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The guide to Accessory Dwelling Units

This article is a guide to Accessory Dwelling Units. Since California is in the middle of a housing crisis the state housing law has been adapting its zoning and housing regulations to make it easier for homeowners to build ADUs. ADUs help improve housing affordability and diversify a community’s housing stock.

What is an ADU?

An ADU is a small structure that shares a single-family lot with a larger primary house.

Types of ADU

  • Detached ADU: Detached ADUs are separated from the main house.
    • examples include backyard bungalows and converted outbuildings
  • Attached ADU: Attached ADUs are units attached to the main house.
    • units can have a separate or shared entrance
  • Garage Conversion: Converting an existing garage structure to an ADU
    • use of an attached or detached garage
  • Upper Floor ADU: Converting an existing floor into an ADU
    • A type of junior ADU. Upper floor ADUs can be provided through an inside stairway in the main house or exterior stairs outside.
Are JADUs allowed in detached accessory structures? No, JADUs are not allowed within detached accessory structures. The building of JADUs must be within the primary single family residence.

Some of the names ADU’s are called:

  • Accessory dwelling unit
  • Backyard home
  • Backyard house
  • Granny flat
  • Junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU)
  • In-law unit
  • Tiny house
Statistical data on Aged 50+ from the California Department of Housing and Community Development:
  • 84% Provide a home for a loved one in need of care
  • 83% provide housing for relatives of friends
  • 64% feel safer by having someone living nearby
  • 69% have a space for guests
  • 67% increase the value of their home
  • 60% create a place for a caregiver to stay
  • 53% Earn extra income from renting to a tenant
You can have everything you need with your ADU. As you can see ADUs have multiple uses, you just have to find yours. Are you interested to have your ADU built? We would be happy to help.


Housing and Community Development

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