4 Things To Consider Before You Set Your Adu Plans In Motion

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If you have decided to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on your property, then you must be all excited and ready to set the plans in motion.

Before you get started, though, you might want to find out more about ADUs in general and check whether what you are planning to build actually qualifies as an accessory dwelling unit. Not every accessory building does qualify.

What Are ADUs?

Let us make this clear before going any further. There are things you will need to take into consideration when you decide to set those plans in motion, but let’s first see what accessory dwelling units actually are. After that, we will take a look at those important things that you will have to keep in mind before you start the construction project.

Whether you call it a backyard cottage, a carriage house, a granny flat or anything else, an accessory dwelling unit is basically an additional living space located on the same property as your home. Notice the phrase “living space”, because those are the words that determine whether a property is an ADU or not. Even though different countries have different requirements regarding these, the basic principles are the same.

Simply said, in order for any construction to qualify as an ADU, it needs to include areas for sleeping, living, cooking, eating, as well as sanitation. In other words, it needs to be self-sufficient, meaning that you can actually live in it and have all your needs met. These are ideal for smaller plots of land and they can be highly beneficial for every household, whether you decide to rent it out or to have family member live there.

Here are some of the benefits you might want to know about: https://frameworks.ced.berkeley.edu/2011/accessory-dwelling-units/

You Need Plans

Given that some municipalities might require the ADU to match the existing home and given the fact that you are probably not an architect or a designer, you will need to have a plan set out for you. There are a lot of companies out there that could do this perfectly, making sure that both you and the law representatives in your area are satisfied. Once you have your plan, though, you will need to consider a few important things before setting them in motion. Let’s check those out.

Development Standards And Regulations

As I have already said above, different areas might have different standards and regulations in place. While this is something to be discussed in advance with the people designing your plan, I suggest you do one more check after the whole plan is done, so that you don’t have any issues once you start building. If you aren’t sure that you can check this all on your own, you might want to get help from someone who definitely knows what you should do to comply with all the rules and regulations.

Additional Parking

Now, you might think that whether or not you will add extra parking is entirely up to you, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. While you should definitely think about it on your own, once again, I suggest you check what the rules say. Believe it or not, in certain areas, additional parking might be required by the law. Check what the jurisdiction in your area says before you decide that you don’t want another parking spot.


When you get your adu plans, make sure to check what the experts have done regarding the access to the street, as well as the space between your home and the accessory dwelling unit. Naturally, you don’t want these areas to be so cluttered that the occupant might find it difficult to go out. This is not the brightest idea and if you don’t know why, do me a favor and imagine what the tenant would do in case of a fire or another emergency.


Of course, you will also have to think about the privacy of the person that’s going to be living there. It goes without saying that you have to make sure that the person has enough privacy to be comfortable in their own space. This is especially important if you are planning to rent out the property.