How to Build an ADU in Your Home – and the Most Creative Uses for One

Build an ADU in Your Home

Chances are, you’ve heard of the term ADU before. ADUs offer an excellent solution for those looking to expand their living space, especially in today’s low-inventory, high-competition housing market. They can also provide a valuable source of extra income. So what exactly is an ADU, and what are the different ways you can use one?

What is an ADU?

ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. It’s an independent residential unit that sits within a larger property. While they’ve gained popularity recently, ADUs have been around for many years; sometimes referred to as “carriage houses”, they were often built to accommodate staff on large estates. ADUs can be detached buildings on your property, or they can be part of your house (if you convert your garage or basement into an apartment, for example).

What can an ADU be used for?

Many people build ADUs to use as a small residence, either for family members or caretakers. They are a great choice for elderly parents who may be unable to live completely independently, or for a live-in nanny or au pair. Depending on the zoning laws in your area, you could also develop your ADU as a small apartment, and rent it out to tenants. (Rules about ADUs vary from state to state – be sure to read up on them before making any decisions.)

Of course, you don’t have to be limited to any particular use for your ADU; the possibilities are endless. Here are some suggestions for some creative ways to utilize your ADU.

Create a yoga or workout studio. Looking to add a little more Zen to your life? Turn your ADU into a light-filled, serene sanctuary for yoga or meditation. Or get your blood pumping with a workout – ADUs are an ideal place for exercise equipment, and will make your commute to the gym a lot more tolerable.

Design a home office. COVID has changed the way we think about working, and many of us are now committed to the remote lifestyle. Turn your ADU into a fully equipped office with everything you need to be productive.

Build a playroom for the kids. What could be more fun for children than to have their own space to run, jump and have fun? ADUs make perfect playrooms and cut down on the clutter (and noise!) in your house.

Create a studio for your favorite hobby. Love art, music, or woodworking? Level up your creativity by building an ADU that functions as a studio for your artistic endeavors. A separate dwelling provides you with the privacy and quiet that you need to be inspired, while enabling you to keep all of your materials in one place.

However you use your ADU, you’ll love the flexibility and freedom that it affords – not to mention the value it adds to your property. It’s truly a win-win.

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