We may not be in the middle of an active recession, but we are far from being out of the woods. It’s confusing whether or not the economy is really working or just working well for some. Regardless, housing has become an issue for many folks in America. More families are living together for longer periods of time. Younger generations are struggling to find employment and leave the nest, and older generations are running out of social security and can’t afford in-home senior care or assisted living centers. It’s not an ideal situation, but there is a solution that could be just right for you. Additional Dwelling Units.

The Laws

California is certainly leading the way in terms of advancing laws to make ADUs practical and accessible. However, there are still many laws up for a vote that could affect the feasibility and cost of adding these structures to your property. If you decide to invest in an ADU, be sure you are up to date on the legislation and how it affects you, permits, and other legal requirements you’ll have to adhere to before getting started. 

Basic Requirements

You can go as big or small as you want (and your land allows) with an ADU. But there are still certain standards for all ADUs: they must have their own bathroom, kitchen, living space, and entrance. Often, these are rental properties that the owner can use as a secondary source of income. In such a case, having a non-relative in these little homes, it makes sense for all these things to be included. But if you’re choosing to use it as your Granny Pad, you still need to equip it with the basic amenities. 

If you’re limited on space, there’s still so much you can do to accommodate those stipulations. In the kitchen you can install your oven in the wall next to the stove and forego the dishwasher. In the bathroom, a, open walk-in shower with a bench and hand rails creates the illusion of a larger space, while still keeping it stylish and accessible for older dwellers. 


The ultimate size and splendor will determine the final cost of your ADU. You can, however, expect to spend around $150/square foot for your new unit. ADUs have been made for as little as $50,000 and as much as $350,000. One way you can cut down on costs is by checking out your options with building containers. These are shipping containers, more or less, that are hollowed out and arranged to form the bones of the structure. Not only do they bring overall costs way down, but they can be arranged into some really unique design concepts.

Whether you want to invest in an ADU for an extra source of income or you’d like to give your aging parents a space of their own that’s close enough to keep your mind at ease, or you want a more grown-up place for your children to live, this new-wave of housing options could be the answer to your prayers.