Adding an ADU for Multigenerational Use

From financial concerns and housing costs, to worries over the pandemic and general social unrest, more and more families are choosing, whether from necessity or by choice, to give multigenerational cohabitation a try. Adult children are moving back in with their parents. Elderly grandparents are forgoing senior communities to live on the same property with their children. And while this style of living may seem to be a new trend, multigenerational households here in America date back to the beginning of the 19th century.

Some homeowners are fortunate to already have the space to accommodate extra family members. But if you’re out of room or simply need a little more personal space, perhaps it’s time to consider adding an ADU. 

What exactly is an ADU? 

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is also known by several other names: a mother-in-law suite, carriage house, finished room over the garage (FROG), basement apartment, granny flat, and in some cases a tiny house, but only if the tiny house is permanently affixed to the legal property. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has determined to be classified as an ADU it needs to fall into one of three categories:  attached, detached or interior. And it also needs to be able to provide the occupants with independent and self-sufficient permanent living space with room for sleeping and eating, the ability to cook, and also access to sanitation including water and sewer. 

How difficult is it to add an ADU? 

The answer is: it depends. If you have an attic, basement, or garage or even an entire wing of your home that isn’t being used, it may be fairly easy. Just keep in mind what you are trying to achieve; a completely separate autonomous living space. Therefore it’s important to take the wants and needs of the person who will be living there into consideration, especially if the entire space will need to be built-out. Do they want a full-sized bathtub or will a standup shower work? Do they like to cook and prefer to fix all their own meals or is Door Dash on speed dial? How about hobbies? Some leisure activities take up a lot more room than others. Also, it’s important to keep in mind the age of the person. A senior citizen may require no stairs, bathroom grab bars, lever cabinet and door handles and rocker light switches. 

Zoning and building codes differ from city to city and county to county so it’s important to always consult a reputable licensed professional builder before beginning your project. Issues from additional site work to upgrading current electrical panels and installing plumbing lines are all concerns that need to be addressed with a professional or you may be way in over your head, plus being in trouble with your city or county inspector before you even begin your ADU started. 

Curious and would like more information about adding an ADU? One call is all it takes to Compass Construction. Connect with us today by calling 864-627-8804, completing our convenient and safe online form or simply email us at Compass Construction: not the biggest, but definitely the best!