If you’ve seen the numbers, you know an accessory dwelling unit is a great investment for your home. It can mean low-cost housing for your family. It can mean rental income. However you use it, an ADU dramatically increases the value you can get from your home.
To get the most out of your accessory dwelling, you’ll need to get the best ADU plans. The first step is to decide what you want from your ADU.
Attached? Detached? Basement remodel? Garage demolition? What kind of ADU do you need?
Do me a favor. If you’ve already got an idea for your ADU in mind, forget it. Just for a minute. It’s time to set aside limitations and consider all the possibilities.
Imagine how your new accessory dwelling will change your life as soon as it’s built. What does it mean for you? More space for your busy life? A home office that works as a guest house during the holidays? Rental income that will pay for the project and free up funds to send your kids to college?
Now imagine how your ADU will serve you twenty years from now. Will it be a comfortable place for you to live while your son and his children live in the main home? Will it be a place for your daughter, just setting out on her own, to live while she saves for a place of her own? Will you rent it out, using the income to live comfortably without having to work overtime?
Now—stick with me here—how will it serve you in sixty years? Will your main home or ADU be a place for you to live close to your family? Will your property be an incredibly valuable asset to pass on to your loved ones?
If you haven’t considered and over-the-garage ADU or a backyard cottage, imagine how one of those options might fit into your future. There are also ADUs built right into the existing home, basement apartments, and remodeled garages.
How you imagine your future will tell you what you need from your ADU—and it will help you get the best accessory dwelling plans.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Look at the best accessory dwelling plans to get ideas for your own.
One of the best parts of making ADU plans is that you get to be specific about the details. If you want low-maintenance materials, just say the word. Love your neighbors’ veranda? You can have one, too. Need an accessible bathroom? It’s all yours.
The best way to get ideas for your own design is by looking at other projects and choosing the parts you love.
Got an idea of what you want? You get more ideas by browsing New Avenue’s projects. You can see real budgets and the best accessory dwelling floor plans in the Bay Area. Sign up here to use our system.
Before we start drawing up ADU blueprints…
Of course, the property itself must be considered. You’ll need to know whether your property will support the kind of ADU you have in mind. And there are city regulations to consider. (For example, the historic Victorian homes of San Francisco have strict design rules.)
If you need help bringing your dreams to life and navigating the city rules, the best place to start is with a design proposal. For a flat fee, an experienced Bay Area ADU designer will come to your site, listen to your goals, share their professional opinions, and work up a full design proposal so you’ll know the cost of designing your accessory dwelling. You’ll also get your designer’s advice on permitting your project.
The design proposal is your first step to getting the best ADU plans for your Bay Area accessory dwelling.
What will you do with your accessory dwelling?
The beauty of an accessory dwelling is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Its use can even change over time. (That’s important in a building that will last for generations.)
Travis and Kelly (Oakland) use theirs as a detached office, laundry room, and guest house. To them, it means more time with their child because they can take turns working from home.
Francis (San Jose) uses his to help out the community by housing public servants for a reasonable price. Later, it will be available for his children to use if they need it.
Iral (Berkeley) lives in hers. Her family lives in the main home, just a few steps away, and Iral says living in her ADU is “a dream come true.”