These secondary dwelling units, also called granny flats or mother-in-law suites, can provide many benefits.
Learn how you can add significant value to your property or provide alternative housing options for relatives that are aging.
Table of Contents
What Is an Attached ADU?
An attached ADU is a secondary housing unit that is connected to the primary structure by at least one shared wall.
Attached ADUs are a popular option for homeowners who have limited space on their lot or budget constraints. They can serve as a cost-effective solution for accommodating family members or generating rental income.
These can offer the same amenities as a standalone home, including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area.
When building an attached ADU, it is important to consider local zoning laws, setback requirements, and off-street parking space.
In some areas, attached ADUs are subject to stricter regulations than detached ADUs and may face more regulatory red tape. However, attached ADUs are generally easier to maintain and can share utility connections with the primary residence.
Attached vs. Detached ADUs: Pros and Cons
Deciding between an attached or detached ADU depends on various factors, including lot size, zoning regulations, and long-term financial goals. While both options offer benefits and drawbacks, the choice comes down to personal preference and practical considerations.
Benefits of Attached ADUs:
- Less expensive to build than detached ADUs
- Share utility connections with the primary residence
- Can accommodate more modest living spaces if lot size is limited
- Offer an affordable option for homeowners who wish to supplement their income
Drawbacks of Attached ADUs:
- Limited privacy for both the primary and ADU residents
- May decrease property value due to association with the primary residence
- May share common maintenance load with the primary residence
- May share the same entrance with the primary residence, reducing the ADU’s independent living facilities
Benefits of Detached ADUs:
- Offer more privacy for primary and ADU residents
- Can generate higher rental income due to larger size and greater privacy
- Can increase the market price of a property more than an attached ADU
- Can offer separate housing unit functionalities and amenities
Drawbacks of Detached ADUs:
- More expensive to build than attached ADUs
- May require separate utility connections, increasing property expenses
- May have reach maximum size limitations set by local zoning laws
- May require extra insulation for security infrastructure
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Attached ADU
An attached ADU is a secondary home that is attached to the primary residence, typically by sharing a wall.
When choosing an attached ADU, there are several factors to consider, including local zoning laws, construction costs, lot size, setbacks, and off-street parking requirements.
It is also essential to consider the potential rental earnings and changes in property valuation when deciding to build an attached ADU.
The maximum size of an attached ADU is usually smaller than a detached ADU and can be determined by local regulations.
Benefits of Building an Attached ADU
Building an attached ADU has several benefits, including more modest costs than building a detached ADU.
Attached ADUs can be a practical solution to accommodate family members or generate rental income by renting out the separate living area.
Since attached ADUs share a wall with the primary residence, they also share utility connections, lowering the costs of installation and maintenance.
An attached ADU can also provide a separate living space for work-from-home individuals or elderly parents, promoting independent living facilities. However, it is essential to comply with local zoning laws and obtain all necessary permits before building an attached ADU.
How to Start Building an Attached ADU
An attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a fully functional living space that is constructed off the existing foundation of a primary residence, providing a separate living area for occupants.
Building an attached ADU starts with getting all required permits from the local jurisdiction and designing the blueprints for the unit.
Homeowners should also consult with a local contractor or reputable builder for a free quote and to determine the construction costs for the project.
Additionally, homeowners should consider factors such as setbacks, lot size, and parking requirements, as well as local zoning laws and regulatory compliance.
Attached ADUs for Family Living and Rental Income
Building an attached ADU can provide homeowners with various benefits, such as offering a separate living area for family members or generating rental income.
Attached ADUs can provide privacy and autonomy for adult children or aging family members, providing an affordable option for independent living facilities.
Homeowners may also choose to rent out their attached ADU through third-party platforms like Airbnb, generating a passive income stream to supplement their earnings.
However, building an attached ADU also comes with drawbacks, including increased property taxes and maintenance costs, as well as the regulatory compliance required for creating a separate housing unit that legally occupies the same lot as the primary residence.
Final Words – Attached ADUs
In conclusion, the attached ADUs can provide an affordable and practical solution for homeowners who want to accommodate family members or generate rental income.
While choosing between an attached or detached ADU depends on various factors, such as lot size, zoning regulations, and long-term financial goals, attached ADUs offer several benefits, including lower construction costs and shared utility connections.
However, homeowners should also consider the potential drawbacks, such as reduced privacy and increased property taxes and maintenance costs.
Choosing a reputable builder and complying with local zoning laws and permits can help ensure a successful and beneficial attached ADU construction project.