Call them casitas, guest houses, mother-in-law flat or at-home retreats; there’s no denying that additional dwelling units, or accessory dwelling units, (ADU) are popping up on the local housing scene. These ADUs take many forms, they can be rented out for short-term stays and represent a source of additional income for a homeowner.
What Is An ADU?
While adding living space to an existing home has been the traditional solution for decades, a vintage option that has returned for integrating family is to build a fully detached, or semi-detached dwelling unit to meet the need.
Not all ADUs are the same, but In spirit, they are all similar. Granny flats and additional dwelling units might have minimal square footage, but they live large, and typically contain a functioning bathroom, small kitchen, sleeping area, and a sitting room.
An ADU is usually a single-story unit but can also feature a loft for extra storage or even additional sleeping space. Adding a tiny house like these to your property meets a growing need in many communities, especially in North County San Diego where building lots are hard to come by.
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What is Driving ADUs?
Most of the time, they are semi-private living quarters for parents or adult children who want their own space. AUDs can be a perfect solution for multi-generational family living, whether a parent wants to retain some independence but be close to family or there is a need for a full-time caregiver in the home.
In addition, a growing number of adult children remain at home for extended periods, or even return home after college or as young couples and desire a greater degree of autonomy and privacy.
Determining the Feasibility of an ADU
Not all municipalities encourage auxiliary structures on a single residential lot. But if zoning regulations allow it, an ADU can add value as well as offer enticing alternatives for homeowners.
Most families can use additional space in many ways. An experienced builder is a valuable resource if you consider an ADU or granny flat.
As you explore the possibilities, consider your overall intent. If you want to use the tiny house as a short-term rental unit or Airbnb for additional income, parking and private access would be prime considerations. Different needs would have to be addressed if the intent is to house family members or a paid caregiver.
The lot itself, and any existing structures, driveways or fences might also be limit design options. Budget constraints will affect design as well. A freestanding tiny house can be priced differently than a second story addition above the existing structure.
If there is room and a suitable building site exists on the property, the next consideration is the need for electric, water and sewer connections. Parking and pedestrian access, code requirements and permitting needs require attention, and access to the building site by both equipment and contractors must be addressed.
Building Your Granny Flat
An experienced home builder can help you navigate the preliminary steps, and will often help with design, financing, and budget options. Once you determine that you want to proceed with an additional dwelling unit project, you can begin to lock in the specifics. At that point, you will want to enlist the aid of a skilled professional. As a full-service San Diego contractor and remodel experts, we are fully equipped to become your go-to granny flat and ADU contractors.
Additional dwelling units, no matter how small, are inherently different from storage sheds and garden outbuildings. For one thing, they must meet existing health and safety standards. But, more importantly, a granny flat should complement the style of the main house, and not only be attractive but also functional and energy-efficient.
If you build a granny flat on your property, you will want to ensure that it becomes a pleasant “home” for anyone who moves in, whether it’s for an overnight stay or a lifetime. A tiny house like this doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it should meet comfort needs while providing more than basic shelter.
Some granny flats can be as inviting as a luxury hotel room, while others might tend toward the minimal. Either way, your additional dwelling unit should reflect your personality while they also meet a very real need for additional housing.
If you’re a resident of the Carlsbad, Oceanside, Cardiff, Encinitas, and Del Mar areas north of San Diego, and you’re interested in the possibility of building a granny flat or other additional dwelling units on your property, give us a call to explore the possibilities.
We are one of the experienced ADU builders in the county, and we will be happy to discuss your plans and provide an estimate free of charge.