or expansion of an existing single family residence. Like a basement conversion or addition attached to an existing single family residence.
● Conversion or expansion of an existing free-standing structure such as a garage or out-building.
What are the Area Limits for an ADU?
Every jurisdiction is different. Most freestanding ADUs are limited to a maximum area usually around
800 sf although some jurisdictions are permitting larger units. Some are encouraging development of smaller units by waiving some fees.
Another limit can be a percentage of the area of the primary residence. Note that the terminology and method of calculating permitted area varies by jurisdiction. Some building departments measure area to the face of an outer wall while others calculate area to the face of an inside wall or to the face of the foundation. Some refer to heated interior space. Check your planning or zoning code.
Are There Other Requirements for an ADU?
Limits on height and lot placement are the norm. Some jurisdictions require some kind of design compatibility with the primary residence. Some dictate what direction the front door must face. Requirements are updated periodically so check for the most current.
What are the Benefits of an ADU?
● Provides extra, affordable, housing on site supporting density and sustainability goals.
● Produces income with a return on investment.
● Leverages existing property enhancing value.
● Facilitates “Aging-in-Place” aka downsizing and “Generation Swap.”