ADU Designs: Expanding Residential Possibilities

22 August 2023
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), often referred to as "in-law units" or "granny flats," have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. These secondary housing units, situated on a single-family residential lot, offer an array of benefits, from providing affordable housing options to potential rental income. There are a variety of useful ADU designs.

Detached ADUs 

The quintessential ADU design, detached ADUs stand alone, separate from the primary residence. Often resembling tiny houses, they offer a balance between autonomy and proximity. They are perfect for homeowners wanting to offer independent living spaces without shared walls, ensuring mutual privacy.

Attached ADUs 

An extension of the main house, attached ADUs are built onto the existing primary residence. Whether it's on the side, the back, or even atop a garage, this design capitalizes on maximizing the property's footprint, negating the need for an entirely separate building.

Garage Conversion 

ADUs Converting an existing garage into a dwelling space offers an economical ADU solution. Since the foundational structure is already in place, such designs minimize both construction costs and duration. With innovative design inputs, these conversions can merge functionality with style, appealing to budget-conscious homeowners.

Basement ADUs 

Transforming a spacious basement into an ADU is an ingenious utilization of space. Even though these units are part of the existing structure and might lack abundant natural light, innovative solutions such as light wells or egress windows can illuminate these spaces, making them comfortable and inviting.

Above-Garage ADUs 

Also known as carriage houses, these ADUs find their place atop garages. Elevated from the ground, they often provide panoramic views that other ADU designs might miss. Their height often grants them a sense of privacy, which can be a significant draw for potential tenants.

Internal ADUs 

Instead of expanding outward or downward, internal ADUs optimize the current space within the primary residence. This involves partitioning a larger home into distinct living units, complete with separate entrances, kitchens, and amenities. It's a holistic approach, maximizing space without extensive external modifications.

Backyard Cottage ADUs

Backyard cottages, distinct from the traditional detached ADUs, offer a blend of charm and functionality. These structures are often designed to resemble quaint cottages and can be placed amidst gardens or landscaped backyards, providing a serene living environment. 

The primary allure of backyard cottage ADUs is their ability to harmoniously integrate with the surrounding landscape.

Homeowners can take creative liberties with such designs, opting for green roofs, incorporating large windows for natural light, or even adding porches or patios to enhance outdoor living. To learn more information about different ADU designs, reach out to a professional near you.