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Accessory dwelling units goes by many names such as secondary housing units, granny flats, in-law units, carriage house and, more. As opposed to popular belief, accessory housing units are most of the time distinct from the main residence. It is, however, a separate apartment that has little to do with the main home, even though it may share the same walls.

If you’re thinking about building a secondary dwelling unit, it’s crucial to understand that there are many different types of ADUs that are appropriate for different scenarios.

The following are the main types of ADUs:

1.      Attached ADUs

Even though they share a wall with the main home, they are fully separate units in terms of utility facilities.

Attached ADU
Attached secondary housing unit (Source Hammer and Hand)

Most of the time attached ADUs are suitable for additional living space or family members and relatives. While these kinds of ADUs provide excellent privacy and are a less expensive alternative.

Although linked ADUs are a less expensive choice, they come at a cost in terms of additional land. As a result, if your backyard area is too tiny, attached ADUs may not be the best solution.

2.      Detached ADUs

The many advantages of detached secondary housing units are why they are so popular in places like California. These units have their amenities, services, and entrances, despite being totally independent of the primary residence.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (source Powered By Pros)

Detached ADUs provide a little more yard area and provide more privacy than connected ADUs. As a result, it’s a terrific way to supplement your income by renting to strangers.

More land area and a larger budget are the two most important prerequisites for a detached ADU. It also necessitates the installation of separate utility lines.

3.      Junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs)

For those who have more living space than they require, interior conversions are the most straightforward. These are appropriate for large single-family houses.

JADU
A suburban USA home backyard and patio at dusk.

Interior conversions are less expensive than constructing a detached dwelling unit. However, the most crucial thing is that you have the necessary utilities in place.

The biggest downside of these apartments is the lack of privacy. As a result, interior changes are better for folks who want to bring in family members.

4.      Exterior conversion ADUS

Garage, basement, and attic conversions are all examples of exterior conversions.

External ADU
External ADU (Source Straight Line Design & Remodeling)

These ADUs are fantastic since they maximize existing space without reducing your present living area. While these offer more isolation than interior ADUs, they are a more cost-effective addition to your house.

This is likely to be a much greater investment. A garage or basement conversion, on the other hand, maybe a preferable option if your yard is rather modest.

Other types of ADUs

Conversions of Garage

garage ADU
Garage secondary housing unit (Source homedit)

Garage housing conversions can be connected or detached and are rebuilt from existing sheds or garages. This is one of the simplest and most cost-effective methods to add a second house to your property. Click here to find more information about garage ADU conversions: https://engineerinc.io/adu-garage-conversion-ideas/

Basement ADUs

A refinished basement is not the same as a basement ADU. ADU basements, for example, need separate kitchen and bath plumbing and ventilation.

Basement secondary housing unit
Basement secondary housing unit (source Accessory Dwellings)

When it comes to constructing a basement ADU, height is an important factor to consider. Furthermore, as you may need to dig down into the existing floor to fulfill minimum ceiling height standards it may be costly. However, if you want to use the property as a rental, the time it takes to repay your investment may exceed.

Backyard cottage ADU

Backyard cottage secondary housing unit
Backyard cottage secondary housing unit (Source Sightline Institute)

This style of ADU has the appearance and feel of a house. Its expansion will require its own sewer, water, electricity, and other utilities. It is, nonetheless, an excellent ADU alternative since it gives ample living space and seclusion. These ADUs may also please you if you are more concerned with looks.

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