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Adu Common Uses

The history of multifunctional additional housing units dates back to the era of the ancient Greeks, who came up with the idea of building a guest house next to existing homes. From that moment on, ADUs gained huge popularity all over the world, from Norway and Sweden to Canada and the USA, and especially became in demand after World War II.

Today, if you decide to build an ADU on the same territory as the primary house, then you will have the opportunity not only to receive guests. In this review, we will tell you how you can use ADU, what advantages granny flat has, and how to get additional income using this building.


Renting out to a tenant for additional income

When homeowners think about the implementation of a construction project, the most important issue is not the duration of work or the cost of materials but the return on investment. In particular, it worries those people who take construction loans. Fortunately, an investment in real estate is unique because the probability that it will not pay off is reduced to zero. In particular, this statement applies to all types of accessory dwelling units, and the fastest way to earn money is to receive a rental income.

Detached ADU

Such types of accessory dwelling units are also called backyard cottages or mother-in-law suits. From the name, it is quite easy to guess that their main feature is a separate location from the main house. This fact is also the most attractive for potential tenants because a detached ADU allows you to fully preserve personal boundaries and, at the same time, you, as the owner of the housing space, have the opportunity to control the cleanliness of your ADU. If a detached ADU is equipped with parking space, then the price of renting housing will increase even more.

Junior ADU

This tiny home is not suitable for a large family with small children and a pet. However, it is a win-win option for students or a young couple. The junior accessory dwelling unit is equipped with all the basic amenities that are quite enough for a young guy or girl who spends most of the time at university, on a part-time job, or partying with friends. The rent of the accessory dwelling unit is also characterized by an ideal timeline, e.g., throughout the academic year from autumn to spring, you can rent the housing unit and, in the summer, use it as a guest house.

Attached ADU

The majority of homeowners are skeptical about the fact that attached ADUs can be used for rent because it is adjacent to the primary house, which can create inconvenience and many potentially embarrassing situations. However, one solution can change the mood of these people, namely the installation of separate entrances. This simple trick will allow you to create two completely independent residential areas. Such an accessory structure is very similar to duplexes, which are aimed at providing living space for two families on the same territory in countries such as the UK, Norway, and Sweden.

Overall, presumably, renting out an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is the easiest way to earn passive income. In addition to all the advantages described above, in the case of ADU, the paperwork between the property owner and the tenant goes through a simplified procedure because, most often, these living spaces are rented for a short period of time.

Providing a living space for aging parents or family members

Recently, the question of the humanity of the location of elderly parents in nursing homes has been raising more and more questions because regardless of the comfort level of living conditions, our most beloved people have the right to spend time with close relatives. However, moving age-related relatives to a single-family home is not the best idea, and in this case, the accessory dwelling unit comes to the rescue.

Here are the main privileges of using ADUs for this purpose:

  1. Ease of parental care. Even if you live in the same state but in different cities, e.g., San Diego and San Francisco, then in case of an emergency, when your aged parents become ill, the road to their home will take several hours. In contrast, when you live in the main house and your relatives are in a warm and cozy ADU, it becomes much easier for you to look after them.
  2. Complete security. Any housing area hides a lot of imperceptible dangers that can harm the health of an aged family member. Fortunately, the accessory dwelling unit is a fully customized space, so during the planning process, you can make all the necessary changes by the principles of universal design.
  3. Parenting. The school environment and communication with peers perfectly help children in socialization. However, no school lesson will replace the upbringing of grandparents. Even with adult children, grandparents can always share useful life advice. This also works in the opposite direction because an elderly family member will not feel lonely.
  4. Household help. In the life of every person, there are moments when you have to work in time pressure mode. In such a situation, there is simply not enough time for cooking or cleaning; however, if other family members, including older ones, live with you on the same lot, then they will never leave you in trouble and will help you deal with everyday tasks.

On the whole, as you can see, with the correct organization of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), living together with age-related parents or relatives can bring plenty of benefits, positive emotions, and comfort.

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Hosting guests or short-term rentals for vacationers

Most often, ADUs are known as granny flats or guest houses, and in this part, we focus on the second position. It often happens that your relative or friend comes with his family to stay for a couple of days. Placing all people in one main house is not the best, but using ADU for this purpose is the most profitable solution because everyone will be provided with comfort and personal space.

Creating a home office or workspace

The COVID-19 pandemic has made many changes in people’s lives, and one of the main trends has been the transition to a remote work format. Today, an online working day is not something extraordinary because this mode has already become routine. However, no one has canceled the fact that concentration and comfortable conditions are necessary for productivity. These are very difficult to create in a noisy primary residence, where every family member from the smallest to the age tries to distract you.

In this situation, the best solution is the creation of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the office space format. You can install everything that will help you perform work tasks for 10 out of 10, for example, a sofa, improved noise insulation, a coffee machine, or motivational posters in the spirit of Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes or the TV series “Ted Lasso.”

Offering a space for a caregiver or nanny

Returning to the topic of workload in everyday life, many property owners do not have enough time to look after house family members, who are not recommended to be left alone. The most optimal option is to hire a nurse or a nanny; however, what if you work a night shift or transport your aged mother to your home, and she does not want to part with a nurse to whom she has become accustomed for several years? Even in this situation, the accessory dwelling unit will be your lifesaver. The type of ADU does not play a big role because, most importantly, firstly, the room is equipped with all the necessary comfort for a nanny or a nurse, and, secondly, you will be sure that your little child or an aged relative will not be left unattended.

Providing a living space for adult children or college students

Under one heading, we have combined three potential types of ADU usage. Firstly, when your children grow up, there is a need for more space due to the principles of privacy, and an ADU with a bedroom is an ideal option. Secondly, if your child has a friend in college who does not have a place in the dorm, then you can provide him with an ADU for a low rental income. Finally, if your adult child has created a family and has a second half, but does not yet have a separate home, then ADU comes to the rescue again.

Creating a studio or workshop for artists or musicians

Do you prefer to paint pictures, create wooden sculptures, do pottery, or modeling? If yes, then you can’t do without an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the art studio format. The scale of such an ADU depends on your needs; for example, you can use a detached garage or a second floor in a stand-alone unit. The most important point, in this case, is a consultation with a designer who can re-equip the habitable living space for the specifics of the art studio. E.g., to properly adjust the lighting, think over the workspace, or debug the ceiling height if we are talking about the existing garage, which very often has a non-standard wall height.

Offering a space for a home gym or fitness area

Sport is also necessary as a balance between work and rest, as well as proper nutrition. Unfortunately, a working person has almost no strength left to travel to the fitness club after a hard day’s work. The situation changes dramatically if you have a garage space that can be modified for ADU in the format of a home gym.

Such garage conversions have several undeniable advantages:

All in all, together with such a project, your housing stock will turn into an oasis of a healthy lifestyle, cheerfulness, and a strong body. Using a home gym, you can instill a culture of sports in your children from childhood. The most important thing is not to forget that the construction works of ADU require compliance with zoning regulations.

Creating a space for a hobby or craft room

Continuing the theme of creativity, ADU can be used not only as an art studio. If you like to design dioramas, e.g., a railway, collect various objects, or prefer such types of art as soap carving or macramé, then you can always equip existing space for these needs. Garage ADU is a priority option. However, it is possible to allocate a separate room in the attached ADU or basement conversion for such a project.

Providing a living space for a live-in caretaker or housekeeper

Adu Common Uses

This variant of using ADU is especially relevant for large territories. Among all affordable housing options for your caretaker or gardener, the most priority option is ADU. Firstly, the worker will be able to perform his duties more effectively. Secondly, all personal boundaries and privacy will be preserved. Thirdly, it will help to form a more trusting relationship. Finally, such a gesture will be an excellent illustration of caring for the staff, which will motivate each employee to perform their duties more diligently.


Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

What aspects should a property owner take into account when building accessory dwelling units (ADUs)?

The most crucial moment is compliance with all local regulations and obtaining building permits. The construction of housing options, including ADU, should be coordinated with the local government, which very often changes the wording. In this regard, in order not to receive a fine and not to increase monthly expenses for construction, consult with a professional lawyer on all hidden aspects of local laws and property taxes.

Can you highlight the advantages of implementing the accessory dwelling unit draft?

Regardless of whether you are going to build a detached ADU, a residential area attached to the main house, or a tiny home, this is a very profitable solution. It will allow you to receive rental income, provide a comfortable life for an elderly family member, fulfill all the wishes about the dream house, as well as increase its price tag. It is very difficult to answer how much value will be added because, after ADU construction, your property will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How else can I use the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) other than the points described above?

In addition to the fact that you can receive passive income and place relatives in a cozy guest house. ADU is a perfect chance to make a home theater and carriage house for storing all necessary garden, construction, and household appliances. Furthermore, you can create a stylish basement apartment with a home library, fireplace, and an artificial waterfall; however, in this case, you need to pay even more attention to ADU regulations.

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