top of page
Green Mountain

Welcome to the
Of Earth Design Blog

What's the right type of ADU for you?

Accessory Dwelling Units, also known as ADU’s, are rising in popularity due to a lack of housing options and increased market prices in the Bay Area. Adding a rental unit to the home you already own is a low-impact way to earn passive income while utilizing your space efficiently - and many homeowners are choosing to do so. If you’re thinking about building an ADU as well, there are a few main categories of ADU to compare.

Detached ADU’s are standalone structures in a backyard or side yard that don’t share a roof, foundation or wall with the existing home.

Your backyard can become a rental property and a potential source of passive income. Building a detached ADU is a good strategy for homeowners seeking to rent. Tenants are more likely to enjoy having a space of their own that provides freedom and privacy, so you can charge more for a standalone unit than you could for a room in your existing house. Your extra unit doesn’t have to always be a rental either. Long term, it could also serve as a private studio, private office, or even just storage space.

For the most flexibility when building for extended family, consider an attached ADU.

If you have limited space on your property and constructing a brand new separate unit is out of your budget, attached ADU’s are a great option for housing a family member who needs access to the main home or requires regular assistance. Typically these units share one wall, foundation or a roof. A major benefit of adding an attached unit to your home is that it can serve as a separate space at first, but can then become an extension of the house by removing the shared wall. This creates a home that is customizable to the home owner's needs; both short and long term.

Make good use of the space you already have with a Garage to ADU conversion

Garage conversions are attached ADU’s that are space efficient and more affordable. Most suburban homes have garages already attached to them. This means that there is 300-400 square feet of extra space that has a pre-built roof and a foundation - costly components you won’t have to pay to construct from scratch. Despite the multiple benefits, there are some downsides in garage to ADU conversions. You lose parking and storage space, for one, but there is also less design flexibility and tighter space constraints when building out a space in the footprint of an existing structure.

Of Earth Design can help you determine what type of ADU would be best for your lifestyle and budget. If you would like to learn more about what ADU type might be right for your property, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We would be happy to help you make an informed choice.


bottom of page