ADU / Garage Conversions

Outside green lawn

A ground-up ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) and a garage conversion are two different approaches to creating additional living space on a property. While both options can provide extra accommodations, they differ in terms of construction, cost, and flexibility.

What is an ADU?

A ground-up ADU involves constructing a separate, standalone structure on the property that serves as a self-contained living unit. This typically includes a separate foundation, walls, roof, and utilities. ADU’s can be designed as detached structures or attached to the main house, depending on the property layout and local regulations. This option offers more flexibility in terms of design, layout, and customization. It allows for a dedicated living space with its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and utilities. ADU’s are often more expensive and time-consuming to build compared to garage conversions, as they require new construction from scratch.

Is a garage conversion considered an ADU?

On the other hand, a garage conversion involves converting an existing garage into a livable space. This option repurposes an existing structure, eliminating the need for new construction. The garage is transformed into a living area, which can include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and living space. Garage conversions are generally more cost-effective and quicker to complete compared to ground-up ADUs since the basic structure is already in place. However, the design and layout options may be more limited due to the existing structure’s size and configuration.

The choice between a ground-up ADU and a garage conversion depends on various factors, including budget, available space, local regulations, and personal preferences. Ground-up ADUs offer more design flexibility and can potentially add more value to the property, but they require a larger investment. Garage conversions are a more affordable option that utilizes existing space but may have limitations in terms of size and layout. It is important to consult with local authorities and professionals to determine which option is feasible and complies with local regulations and building codes.

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