Top Remodeling & Design


Do You Need An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? Take Our Quiz To Find Out


When thinking about whether an ADU is right for you, there are a couple of questions that can help guide your decision. The decision to build an accessory dwelling unit should be made on personal preferences and needs.

Take the quiz below to find out. By answering just a few short questions can help determine if creating an ADU for yourself or as an investment is right for you.

  • Do I need more living space because my family has grown too large for our current home? 
  • Do all of the bedrooms in your main house share one bathroom?
  • Do most of your guests stay with you on the weekends?
  • Does your main house have extra rooms that are rarely occupied?
  • Do I have enough yard/space to build one without affecting my landscaping plans or other features around the house like pools and patios?
  • Can I afford all of the additional costs associated with building this type of structure (permits, architect fees, etc.)?


If any of these circumstances apply to you, an Accessory Dwelling Unit may be a good fit for your home. 


What Are Accessory Dwelling Units?

Accommodation apartments, also known as “granny flats” and “mother-in-law apartments,” are extended dwellings on the same property as a main single-family home. ADUs are simply extra houses located on the premises of another person’s primary house.

An accessory dwelling unit is any dwelling that’s built on the property of another, for example, an apartment over the garage, a tiny house in the garden, or a basement flat.


An ADU is a dwelling that is attached to the main house or detached from it. It frequently has its separate entrance.


Why Would A Homeowner Choose To Add An ADU?

An ADU can be a great way to expand your monthly cash flow, as you will have the opportunity to rent out the space. The extra income generated by an ADU might help cover some of your household expenses.


What Are Some Benefits Of Having An ADU?

The vast majority of homeowners add an ADU to their property because it allows them to have more living space without having to relocate. This provides excellent value and convenience for those who want it.


What Is The Cost Of An ADU?

As with any home improvement project, there may be additional costs associated with adding an accessory dwelling unit onto your property such as landscaping and other exterior renovations to ensure that everything fits in well aesthetically. Do not forget about planning permission if you are adding an ADU to your property near a city, as this may require some additional work on your part.


What Do You Need To Know Before Adding One?

As with any major renovation project, there are more than a few things that homeowners need to understand before beginning the process of adding an accessory dwelling unit onto their property such as landscaping and other exterior renovations to ensure that everything fits in well aesthetically.


Consider Why You Need An ADU

Before you start planning, keep the following things in mind:

Do you need to make more space for your growing family? Do you want a guest house or an office where you can work from home? Do you simply desire additional income because of the rising rent prices in Seattle (and other cities)? Once you’ve determined why it’s time to figure out if doing so makes sense financially.

You may not know what kind of ADU is right for your property and situation until after living with the idea for some time. It helps to first determine whether adding an ADU fits into your budget.

There are several factors to consider.: location, size requirements (to be ADA compliant), construction timeline & cost, permits required by local government. What might seem like a good idea at first could quickly become a burden on your finances. Do some research and make sure you’re financially ready to be an ADU landlord before proceeding with construction & getting permits for the space.

If you do decide that building a backyard cottage or coach house is in order, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A clear plan of how it will work from both a financial standpoint as well as your lifestyle needs.
  • If possible, have substantial savings set aside, costs can add up very quickly. You may also want to consider looking into loans if needed.
  • Contact your local government agencies to find out if there are any rules or regulations for allowing this type of site. Wait until all necessary documentation has been received and validated.

Do You Need a Remodeling and Design Team You Can Trust?

Top Remodeling & Design is the General Contracting Team You Can Trust

As the best general contractor in the San Francisco East Bay, we have over 20 years of experience transforming homes and living spaces. We specialize in full-service home remodeling, kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, home offices, garage conversions and ADU’s. Say “Hello!” to the home you’ve always wanted. Partnering with our contracting team will deliver amazing results with less stress. Discussing realistic timelines, setting expectations, working within your budget and having open communication keeps anxiety low and everyone – especially you – happy! Check out our portfolio for examples of recent custom work. Are you ready to get started? Your vision. We build it. Contact us today to get started!