Do you know what an ADU is? It stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. These units are separate living spaces within a home or on the same property as an existing home. They’re sometimes called backyard cottages, carriage houses, granny flats, mother-in-law apartments, and in Canada they’re called lane houses. They are further defined as Attached Accessory Dwelling Unit (AADU) or Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU). The property pictured above is actually 3 homes. The primary home is about 1,800 sf and is on the left (gray side); the AADU is about 1,000 sf and is on the right (white side). It is attached to the primary home via one common wall. And the DADU is behind the main house and is a stand-alone unit. It is accessed via the drive-way on the side of the home. Ideally, a primary, AADU and DADU project is best built on a corner lot or a lot with an alley.
These small homes are being built all over Seattle but you may not actually notice them. They often are designed to be more integrated with a main house (such as a basement apartment with a separate entrance) or a living space above a detached garage. The City of Seattle offers several pre-approved plans to help expedite the permitting and building process.
Why are ADU’s Being Built?
- To densify and provide an additional and more affordable housing in urban areas
- To provide options for multi-generational living
- To provide options for seniors on fixed incomes or who want to age in place
- For homeowners who want to offset their mortgage with supplemental income by renting out their ADU
Want to Learn More about ADU’s?
If you’re considering building an ADU on your property, or transforming a basement to an AADU, check out this very helpful website https://aduniverse-seattlecitygis.hub.arcgis.com/
The DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) is shown in this photo. It is the smaller home behind the larger one in front.