You've probably seen these diminutive houses popping up in backyards everywhere around the Bay Area. They look like charming little cottages that belong on an Irish hillock somewhere, and they can comfortably house your in-laws, adult children moving back home or act as a source of affordable long term rental income.
Guest houses, backyard cottages, or small homes are commonly referred to as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). They can be a modification of the main dwelling with a seperate entrance, can be a conversion of an existing structure like a garage or new construction of a secondary unit up 750 square feet (depending on the city). An ADU is a relatively inexpensive form of residential in-fill in the backyards in existing residential neighborhoods. Each of these types of ADU are design to be secondary units with complete independent living facilities.
A Growing Movement for the Environmentally Conscious
ADUs have another feature about them besides being a functional guest house for friends and family alike or long term rentals. They are a way for those who want to add habitable space or freestanding dwelling but don't want to make a huge impact on the environment to get what they want. ADUs need a fraction of the energy of a primary house to run. Many homeowners move into the ADU and let the children and grandchildren in the main home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your grandchildren close by?
While current laws allow ADUs only in residential neighborhoods, they do not allow for ADUs to be zoned by themselves in most locations. Many cities in the East Bay such a Berkeley, Oakland and Albany are strongly encouraging ADUs by making permits easier and less expensive to get, reducing utility hookup costs and eliminating parking requirements. HDR Remodeling is a leader in the ADU movement, educating residents in Berkeley, Oakland, Abany, and the surrounding areas on what it takes to build an ADU legally, comfortably, and perhaps most importantly, creatively.
Interested In A Backyard Cottage? Here Are Some Tips To Get You Started
Hire a professional contractor to build your accessory dwelling unit. A Design + Build firm like HDR Remodeling has the experience of building free standing ADUs and garage and home conversions. HDR Remodeling helps keep it all in-house to ensure that your creative design does not get lost in the construction process.
Owning an ADU can be an exciting accessory to your home, and a useful one should you ever find yourself in need of extra rooms. You'll be glad to have an ADU in your backyard when your in-laws show up for an extended stay, or even if you just need a few moments of peace for yourself. It can also offer you extra income from long term leases and can add value to your home. ADUs are a great innovation in today's world, and the market is growing. See for yourself what adding an ADU to your property can do for you. Contact HDR Remodeling today for a free consultation of your property.