Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are additions to the home or property which create a second living space that can function as a standalone home. They are essentially tiny homes that create a space that could be used as a rental for extra income, provide the possibility for easier multi-generational living, provide a more comfortable private place to house guests, an Airbnb, etc.

Before building an ADU on your property there are a few things you should know:

The Different Types of ADUs:5 Things to Know Before Putting a Tiny Home ADU on Your Property

Detached ADU: This is a separate structure built in the yard and are sometimes called backyard cottages, granny pods, or guest houses. There are completely separate from the main home on the property. Many people are using sheds to build detached ADUs. They are a tiny home in your backyard.

Addition or Attached ADU: This is an extension attached to the main home on the property. This is a good option when lot space is limited.

Above the Garage ADU: A second-floor apartment over the top of a garage

Garage Conversion ADU: When a garage is turned into a separate living unit and is no longer usable for storing cars

Basement Conversion ADU: a private entrance is added and the basement becomes a second livable unit

Zoning Laws

Almost all ADUs require a permit to be placed on your property. It does depend on the state and local laws of where you live. Other laws concerning ADUs can regulate the size, max occupancy, providing a parking space, where it can be placed if building a detached tiny home ADU, etc. It is best to make sure you know all of the laws for your particular property concerning ADUs.

Check Development Standards

Some areas have regulations regarding how large an ADU can be and many areas cap the total square footage dependent upon the size of the main home. In some areas this can be up to 1,000 square feet and in others it can be capped at 500 or 800 square feet. Some development standards will not allow for an ADU if the lot is not a certain size.

ADUs Cannot Be Sold as a Separate Home

The first word in ADU is accessory meaning it is an accessory to the main home on the property. It cannot be separated into a second lot and sold off as a stand-alone single-family property. It has to be sold with the main property on the home. ADUs do often boost a home’s value.

Make Sure it Complies with Safety Regulations

ADUs are considered additional living space and as such are subject to the same safety codes as the main home on the property. Make sure that your ADU is up to code especially for insurance purposes. You will also want to call your insurer when the ADU is finished and make sure that you have it included/covered in your policy.

For more information on custom-built sheds and mini-cabins that would make excellent tiny home ADUs please contact us any time or come by and see us.

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