Nowadays, more and more homeowners, not only in the USA but also around the world, are building ADU for various purposes. An Accessory Housing Unit is a secondary, additional small-sized housing that is built on the territory of the owner. This extension has many advantages and features, without the knowledge of which it will be difficult for you to implement it. Did you know that the construction of ADU in one state but different cities may have different legislation?
To make everything clear and understandable for you, you should carefully read the following ten tips when building ADU.
1. Is ADU suitable for your property?
Firstly, you should familiarize yourself with the local legislation, requirements, and zoning for ADU. Perhaps your household is not suitable for construction, or you need to buy an additional plot of land. You need to consult with an experienced foreman to find out the most essential conditions for the construction of ADU. In some states and regions, you are required to pay a "construction fee," which will waste your budget a little.
Only after these procedures can you contact the builders, develop your unique design and create an attractive layout.
2. Decide on the ADU goal
Homeowners build ADU for several reasons. Here are some of them:
- ADU for relatives. If you want to please your elderly parents, then building a small additional house will be an excellent solution. In addition, in this case, ADU is suitable for fans of large parties. Just imagine: all your relatives come to you to celebrate Christmas or someone's birthday together. You will need additional accommodation for convenience.
- ADU for rent. Renting is a great way to earn passive income. Especially when you can monitor the ADU status at any time. Be careful when filling out documents because sometimes a special permit is required for renting.
- ADU for personal needs. Such a house can be an excellent solution for owners of swimming pools, lawns, playgrounds, or courts on their territory. Attach a veranda or patio to the ADU for barbecue or relaxation.
3. Contact local government agencies
After you have decided on the purpose of building an ADU, you should contact local structures to obtain a license. However, this rule does not apply in all US states, and even more so in regions of other countries. Contact the construction department and carefully explain the purpose of the construction; tell us about the future layout for tenants, the location of the ADU, and a few more details.
4. Evaluate the pros and cons of building an ADU
Every action in our life has its advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to studying, working, or building. ADU is no exception. Before you develop a design and attract professional workers, think: is ADU so necessary?
This extension has its obvious advantages:
- The possibility of investing using a lease.
- The ability to receive a large number of guests and accommodation for elderly parents and relatives.
- Creating storage space.
However, ADU has clear disadvantages. Firstly, it is a considerable waste of money on construction and design. Secondly, you will need an ADU permit, which may delay the design and construction.
5. Calculate your budget
It's no secret that any house or office can be built for a small amount of money. You just need to properly implement your budget and turn to qualified foremen and agents. The cost of building the ADU will certainly be less than the main house. You need to hire a highly qualified architect and contractor and efficiently distribute finances for building and design development.
Look for things that homeowners can save on: you can buy something in bulk or at a discount and hire an experienced specialist with low prices. Consult with your friends or random people on the Internet who have already made an ADU.
6. Highlight the most important things
The construction of the ADU has many nuances and features that you should note before you start building. Firstly, will your ADU have high profitability, and is it worth investing in it? Secondly, you have to think about both short-term and long-term value added. Thirdly, will the construction of the ADU pay off in a given period using the services of highly qualified workers?
You should roughly calculate your budget and understand how much money you are willing to spend on construction. Make a list of these features to make it easier to
solve issues and deal with difficulties in the future.
7. Develop a design
Now we will tell you in great detail about all the design features in the ADU. Design development is one of the most significant processes in construction. Since you are planning to create additional housing without spending a lot, we offer you the following three solutions that will help you in construction.
1. You don't have to use the services of a professional designer
Of course, a trained specialist who has been doing this for a long time will make an excellent design. However, we advise you to save money and do some things that will make your interior bright and spacious.
Here are some of them:
- Lay the floors with large carpets that will give space and comfort to the rooms. You need to hang a couple of mirrors. Firstly, they will add more light to the ADU. Secondly, it is always convenient to see your outfit in the mirror. Then you will be able to fix something in it or understand that you already look great.
- Add more calm and warm colors. Avoid toxic and dark shades; they reflect light poorly, banish your good mood and create boredom.
- Try to create a symmetrical position of furniture and walls. Symmetry will add harmony to your layout.
- Leave the center of the room unfilled, and try to arrange large furniture along the walls so that they do not take up space in the center.
- Create a storage place. Some homeowners build an ADU as a storage room or additional garage space. We also advise you to create a small storage room under the stairs if you are building a one- or two-story ADU.
2. Matching the design to the main house
One of the economical and interesting solutions in the construction of an ADU is the similarity or complete identity with the main building. Firstly, after the foundation of the main house, you may have parts, equipment, plates, laminate, and much more.
When creating an ADU, you will be able to save some funds because you will only have to buy the required things. Secondly, such a secondary building will look organically against the background of a large house. It feels like your household is being transformed into a small residential condominium.
3. Creating a unique and cheap design.
Of course, every homeowner wants to invest as little money as possible in the construction and get a profit. This is not a fairy tale at all, and such a result can be obtained. You can give up expensive furniture, complex layout, and expensive finishes. Instead, each homeowner can add a few cozy and warm colors (yellow, beige, white, orange) and install more windows so that the rooms become brighter. Moreover, you can furnish your room less, thus giving more space to tenants, relatives, or guests.
8. Interact with professional builders
As we mentioned earlier, you should contact highly qualified builders, architects, and foremen. Hire a professional with ADU construction experience. According to your budget, this employee will be able to design, give permits and build your ADU. This will save not only your money but also time and replenish a good mood and vital energy.
ADU experts have many years of experience in the construction of additional houses. Thus, this is another useful way of budget construction.
9. Profit off of investment
As we have already said, ADU is a proven way of passive earnings. We advise you to buy a house with the possibility of building an ADU to achieve a high return on investment for your main house. The cost of executing an ADU project can take from $50k to $200k. It all depends on the permission of the state or region, the complexity of the layout, and the cost of design and engineering.
No matter how surprising it may be, however, the payback of the ADU project will appear after about 6-7 years. This is a fairly small gap relative to construction. Renting out an ADU is a great solution to pay off a loan or mortgage.
10. Consult with your friends who have built an ADU
Perhaps our final advice will seem common and boring to you, but it is quite effective and useful. Let's conclude our top 10 with a consultation with your friends. You will be selflessly and honestly told about all the nuances of ADU projects, their profitability, and cost. Your friends can tell you about some specialists, designers, and architects. Moreover, they will explain to you the negative side of ADU construction and interpret the negative experience for you.
We sincerely hope that now you understand what ADU is. Now you are fully ready to build a second home. Familiarize yourself with local laws and requirements, plan the design and layout, hire workers and build the ADU of your dreams!