Creating Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs is not the easiest task in the remodeling industry, which is why it might be harder for you to find the right contractor for such a job and know for yourself what it is that you would like to make on your property.
In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information about ADUs as well as give you some tips on how to make the ADU of your dreams within a reasonable timeframe!
101 on ADUs
Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, are additional property that you could add to your house. ADUs can be completely independent of your main residence and have all the necessary utilities, or be dependent on your initial house. The main rule is that ADUs should be located on your own property.
ADUs can be of several types depending on your needs and plans:
- Interior, so that some space of your primary residence would be converted into an ADU. This could be done in your attic or your basement and is usually done when you need a bit more living space inside your own house. For instance, when you have more kids than your initial house could contain or when your elders start to need a little more attention from your side, and you decide to move them into your own dwelling.
- Attached, is when you build an additional space with one wall attached to the main house. Can be used for the same reasons as an interior ADU, especially when you do not have enough unused space inside the house.
- Detached, which means that the ADU will be standing separately from your main house, but still on your property land. Such ADUs are typically created for storing unused belongings of the family or with the thought of renting them out to receive an additional source of income.
Accessory Dwelling Units are serious projects that you will not be able to do on your own, especially when we are talking about attached or detached formats of ADUs that will require additional plumbing and electricity systems to take place, as well as building the walls and floors.
To be able to choose and create your own ADU, you need to consider a few things: for example, city dwellers will usually make a converted ADU in their basement or attic, as there is simply not much space left on their property for the attached or detached ADUs to be placed. However, the situation will be quite different for suburban areas: you will have more free space and possibilities to choose any format of an ADU and will usually want to create an attached or detached one so that more space could be added to your property.
In addition, you should not forget about your budgeting: converted ADUs will always cost less than attached or even detached ones, as you do not need to make a whole new building with its own walls and floors. A simple plumbing and electricity remake with a few interior details fixed will be enough.
Thus, those of you planning to make a bigger project will also need to consider a bigger budget for that. However, if you plan to rent your detached ADU, the money spent on its creation will be well repaid back to you, but of course, with time.
ADUs as an Investment in the Future
As you already know, making any type of ADU will add more living space to your house or property, which means that more people will be able to spend time in your dwelling.
But before creating an ADU, you need to understand how you will use this space so that the money spent on its creation would not be wasted: some of you will need to move their elderlies quite soon, and it is better for them to be near you than spend their last years in a retirement center.
However, bringing an old family member into your house might be uncomfortable for the rest of its dwellers, which is why making a separate ADU would be the perfect decision that will allow you to take care of your parents with some distance still present.
For other people, additional living space will be needed for new family members, such as babies, especially when you have a lot of them and simply do not have any space left to accommodate everyone. Thus, older kids might need to move into an ADU, and they will even like this idea, as every teenager values her personal space and will be glad to have a bigger one.
And, of course, we cannot forget about renting the ADUs. However, only detached ADUs will be rented out, which means that you will need to spend more money on building them. And, of course, as we are talking about a more serious project, you will also need to hire a contractor like A+ Construction & Remodeling, as it is definitely impossible to build another house on your own. But once you spend all of this money and hire a professional to build an ADU, you will create an additional source of stable income for yourself!
There are also other ways you can use your ADU: for instance, if you are big on gardening, you could store all of your appliances there. Or if somebody becomes sick with COVID-19, you will have a perfect place for them to leave while they are recovering.
In addition, you could create a great guesthouse or a sleepover place for your kids: look at it that way, you will not be the one who will have to travel to their friends and stay at their house, you can stay at home and ask them to come to you!
Making Your ADU Even Better
When creating an ADU, you should always strike for functionality. Thus, you should create an Accessory Dwelling Unit that could be both entertaining and convenient for the visitors to use.
For instance, as it is not your main dwelling, you might rent it out for some time, but then use it as a guest house for your friends and relatives. And because of that, you might keep access to a pool for some parties but still design the house with two bedrooms and all of the utilities for your guests.
What is more, it is better to make the designs simple, so that you would not need to remodel your ADU a lot because of a fashionable design made previously. Keep the walls light and in a neutral color, and design the rest of the ADU accordingly.
Choose the furniture and layouts that would allow you to use the space in multiple ways, not just as a guest house, but as a home office as well. What is more, making the designs in neutral colors will allow you to decorate the space however you would like: for kids' sleepovers, you could use light chains and colorful blankets with pillows, but for your friends or family, you could take that all away, put some flowers in, and you are good to go!
However, you still will want to make sure that the design is well thought about and creates a feeling of coziness for its dwellers. If you do not care about your tenants, you will care about your friends and relatives that might stay in the ADU! You might even live there by yourself when some changes are being made in the main house.
Tips on creating a great ADU
Here are some additional tips for you to consider:
- Storage spaces. Any type of ADU of any size will be smaller than your main residence, which means that every inch of its space should be considered twice. Do not leave empty places in your ADU, it is better to transform them into storage places that could be used both by your tenants and by your family! There will not be a lot of space to throw your things around, which means that you need to be smart about this problem and not forget to make more storage than just one bedroom closet. Make use of your entry coat storage and bathroom spacing as well.
When it comes to layout designs, it is always better to trust this task to professionals like A+ Construction & Remodeling: its workers will make sure to make the small amount of space that you have inside your ADU as efficient as possible. This is especially important for kitchen spaces, as they tend to be overlooked by people creating an ADU by themselves.
- Lighting. Almost any ADU project, be it a detached or attached one, will be made in one of the least convenient places where the daylight will be decreased because of some trees or fences standing in front of your ADU. However, you do not want to spend a lot of money on creating multiple artificial light sources, which is why you will need to be creative about your windows’ location: skylights and open spaces will help you with that.
What is more, you also need to consider the right sides to place your windows. For instance, if you are living in a climate with moderate temperature, south-facing windows will be the best decision, as the ADU will have a lot of light throughout the day and create more warmth inside of it. However, life in warmer climates will make you consider placing the windows on the north side of an ADU. Yes, there will be less light, but you will not overheat your ADU and will not have to pay more money for air conditioners.
- Privacy of the dwellers. Although you will be tempted to make the biggest windows on almost every wall of your ADU, you also need to consider that the place will be filled with other people, maybe even strangers that rent your ADU. Both the residents of the main house and of the Accessory Dwelling Unit will not like to watch your private life every time they lay their eyes on the windows, which is why you should be careful enough to make enough light for the ADU yet ensure that it is located convenient both for you and for your guests.
Perfect ADU Takeaway
All in all, the process of making an Accessory Dwelling Unit is quite hard, as you need to consider not only furnishing, but building, construction of electricity and plumbing systems, and lots of restrictions made by your local authorities.
Making an ADU on your own can take over a year, which is why it is crucial to find yourself a great contractor like A+ Construction & Remodeling that will do the job for you. This company is known for its client-oriented approach and has lots of positive reviews for you to check out. A+ has been on the remodeling market for many years, which means that its workers have lots of experience and connections with local vendors that know all about the best materials that could be bought for the right price!