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5 Things to Know Before Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become very popular over the past few years. Often called “Granny Flats,” these units have often been used to provide for multi-generational housing needs, but they can also become a great source of secondary income. ADUs can also make great home offices, guest suites, game rooms, and home theaters.

With new zoning laws paving the way for more ADU options, here are 5 things you should know before moving forward.

1. Types of ADUs – There are many different types of ADUs. From detached units to garage conversions, what form the ADU should take will depend on your property and your needs.

2. Zoning Laws Vary – Almost all jurisdictions require permits, but zoning laws also outline the rules for your location including, type, size, and design.

3. ADUs Cannot Be Sold Separately – Regardless of the size of the unit, these ADUs are not considered separate homes and cannot be sold separately.

4. Lot Requirements – Some cities have restrictions about lot size and setbacks. These limitations may prevent some kinds of ADUs from being approved.

5. Fire Regulations – A shed is not an ADU. All ADUs are living structures and must comply with all fire regulations for living quarters.

Extra space is always a welcome addition to any home. ADUs offer another, less complicated or costly, alternative to building onto the main structure. Check with your city’s restrictions before moving forward with the right ADU for your needs to avoid costly mistakes.

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