Accessory Dwelling Units

If you've been looking to expand the available space in your home or have been doing research on prefab cottages and the like, chances are you've come across mention of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). Just what are these mysterious structures? Do some digging, and you'll learn that they're actually a concept that has existed for a while. They're just seeing a resurgence in popularity as homeowners are rediscovering their utility and advantages over standard home extensions. We're going to provide you with some background so you can decide whether or not the idea might be right for you.

So, what is an ADU? Simply put, it's a second unit that exists on the same lot as your primary home. This classification includes things like basement apartments, apartments on top of the garage, and prefab cottages that you might deign to erect in the backyard. The goal is usually straightforward: provide additional living space for a guest or extra family member coming to stay with you. ADUs are typically fitted with kitchen and bathroom facilities, and, as you can see, don't necessarily have to be attached to the main home.

They are a flexible, affordable, environmentally conscious way to expand. Because they take up less space than a full-sized dwelling, you have room in where you would like to build them. They also cost less than traditional homes (and become even more affordable when using one of our prefab cottages). Because they use so little and require a minimum in the way of upkeep, they have much less of an impact on the environment—great if you're looking to go green. ADUs make for a great option if you have an aging family member to care for or if you need to downsize as you grow older. It turns out they are also a prime location for young people just establishing themselves. ADUs allow these individuals a chance to cut costs while they save and decide what direction the next chapter of their life will take.

ADUs provide other distinct advantages. They can complement your existing property (in both look and feel) adding value and character. Since they are built on the same property as your primary residence, there is no need to invest in acquiring new land or developing new infrastructure to accommodate the necessary utilities.

Being such a practical solution, you might now be thinking that an accessory dwelling unit might make for a great addition to your property. We couldn't agree more, but need to point out that one hindrance in many areas is the law. Different communities have taken different stances on what you can and cannot do regarding ADUs. Some allow them with no issue; others ban them outright. Others still permit the building of ADUs but with certain stipulations.

Portland, Oregon, for example, has had an ADU program for years, one that has become ever more lenient. They allow ADUs on the same land as primary residences, provided their total area does not exceed 800 square feet. As long as a potential dwelling meets the proper codes and standards, it is considered permissible. Chicago, Illinois, on the other hand, is more restrictive in what they allow and there is a significant chance that approval for the construction of a new unit would be denied. Before building, it is necessary that you investigate what you're allowed to do by checking with your local building or zoning department. While you're there, you might also want to check on what the law says in regards to renting such a unit out. If it's legal, you stand to make a significant amount of rental income, adding further flexibility to your finances.

If an ADU is allowed in your area, we have what you need to make it a reality. We have plans, DIY kits, material lists and more; all tailored towards the construction of ADU cottages on your property. Our units are designed as separate structures from the existing dwelling, making them simple to erect and giving you the opportunity to build at your own pace. To help keep your costs under control, we've provided the knowledge to do-it-yourself or easily have a professional hired hand take over construction. Material lists remove the need to search for obscure suppliers. Engineering documents make it easy to make a proposal on an ADU and get your permits. Just make your budget, measure your available space, then find a design that fits the bill.

We're confident you'll enjoy the look. Our designs are modeled after the American Victorian period, with beautiful, classic exterior features and modern interior ones. We welcome you to take a look at our vast selection and reach out if you have questions. You can get in touch via phone or email, and we're happy to offer advice or address your concerns.

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