3 Questions To Ask When Selecting ADU Floor Plans

Adding an accessory dwelling unit onto your property is a popular option with numerous benefits. ADUs can help you greatly extend the versatility of your home, from creating an independent place for in-laws to stay to supporting your income as a short-term rental. Whatever the case, selecting pre-designed floor plans will typically be a more affordable option than working with an architect from the ground up.

However, selecting the perfect floor plan for your needs takes more effort than browsing through your options and selecting the one you like the most. Since you're making a major improvement to your property, you should treat this decision with appropriate care and effort. These three questions will help you narrow your focus and find the floor plan best suited for your ADU goals.  

1. How Do Local Regulations Affect Your Options?

ADU building codes can vary substantially between regions. Some cities may allow relatively unrestricted construction on your property, while others may severely limit your options for adding an ADU. Note that these restrictions may impact everything from the structure's maximum height to the number of allowable parking spaces.

Since your area's building codes can profoundly affect which designs you can legally construct, you should thoroughly understand them before beginning your research. Once you know what (if any) restrictions local codes place on your ADU, you can narrow your search to floor plans that are both legal and suitable for your needs.

2. How Will the ADU Affect Your Usage of Your Property?

If you live on a lot spanning several acres, you probably don't need to worry about how a relatively small structure will affect your life. Of course, most people live on much smaller properties, and ADUs are particularly popular in areas where space may be limited. As a result, constructing and using your ADU may impact parking or other day-to-day activities on your property.

These considerations should help inform decisions such as the maximum size of your ADU and the shape of its footprint. Consider how the structure will fit onto your property, how you will connect driveways or sidewalks, and how occupants will access the building.

3. Will the ADU Be Single Purpose?

A short-term rental will have many different requirements when compared to in-law apartments or guest houses. However, multi-use structures can be even more complicated. For example, if you plan to use your ADU as a short-term seasonal rental and a guest house during other parts of the year, you'll need to select a floor plan to accommodate both use cases.

Remember that ADUs are permanent structures that can be as costly to renovate as a stand-alone home. Selecting a floor plan that fits all possible use cases will help you avoid costly remodeling and renovation costs in the future and ensure your initial design fulfills all of your needs and requirements.

To learn more about ADU floor plans, reach out to a service provider near you.