5 Things you need to Keep in Mind When Planning to Build Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) paces might be secondary places, but they play an important role in keeping your family together. Before you can map our plans for your accessory dwelling units, you must know all the ground rules necessary to do so.

You might know adu as granny flats or carriage houses, but they are known as Accessory Dwelling Units in the industrial term. These serve as a secondary space that can be used for several reasons.

If you have grandparents in your home, you can use them for their personal space. If not, you can simply rent it out and earn passively. There are many ways in which you can use the ADUs.

Things To Consider Planning ADUs

Seeing how it can be advantageous to have an ADUs in your house, most people jump right into it without thinking it through. If you are planning to build ADUs, start with knowing all the ground rules and construction limitations.

With that being said, do not think that ADUs are similar to creating a tiny back house in the yard will be a piece of cake. Like any other construction project, ADUs can be a complex process. Hence, thorough planning is needed.

Here are certain things that you need to consider while planning an Accessory Dwelling Unit.

1. Check Development Standards

Before you can start with your ADU planning, ensure that your land or house is eligible for making such changes. Here are a few things that you need to check to see whether your horse is eligible for making the building ADUs.

Density – Dentistry is the higher number of units taught is allowed in your property. While you are building an ADU on the property, ensure that it is well under the density.

Maximum Heights – Every city or area has certain height limits to new buildings. Ensure that the high limit is not breached.

Utility Easement – These are the public utilities that are under or over your property. You need to ensure that your ADU is not creating problems for public utilities.

2. Find Out your Needs

There was a law that stated that you need to have a new off-street parking facility for the new ADU. However, this was quite stressful for the ADU, with very little space to spare. If your property meets the following criteria, you need not worry about the new parking space.

  • A half-mile away from the public transport system.
  • A car-share vehicle is located within the block.
  • Parking is required but is not offered to the ADU occupants.

3. Plan Site Access

Access is an important factor. However, access to the ADU varies depending on several factors. The first factor is safety. During an energy crisis, the ADU needs to have an unobstructed pathway to escape. In addition to that, you also need to have a clutter-free pass between your main property to ADUs.

4. Consider Privacy

Privacy is something that you need to think of beforehand. Depending on the occupant or who will live in the ADU, the privacy layer can vary. For instance, if you are building an ADU for your grandparent, the privacy is mist like less because you need to visit them frequently for health checkups.

However, the privacy differs if you are allowing your ADU for rentals. Then you need to have a strict privacy system so that it does not affect your daily schedules.

5. Understand your Site Condition

Understanding your site constitution also plays an important role in determining the extent of ADU projects.

  • See whether your backyard is flat or sloped?
  • Does your backyard accumulate rainwater?
  • What is the quality of the soil?

Ask yourself these types of questions to develop the best plan that appreciates your accessory dwelling unit.


Designing accessory dwelling units are similar to normal housing. Hence, do not go DIY. Don’t be mistaken. Building an ADU is tough. If you truly want to get to your dream ADU without emptying your bank, you will need help from industry professionals.

With that being said, we have pointed out certain things which you can add to your checklist while planning accessory dwelling units.