Accessory Dwelling Unit Types

A smaller, separate family dwelling unit is known as an ADU (auxiliary dwelling unit). Homeowners build it on the same property as a detached, standalone single residential unit. ADUs are identified by several titles around the length and breadth of the United States, especially in California. It includes secondary suites, granny flats, and accessory apartments.

In other words, an accessory dwelling unit, preferably termed as an ADU, is an additional structure constructed on a residential property. These apartments are useful for plenty of reasons, such as providing passive income through home rentals, enhancing space and boosting property value, and resolving the shortage of affordable housing. If any of these advantages appeal to you, you might be thinking about adding an ADU to your property. However, given the diverse nature of ADUs, it might be challenging to consider where to begin.

ADU Types in Bay Area

A great option to enhance living space and property value is by building an ADU on your Bay Area property. Which granny flat, backyard ADU, garage unit, or prefab is best for you with the availability of a wide range of options? The following is an overview of the most common types of accessory dwelling units and the possibilities that how they might optimize your space over time.

We will discuss here the most popular categories of accessory dwelling units in the Bay Area. What sorts of ADUs are available for your selection, then? Check that you are conversant with the building regulations and rules in your area before you start your ADU construction.

  1. ADUs for Home Interiors: Basement Conversions

At the outset, it’s crucial to understand the distinction between a remodeled basement and an ADU-influenced basement. For instance, to qualify as an ADU, a basement unit must have plumbing and ventilation for an independent kitchen and bathroom. The height of the ceiling should also be taken into account when converting a basement into an ADU. Several incomplete basements have low ceilings, so you might have to cut through the current floor space to fulfill basic ceiling height regulations. It could be more expensive up front and may delay the entire process.

It might take longer to get a substantial return on your investment if you intend to rent the property. The best way to utilize natural light in these kinds of supplementary dwelling units is something else you should think about. If possible, large windows may be the solution you are searching. It may bring in a lot more light and improve the living space in the basement area. It’s critical to acknowledge that basement ADUs often allow more privacy than street-level homes. Besides, the homes will be a lot cooler in the summertime and have a premium market value if you decide to sell your property and move to another location.

  1. Detached ADUs (Prefab/Backyard)

This kind of ADU is an independent living space on your estate that resembles a tiny house in both look and feel. It will need its own plumbing, power, and other features. However, since it is totally independent from the main building, renting it out to generate passive income is a decent choice.

You can offer your tenants complete seclusion and exclusive access. You are allowed to make essential internal modifications, but be careful that there can be height restrictions that will prevent you from constructing a two-story ADU. On a positive note, right up to the lot line construction, it offers more privacy and mobility, particularly on minor lots.

ADUs often have separate entrances, kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms such that you can rent them out as standalone living spaces. These apartments are also an excellent solution to the affordable housing crises because they are perfect for monthly or transient rentals that give tenants a secured place to live without compelling them to engage in lengthy lease.

The homeowner and his tenant will have greater privacy because a backyard or prefabricated ADU is detached, leading to isolation and peace of mind. The primary reason homeowners choose to invest in this ADU is that the privacy and distance of this sort of granny flat from the main building generates a sizable amount of revenue.

Additionally, you might be able to make more money from renting out these types of ADUs as they are typically larger and independent from the main house. Because they give elderly family members liberty while keeping them close by in case of need, backyard and prefab ADUs make excellent self-standing living options for elderly parents.

  1. ADU Additions

ADU additions usually referred to as bump-outs, have proven in recent times to be a welcome option for Bay Area homeowners. It’s because the homeowners follow a simple method to increase rooms within the existing home structure. The most typical varieties of addition ADUs are expansions that extend into the backyard or additions to the garage roof. Many Bay Area homeowners would choose to modify their garage since it preserves yard space instead of adding an expansion.

Since a garage often has enough space to build living space above, adding a living area over a normal two-car garage capacity can be a viable option. If you’re building this kind of ADU for youngsters, you may consider connecting the entryway to the main building.  Alternatively, you can create a secondary entrance that will go straight into or just on the garage threshold if you want to rent out the unit. It promotes independence and privacy from the main living zone in your property.


By enabling access to affordable housing, ADUs are a great investment for the future of your property as well as the future prospects of the occupants. ADU Specialist Bay Area offers high-quality, reasonably priced ADU homes out of garages and backyards. Our designers and engineers have the relevant expertise to construct the ADU type you require. You may want to add more living space to increase the value of your property when you sell it or enjoy an additional flow of money. We take care of every possibility.

By Syed Khubaib Saifi

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