Prefab ADUs 101

The needs of people around the world are changing rapidly. In some countries, there is a housing problem that is quite vital. There is not enough available housing for everyone. Therefore, there is a need to increase the floor area. ADUs (accessory dwelling units) provide you with a great opportunity to solve your housing disadvantage.

ADUs: two main types of construction

Nowadays, ADUs of different build types exist. There are either ready-made (also known as prefab) ADus or stick-built ADUs. This type of ADUs is completely ready for exploitation. It is a ready-made unit that only needs to be delivered to the right place and attached to the main house. They are rather convenient in terms of finances, time, manpower, and effort.

When we hear the phrase “prefab ADU,” we can immediately imagine a house trailer or a kit home, but it doesn’t have to be them at all. There are other forms of prefab ADUs existing.

The second term means ADUs, which need to be assembled at the site. Houses of this type are built directly in the necessary place from wooden sticks. Only the basis of the house and also the main resource – wood, are required for the construction. By having an understanding of what you want to get in the end, you can get the ADU of your best dreams. With a stick-built method, you can make all the items of the required sizes right at the site. It is very practical since you don’t have to alter something.

This way of making ADU is much more adaptable than the prefab. Many customers prefer it because it allows you to create an ADU in accordance with all your wishes. However, you will have to be patient and have time to work because this is by no means a quick process.

Different types of the prefab ADUs

There are several varieties of prefab-constructed ADUs. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of them, we will give a brief description of them.

It is possible to distinguish such types as:

Manufactured ADUs

This is a structure built completely separately, outside of the place where you want to place it. They are in factories, and after that, they are just shipped on a truck to the place you need them.

This form of housing has been known for a long time; it appeared even before 1976. It was once called a “trailer home.” It was actively used by travelers; it was possible to go anywhere on it. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – this is the government entity that legally regulates their usage at the moment.

Modular ADUs

This type of construction involves factory-supplied blocks and sections. They are produced separately, but their final assembly takes place directly at the construction site. It is more cost-effective to build the ADU this way because one can build up the blocks and provide the main work at the construction site at one time. Modular-made ADUs also allow you to save time and stay productive.

Builders will always be in good shape in this way because the circumstances in which the blocks are made are under constant control.

Panelized ADUs

This type of ADUs construction is rather convenient as it allows you to combine production control at the factory and the ability to bring something from yourself. It involves the creation of a framework – a group of flat plates and their further transportation to the site of the main construction. All the fill-out works are carried out after the assembly.

Panelized ADUs have the highest valuation and are considered hand-built products. It’s a kind of hybrid, and it provides a great opportunity to reduce expenses. As a result, the prices for ADU are favorable, and the assembly term is as short as possible. That’s why many customers select the panelized ADUs.

What is the difference between manufactured and modular ADUs?

It is important to highlight that both of them are variants of portable ADUs, so they are both less manageable in comparison with the stick-built ADUs.

  • The manufactured ADU has a more traditional look, and it is built in a more familiar way for us. It has a pitched roof and a number of wooden beams.
  •  The modular ADU looks like a box: there are some walls, floor, and ceiling, and also plumbing is carried out. Each of these box-shaped constructions is the room itself, so they are delivered to the site and then assembled together.
  • Most of the work on their building should be done in advance, but you will have to work a little bit at the site, too, in order to connect them.

Modular ADU may have more complications during evaluation and financing than manufactured ones.

All in all, both of the methods – prefab, and stick-built, have the right to exist. The choice in favor of one of them depends on the specific project. But if we talk about the cost of work, it is important to say that the stick-built ADUs are commercially viable with the prefab ADUs, especially with the manufactured ones. So you can choose either prefab ADUs or the stick-built, but taking into account the circumstances.