Did you know that only about 60% of millennials own their own homes by age 40? This contrasts sharply with the experiences of other generations, who have historically had a much easier time buying and affording houses. More and more young people are struggling to find a place to live, and spending life in their parents’ pockets is an unappealing option.
That’s one argument for adding accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, to your extant Bay Area home. These comfortable, modern units are perfect for house-sharing multigenerational families. If you’re lucky enough to own your home, they can also become an easy source of additional income, ensuring your comfort for years to come.
Are you curious about what’s involved in building an ADU? We’ve created this guide to answer your questions about adding space and value to your Bay Area property.
Read on to learn how your Walnut Creek General Contractor can help you design, build, and thrive in your new accessory dwelling unit.
What Is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?
By definition, an accessory dwelling unit is a second housing unit on an extant, single-family lot. Tangibly, however, different ADUs can look quite distinct from one another.
ADUs are either attached or detached and go by the following names:
- Backyard cottages
- Granny cottages
- Carriage houses
- Garage apartments
- Bump outs
- In-law units
They are permanent structures and consistently smaller than primary housing units. State ADU regulations dictate where and when a homeowner can construct a secondary unit.
Luckily, the state of California not only allows ADUs but has begun to encourage their construction by offering incentives to those who take the leap.
Top Benefits of Building ADUs
Some homeowners worry that an ADU will fundamentally change the appearance of their home, and they may be correct. In general, however, contemporary ADU designs improve the appearance and value of Bay Area properties. For example, take a look at LRL Builders’ portfolio for a garage conversion before and after.
Other than aesthetics, here are the other benefits of constructing an ADU on your property:
Increase Your Income
Building an ADU on your property is an easy way to generate passive income through renting or other means. You can easily offer an AirBnB rental out of an attached or detached ADU. Prospective tenants or guests will appreciate the level of privacy, but you’ll be on-site to efficiently address any issues.
The Bay Area desperately needs affordable rental units due to the saturated housing market. An ADU allows homeowners to rent to new community members without altering the community’s character. You can help others while putting some cash into your own pocket.
You won’t have to worry about ADU prices because these units often pay for themselves.
Use Your Existing Space
Do you have an unused structure on your property, such as an external or attached garage? You might have an empty attic or basement that you barely use for storage because it’s unfinished or challenging to access.
Turning these underutilized spaces into finished, livable areas makes you more likely to use and enjoy them. Even if you’d prefer not to rent, these all-purpose spaces can add value to your life. Consider turning your ADU into a guest house, housing out-of-town friends and family, or building a comfortable, climate-controlled art studio or home office.
Support Your Family
Many older homeowners add ADUs to cohabitate with their adult children and their families conveniently. It’s a comfortable alternative to dealing with unrelated landlords. You’ll keep your family close, which will be a major boon as you age in place in your beautiful home.
Meanwhile, you’ll be helping your children during a time of economic insecurity. If they become homeowners and move elsewhere, you’ll have an additional unit to rent to other community members.
If you decide to sell your home instead, the added value from the ADU will make the process quick and lucrative.
Building a new home is rarely a sustainable prospect. In contrast, adding an ADU has a negligible environmental impact, as it uses existing space and structures. Smaller housing units, such as ADUs, require less energy during construction and habitation than new apartments or homes.
Furthermore, building ADUs in established neighborhoods has implications for sustainability. Your tenants will utilize existing infrastructure, such as roads, sewers, and public transportation.
How to Build an ADU in the Bay Area
To begin the process, we recommend contacting LRL Builders for an initial consultation with one of our experienced specialists. Our experts will ensure your new structure meets all California ADU regulations so you can qualify for applicable state incentives. We’ll discuss your design options and work with you to develop a plan to improve your life and add value to your home.
While we’re there, LRL is also your premier option for your Bay Area kitchen remodel, and Bay Area bathroom remodel. We’ll gladly consult on all the projects you’ve been meaning to tackle. We can’t wait to work with you to make your home redesign visions a reality.
Add Value and Comfort With Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory dwelling units are stunning, modern additions that can grant you space and even provide a passive second income. California homeowners benefit most, as the state taxes these additional dwellings as home additions. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding an attractive new ADU to your Bay Area home.
The process begins when you contact the premier Bay Area general contractor for a quote. LRL builders have a reputation for providing the most efficient, highest-quality contracting work in Walnut Creek and the surrounding area. Reach out today for a quote and get the process started.