Ever wonder what an ADU can do for you? If you have, you are a part of the growing number of people considering ADU Development in several states, including California. As such a versatile tool, how can an ADU be used to benefit your needs?

Well, there are quite a few ways an ADU can be used. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to see if they can work well for you. Read on to find out how you can use an ADU to your benefit.

1. Non-Living Space ADUs

People usually build ADUs as a place for someone to live full time. However, they do not need to be lived in to benefit you. In fact, there are quite a few other reasons people build ADUs including to use as:

  • A gym/yoga place
  • A home office
  • An art studio/music studio
  • A pool house

It is important to remember for all of these non-living uses that the ADU must still have a kitchen, bathroom, and living area. So, if you do not want the added expenses of adding a kitchen to your office or home gym, an ADU may not be the best route for you.


Gym/Yoga ADU

Building an ADU for the sole purpose of having it as your personal workout space can be beneficial if you are tired of gym memberships. Since ADUs require bathrooms, you can have your shower right in your home gym. Plus, you can keep all your gym clothes in your ADU closet and take advantage of an open space floor plan.

The only downfall is that you still need to include a kitchen, which could be expensive to install for something that is intended to be solely for working out. You can make the best of the situation by keeping pre-workout and smoothie materials in your gym ADU kitchen though.


ADU Home Office

It is projected that 25% of all professional jobs will be remote by the end of 2022 in North America. Meaning there is a need for home offices. If you can’t find space in your current home for one, you may need to look into building an ADU for it.

Many people do not like the idea of having to build a kitchen for their home office, but most professional buildings have a kitchen of some sort in their break room. If you think of it like that, you can keep food in your ADU kitchen to make for lunch and snacks without having to leave your office to walk back to your main home. It can help keep you focused on your work instead of getting distracted by heading back into your house every day during your breaks.


ADU Art Studio

Like a home office, you can create a music or art studio out of an ADU. The same benefits and disadvantages of an ADU home studio apply to having an art studio ADU. Your art studio probably does not need the mandatory kitchen, but it could be beneficial if you want to make the most of the situation.


ADU Pool House

Perhaps the most practical non-living way to use an ADU is as a pool house. ADUs offer lots of storage for all your pool chairs and toys. They also are a place to run in and use the bathroom when you need to. Not to mention the kitchen makes for a great bar and place to snack in-between swims.


2. Guest House

Do you have family members or friends that visit regularly? A great way to maintain both of your privacy while still enjoying each other’s company is to build an ADU guest house for them in your backyard.

Having their own guest house allows them to cook their own meals if they would like, have the privacy they desire, and the ability to take breaks from you during long stays (because let’s be honest, sometimes you just need some alone time).

A guest house is also a great way to have people watch your primary property while you are out of town without them having to stay within your home. They can be present on the property to dissuade intruders and keep an eye on things while staying within the guest house.

If you are building a guest home, you can even consider building an attached JADU that has an entrance to your home. This makes it easier to spend time with your guest without having to walk through the weather to see each other.


3. Lodging Caretakers

Do you have a caretaker or nanny that works frequently or full time in your home? Possibly a travel nurse that comes often? Having a place for these individuals to stay that offers them their own privacy can make their stay much more comfortable.

Many families spend lots of money on childcare and decide that having a live-in nanny might be more reasonable. As a result, they will need to find a place for the nanny to stay. Offering the nanny an ADU gives them and you the chance to maintain separate lives while still having them around when you need them.

The same goes for caretakers for families that have disabled members. Offering the caretaker a place to stay close by can make it easier on both the family and the caretaker.


4. Multi-Generational Housing Opportunity

Many families feel the need to be near their loved ones. Whether it is to help a loved one out financially by offering them a place to stay, or a way to keep the loved one safe by caring for them often. An ADU can be very helpful in allowing more than one generation to live on the same property.


ADUs For Aging Loved Ones

As parents or loved ones age, they often can no longer care completely for themselves. Many people will move their aging loved ones into their homes to keep them out of nursing homes. This can create strains on relationships and make everyone involved feel like they have lost a huge chunk of their privacy.

To solve this problem, many people build elderly-friendly ADUs to keep their loved ones close but still allow them the independence and privacy they desire. This way, kids can care for their aging parents but not have to give up all of their privacy to do so.

This, of course, only works if the aging loved one is still able to care for themselves most of the time. Loved ones who need 24/7 care instead of assisted care will not do well in an ADU since it does offer so much independence.


ADUs For Young Adults

Another often overlooked use for ADUs is using it as a first-time “apartment” for kids that are looking for more independence. As kids grow up, they want their own place and privacy away from their parents but may not be able to afford it yet. Sometimes, the parents are not quite ready to let their kids leave the nest full-time.

A great way to solve this problem is to allow your child to move into your ADU. That way, they are still close if they need help or have any questions, but also can have their privacy and start to get a taste of what living on their own will be like. This is also a great way to help them learn how to manage their money well because if they miss a rent payment to you as their parent, it will not be as bad as if they missed one to an actual landlord.


5. Rental ADUs

Building an ADU yourself is a great opportunity for extra income. You can rent out your unit to have it pay for itself and then some. There are a few ways you can go about renting your ADU too.


Using ADUs For House Hacking

Many people will move into their ADUs and rent out the primary home. They do this so that the rent will pay off the mortgage of the home. Once it is paid in full, they move back into their primary home and rent out the ADU instead.

People also stay in their homes and rent out the ADU to pay the mortgage of their homes. This may be more difficult based on the cost of your mortgage since ADU rentals are usually on the more affordable side. Meaning they may not produce enough income to pay off your monthly mortgage bill in full but could help to make a dent in it.


Long-Term Renting ADUs

Homeowners who are not worried about their mortgage bill or already have it paid off often rent out ADUs long-term as a source of extra income. Long-term tenants pay rent monthly and the money can go towards whatever you like. You can use it to put in a pool, buy a new car, or just have some extra spending cash laying around for whatever opportunities may come your way.

We use the term “long-term” rentals because most cities do not allow you to rent out an ADU for less than 30-days. As a result, you cannot rent out your unit for short vacations through apps like Air BNB.


Affordable Housing Opportunities

Some people use the rental income as a bonus to providing affordable housing opportunities to their community. Their main goal is not to bring in extra income (although it is a bonus) but rather to provide a low-income family somewhere safe to live.

Many ADUs provide safe housing for families that would otherwise be homeless in communities facing a severe housing crisis. This is why many cities have made ADUs legal to build. If you want to help make a difference, this is a great option to consider.


6. ADUs Add Value to Your Home

Are you looking to sell your property in the future? You can consider building an ADU on it to increase the resale value. A detached ADU can increase your property anywhere from about 20% to 30%. This can be extremely helpful in getting a good chunk of money for your property.

We suggest building the ADU a few years before you intend to sell. That way you can rent out the ADU and have it pay for itself. Once your ADU is all paid off, list your property. As a result, you will owe nothing for the ADU. Meaning the extra 20% to 30% can go towards other things instead of trying to use some of it to pay off your ADU costs.


7. Home for When You Age

As homeowners age, they often find that the home they are living in now is not well suited for their new needs. If the home is not easy to renovate, this leaves them with very few options. Most people do not like to move from the property they have lived on for years but are forced to because the primary dwelling is not suited for an older generation.

Recently, however, people have been building aging-friendly ADUs on their property. They intend to move into them once their primary dwelling no longer meets their needs. This allows them to stay on the property they love while still being in a safe home that is designed to keep them comfortable.


Building A Forever Home

The idea of building an ADU for you to live in later on down the line is relatively new. So, let’s dive deeper into how it works to help you understand the process better.

As people age, they can start with a blank canvas to build a flexible home designed to meet elderly needs. They can then rent this out to caregivers or other people until they are ready to move into it.

Once they move into the ADU, they can rent out the primary home to family members or anyone to make some income from the unused house. Most people like to have a family member move into the house to be close by for the aging individuals living in the ADU.

Having an elderly-friendly ADU helps keep many people out of nursing homes or assisted living facilities and comfortable on their own property. It is a great way to plan for your aging needs.


Ready To Develop Your ADU?

Now that you know quite a few ways an ADU can be used, you might be interested in developing one for yourself. You can check out this free ADU development Guidebook, or you can get started working with an ADU professional who can make the process easier on you.

Here at Levi Design Build, we are committed to providing you with the best ADU development experience. We offer free consultations to get you started and then help you through every step of the planning and construction process. You can trust us to help budget out your ADU and match you with the best possible type for your needs. With our personalized approach to designing, planning, managing, and consulting expertise, we are positive you will love every second of your ADU development and the outcome.

Contact us today to get started on the ADU project that best fits your needs and budget.