In 2019, people sold about 70,000 properties that had an accessory dwelling unit.

With accessory dwelling units (ADUs) becoming more and more popular, more people are interested in installing one on their property.

But how do you design an ADU? And what is an accessory dwelling unit? Keep reading to find out all you need to know!

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit

An ADU is a living space that is fully functional. Normally this unit will fall into one of three main categories.

It’ll either be an interior dwelling unit, which means that it will be inside the primary residence and is normally just a converted space. Lofts, attics, or basements would fall under this category.

An attached ADU is built as an addition to the main house, but it’s not actually inside of the house.

A detached ADU is a standalone structure, like a shed, cottage, or garage.

Most ADUs will have plumbing, electrical, and water set up into the dwelling unit so that people could actually live in that.

Because of how expensive houses are becoming, many people are investing in these more and more. Some people are turning sheds from Home Depot into their houses, and others are buying 10-foot shipping containers to turn into their man cave.

ADU Design Ideas

ADU Design Ideas

When you’re designing an ADU, the main thing you want to keep in mind is flexibility.

You might find out one day that you suddenly need that ADU to turn from a guest bedroom into a home office.

Or maybe you’ll have to turn your at-home gym into a mother-in-law suite. Plus, even if no emergency comes up, your needs will change over time.

While it might be difficult to redo your entire house, it should be easy to rearrange your ADU and make it fit serve whatever purpose you need.

Because of that, you should make sure that your design is based on timelessness rather than what’s trendy at the time. This will save you a lot of time and money down the road so that you don’t have to redo it.

Mother-in-Law Suite

A mother-in-law suite is typically a one-story ADU. However, it’ll be a great way to keep your parents or in-laws close by to monitor them while they’re aging.

If it is acting as somewhat of a retirement home, you should try and make it as cheery, private, and independent as possible.

To do this, you might want to include things like a walk-in shower with grab bars and hand-held showerheads.

You may also want to make sure that you use door levers instead of knobs because it can be difficult to turn knobs.

Make sure that all of the light switches are in accessible places. However, it should also have its own kitchen and bathroom so that your loved one can have a little bit of privacy!

Modern ADU

If you are going to be having guests stay over at your ADU, you may want to design it with more of a modern style.

You should make sure that you let in as much natural light as there can be. If there isn’t enough, you should install overhead or accent lighting.

When you’re designing it, you should also make sure that you try and have an open floor plan. Since ADUs are normally smaller than a standard house, you need to make it feel as big as possible.

You can also do that by painting with neutral colors.

Luxury Getaway

Luxury Getaway

If you’re going to be hosting your ADU as an Airbnb, you may get more money if you can offer it as a luxurious getaway.

You could include things like a spa bathroom that has towel warmers or even heated floors.

If you have room, you could also include a room where guests could do yoga or meditation and really focus on relaxing.

Outside, you could include a rock garden or even a fountain to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Garage Designs

If you don’t use your garage very often, you can sometimes also put an ADU on top of it. This way, you don’t have to convert your garage for anything in case you do need it one day.

You can still make sure that you have adequate plumbing and lighting. As for the designs, you should go with open, neutral, and cheerful colors to avoid having it look like a garage.

Hire an Architect

Before you start working on your ADU, make sure that you go to the local authorities and get the property permits and permissions.

Depending on the state and county you’re in, you’ll likely have to go to the construction department and have your design approved. If the design meets all the zoning codes, you’ll get approval in no time.

You’ll also likely have to pay a small fee in order to get that permit.

If you don’t feel confident enough to build the ADU on your own, you can always hire a contractor to do it for you. If you’re interested in that, make sure you check out this link:

Learn More About Designing an Accessory Dwelling Unit

These are only a few things to keep in mind when you’re designing an accessory dwelling unit, but there are many more things to consider!

We know that doing any type of home project can be overwhelming and confusing, but we’re here to help you out.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one!

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