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6 Most Popular Types of ADUs

Whether you’re looking for a place to work from home, or just want some extra space for your kids or guests, more and more homeowners are considering adding an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) to their property. 

Whatever your particular situation, there’s sure to be an ADU that fits your needs! If you’re thinking about adding an ADU to your home, here’s a quick look at the six most popular types.

A wooden dwelling as part of multiple types of ADUs

Definition Of An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)​

Before we dive into the different types of ADUs, let’s explain exactly what it is. An ADU is a secondary dwelling unit that is attached or detached from a primary residence. While the definition of an ADU varies slightly from state to state, they are generally intended to provide additional living space for family members, guests, or tenants. 

Accessory Dwelling Units are also typically smaller than the main residence, but they may include additional features such as a kitchen or a private entrance. In some cases, ADUs can also be used as short-term rentals.

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in ADUs as a way to ease the affordable housing crisis. As a result, many cities and states have relaxed their restrictions on the construction of ADUs.

Types Of ADUs

Let’s look at some of the most common ADU’s our homeowners in Springfield, PA get for their properties.

1. Home Addition

While the overall popularity of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) has been on the rise in recent years, home additions remain one of the most popular types of ADUs. There are several reasons for this.

Home additions can be built without having to obtain a separate building permit, which can save time and money.

What’s more, home additions can be built using a variety of materials, including wood frames, brick, and stone. This gives homeowners a wide range of options when it comes to choosing the right look for their home. There’s also a wide range of home addition ideas for homeowners to choose from.

Home additions can also be designed to blend in with the existing architecture of your home, making them less likely to stand out from the rest of the neighborhood. In fact, a well-made home addition will essentially look like a natural part of your existing house.

Home types of ADUs on a large gray house

2. Detached New Construction

Detached new constructions are another popular types of ADUs. Detached ADUs are standalone structures that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as guest quarters, rental units, or home offices. These include structures such as a backyard cottage or a tiny house built on the main home’s lot.

One of the main benefits of detached new construction is that it offers more privacy than other types of ADUs since it is not attached to the main house. Detached new construction can be built to match the style of the main house, which gives it a more polished look.

Since these structures are not attached to the primary residence, and are therefore more private, they also offer the potential for more rental income.

3. Junior ADU

Among the many types of ADUs, junior accessory dwelling units are becoming increasingly popular due to their relatively small size and simple construction. Since junior ADUs are typically less than 600 square feet, they can be built without a separate foundation or parking space, making them a more affordable option.

Many local jurisdictions have streamlined the approval process for junior ADUs, making it even easier for homeowners to get started on their projects. As a result, junior ADUs are an attractive option for those looking to add an ADU to their property.

4. Basement Conversion

basement refinishing bathroom and living space

Basement conversions are another desirable type of accessory dwelling unit (ADU). There are several reasons for this popularity. Basements typically have high ceilings, which allows for more living space.

Along with more headroom, basements are also often located near the main living area of the house, which makes them convenient for guests or tenants.

Cost is also an important benefit of basement conversions. Since they generally require less construction than other types of ADUs, they are less expensive to build.

Basement conversions also have good natural lighting and ventilation, thanks to windows and doors that open to the outside. This combination of factors makes basement conversions a popular choice for those looking to add an ADU to their home.

5. Carriage House Conversion

While most people today don’t keep horses as transportation, their home may still have a carriage house! Carriage houses were originally built to shelter horses and carriages, and they often had room for a driver or caretaker to live on the premises. Today, carriage houses are often found in older neighborhoods, making these ideal candidates for conversion into any types of ADUs.

One advantage of carriage house conversions is that they often require less work than starting from scratch. They typically already have electricity and plumbing, and they may even have some existing finishes that can be reused.

Carriage houses often have a separate entrance from the main house, which can provide privacy for both the occupants of the ADU and the homeowners. As a result, carriage house conversions are an appealing option for those considering adding an ADU to their property.

6. Garage Conversion

Garage conversion is one of the most popular types of ADUs for a number of key reasons. Garages are usually standalone structures, which makes them easy to convert into private living spaces.

They also often have their own electrical and plumbing systems, which means that they can be more easily converted into an ADU.

Garages are also usually located on the property line, which makes them ideal for accommodating an ADU.

Garage conversions can be used for a variety of purposes, such as housing elderly parents or adult children, providing rental income, or creating extra living space for a home-based business. Whatever the purpose, garage conversions are a popular option for those looking to add an ADU to their property without expanding the existing space of their current home.

basement refinishing bathroom and living space

4 Great Benefits Of ADUs

All types of ADUs will bring a lot of benefits to your property. Below, we’ll discuss 4 great pros of getting an ADU!

1. Affordable Housing

Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are a type of secondary housing unit that is typically attached to or built on the same property as a single-family home. ADUs can take many different forms, including a converted garage, a refurbished backyard cottage, or even a finished basement. While they are often smaller than the primary dwelling unit, they can still provide comfortable and affordable living space.

There are several reasons why ADUs make good low-cost housing options. For one, they often require less land than traditional homes, making them more affordable to build or purchase.

Since ADUs can be attached to an existing home, they often come with amenities like running water and electricity that would otherwise need to be installed.

Typically, ADUs are also smaller than traditional homes, so they require less energy to heat and cool, which can help save on costs.

2. Convenience And Flexibility

There are a variety of types of ADUs, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The most common type of ADU is the attached ADU, which is connected to the main house. These units can be used for a variety of purposes, including guest quarters, rental units, or in-law apartments. Attached ADUs tend to have their own entrances and are fully self-contained, with their own kitchens and bathrooms.

Another type of ADU is the detached unit, which is a separate structure from the main house. These units often offer more privacy and independence than an attached ADU, but they may be less convenient for people who want easy access to the main house. Detached ADUs can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as rental units, home offices, or artist studios.

small ADU accessory dwelling unit tiny house

3. Small Environmental Footprint

One of the most appealing aspects of ADUs is their small environmental footprint. Compared to traditional houses, ADUs use less energy for heating and cooling, and they generate less waste. ADUs often incorporate sustainable features such as solar panels and green roofs. As a result, they have a lower impact on the environment than larger homes. This is one of the reasons why ADUs are becoming an increasingly popular option for those looking to downsize or live more sustainably.

4. Rental Income For Property Owners

For owners, renting out an ADU can provide a much-needed source of income, especially during periods of financial difficulty. Renting out an ADU can help to offset the costs of your mortgage payments, property taxes, and repairs and maintenance.

For tenants, ADUs offer a cheaper housing option in areas with high rental rates. They also provide increased privacy and independence for tenants, as well as the ability to live in a character-rich home. As the popularity of ADUs grows, more and more property owners are beginning to see the benefits of renting out these units.

What Are The Requirements For Building ADUs?

The requirements for building an ADU will vary depending on the location and the type of unit. In general, an ADU most have the following features:

For more information on ADUs in Villanova, please consult the local Planning and Zoning Code.

blue tiny house with wooden porch by pellak

Pellak Construction LLC Can Help You Bring Your Ideal ADU To Life!

So, ADUs are incredible home improvement projects that are definitely worth looking into if you’re:

If you’re considering adding an ADU to your home, Pellak Construction is here to help! We have a wide range of options to choose from and are committed to helping you create the perfect space for your needs. Check out our complete home additions service and get the best deal in town! 

Fill out a form to get your free quote, or give us a ring at (610) 543-2479 to get started!