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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) On the Rise – Here’s Why

  • 7 min read

It used to be very popular for single-family houses to have small “mother-in-law suites” or independent structures on the same plot of land. That trend fell out of style for a few decades, but it is now making a comeback all over the US. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are standalone structures that are independent from the primary residence and offer extra space that can be used as living space, office space, a gym, and more.

The beauty of ADUs is that they are a flexible way to add more space to any residence, allowing the owners to put the space to use however they choose. With the use of Airbnb’s and other rental properties, an ADU can be a wise financial investment if you’re a homeowner considering adding a dwelling to your land. If getting into the real estate world isn’t your goal, there are many other uses and benefits of ADUs. We’ll break it all down for you so you can decide if an ADU is right for you.

Financial Benefits of ADUs

Adding an ADU to your property can help you realize long-term financial goals through rental income. If you’re open to renting your ADU out to short-term guests or longer-term stays, you can collect the income from those transactions. In a world where many people are working remotely and devoting more time to traveling, the demand for short-term stays is on the rise.

Aside from rental income opportunities, an ADU can add value to your property to attract more buyers and competitive offers should you decide to put your house on the market. The additional square footage offered by ADUs is a hot commodity and will make you a competitive seller.

ADUs Draw Environmentalists

Not only can ADUs provide additional space, add value to your property, and help bring in extra income, but they’re an investment you can feel good about! ADUs put more housing units in the world without taking up additional land. Instead of buying another plot of land, tearing down trees, and interfering with wildlife further, we can add them to land that has already been developed.

Are ADUs the Same as Tiny Houses?

Though ADUs and tiny homes may feel like one-in-the-same at first, once you dive a bit deeper there are some pretty key differences. Both are meant to be practical, functional residences that are generally smaller than a single-family home, but that’s where the commonalities end.

Here’s how ADUs vary from tiny houses:

1) Mobility

More often than not, tiny homes exist on a set of wheels to make them more mobile longer term, while ADUs are standalone structures that are meant to stay with the single-family home they share land with.

2) Land 

ADUs are built on land that is already developed with a different residence, while tiny homes are usually set up on their own plot of land, separate from any other residence. This means that tiny homes don’t pack the same punch when it comes to land conservation, though both tiny homes and ADUs tend to be developed through a sustainable lens.

3) Ease of Development

In general, ADUs are much easier to build than tiny homes since they don’t require individual plots of land to get started. This means that the zoning and approval process to make your ADU a reality is much less demanding than the same process needed for a tiny home.

Logistics Behind Making Your ADU a Reality

Once you’ve made the decision to invest in an ADU for your property, the real fun begins! Thinking about “building another dwelling” might feel a little overwhelming at first, but one of the best aspects of ADUs is how simple they are to make happen.

Logistically, before you look into the construction process, you’ll want to check your city’s zoning and regulation laws around additional dwellings on existing properties to ensure you’re abiding by local guidelines. One silver lining to the housing affordability crisis that is it has caused many local governments to relax laws on ADUs, making now a great time to invest in one.

The Build

Though ADUs are designed to be simple, many of them can be difficult to build without contractors. Without proper construction experience and knowledge, you could end up with a structure that isn’t sound or doesn’t live up to the quality of one that was built by a contractor. It all depends on your level of comfort with construction work.

Now that ADUs are becoming more and more popular, we are starting to see an increase of self-build or ready-made ADUs to make them a bit more accessible. At Ekodome, we have spent years designing a series of geodesic dome ADUs that are sustainable, sturdy, and easy-to-assemble.

Choosing Between Geodesic Domes

Our product line consists of 6 different dome types and a range of sizes, so we have one that’s perfect for every space. If you’re considering adding a stunning geodesic dome to your land, take some time to decide which one best fits your needs. Here’s a quick breakdown of our offerings:

Seed: Our smallest offering, the Seed Ekodome is 6.71 ft. tall and has 41 sq. ft. of floor area. It should take a team of 1-2 people a few hours to assemble.

• Luna: The next size up is the Luna which allows customizable options such as additional door frames, window frames, and tunnel modules. With a team of 2-4 people, you can expect to spend 4-8 hours on setup.

• Terra: At 13.55 ft. tall, the Terra offers 366 sq. ft. of floor space, making it the perfect addition to use as a glamping pod or greenhouse. It’s incredibly customizable and takes about 4 hours to assemble with a group of 3-4 people.

• Stellar: Our geodesic dome with the most floor area is the Stellar Dome, which has 696 sq. ft. of floor area. Assembly is a bit more complicated and will take 6-14 hours with a team of 3-4 people, but this is a great ADU if you have a lot of space on your land!

• Cosmos: The final dome we offer, and the tallest, is the Cosmos dome, which goes up to 19.5 ft. tall. The assembly will be very similar to the Stellar dome.

We have the perfect geodesic domes for your next ADU. Whether you’re looking to have a glamping area, create an extra apartment, or have an unbelievable greenhouse, Ekodome has you covered! Reach out to our team today to discuss your needs and we’ll help you find the perfect product. You can also place an order on our website. What are you waiting for?!

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