Thanks to new laws in California that allow a second (or third!) residence to be added, it’s easier than ever for homeowners to be resilient to changing needs. Also known as a granny flat, in-law suite, garage conversion or carriage house, the official name for the second unit(s) in our state is Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Folks are using ADUs to
- House an elderly relative,
- House an adult child,
- House a caregiver for a disabled family member,
- Rent for additional income, or
- Live in while renting their primary residence.
The idea of sharing a property with loved ones, family members, or a friend/renter is not new. What is new is:
- legislation that now allows homeowners in single-family zoning to add separate living units,
- a wealth of free resources for designing attractive, functional, cost-effective additions, and
- no-cost guidance on how to move forward with each step of the process from vetted sources like AARP and our local cities.
If you’re thinking of adding an additional unit to your property, here are some key resources you’ll want to review:
The ABCs of ADUs: A look at different plans, styles, and shapes including detached, internal, upper level, sustainable, and garage ADUs. Our favorite is home visit #7: new construction with functional design for people of all physical abilities.
ADUs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Design and Development: The catalog takes the reader through the journey of key steps that must be considered for ADU development from regulations, financing, space planning, and sample ADU designs that can be adapted to changing needs.
Home Fit Guide: Smart ways to make a home comfortable, safe and a great fit for older adults — and people of all ages. If you’re planning to remodel or build, this is a must read! Check out some of the other blogs on this site for more inspiration.