What Type of ADU is Right for You?

So, you’re interested in building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? ADUs (also referred to as guest houses or casitas) add value to your property while providing the perfect space for multigenerational housing. Here at ESI Builders, we’ve been building ADUs for decades. Here’s some helpful information that we hope will assist you as you decide which type of ADU is right for you and your needs.

When it comes to building an ADU in our area, you have three options: attached, detached, or what the City of Sacramento refers to as a “Junior” ADU. 

An attached ADU can look like an addition to your existing home, but would include its own separate kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom, or studio space. Attached ADUs also usually have a separate entrance and must be 850 square feet or less.

detached ADU will be a new structure on your property. This new structure must be at least 4 feet away from any existing structure – such as your main home, garage, or another ADU. Detached ADUs cannot be larger than 1,200 square feet.

An ADU built from converted space is usually referred to as a Junior ADU. These are a maximum of 500 square feet within an existing dwelling. For example, if your home has a spare bedroom and you give it a separate entrance with a kitchenette and bathroom, this would be seen as a Junior ADU.

The city of Sacramento and surrounding areas have rules around what can be classified as an ADU or a guest house. These rules can be difficult to plan around without the assistance of a skilled builder. Our team here at ESI Builders are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to building an ADU in the Sacramento area. You can trust us to make your project a success.

However, before you get started on your brand new ADU, there’s an important question you need to ask yourself: How do you intend to use your ADU? There are typically three major reasons why individuals or families choose to build an ADU. In no particular order, here they are.

Multigenerational Housing

Whether you have a new college grad looking to get on their feet while maintaining a sense of independence or an aging parent that you would like to keep close during their twilight years, ADUs are the perfect multigenerational housing solution. Building an ADU provides independent living space for your loved one to live safely in your care without sacrificing their dignity or breaking the bank. 

If you’re building an ADU with multigenerational housing in mind, you could plausibly choose from attached, detached, or junior spaces. Just remember to keep the mobility of your older family members in mind as the converted space should be easily accessible for them – i.e. no stairs. 

Increasing Your Property Value

Having an additional living space on your property will increase its value, to say nothing of potential rent from your future tenants. As the population of the Sacramento area continues to grow, ADUs will become increasingly popular housing solutions for both newcomers and natives.

If your main motivation behind building an ADU is to increase your property value, we recommend either a detached or attached additional space. Converting your garage space, while it may seem easy, can cause you to lose that valuable resale asset. By adding new space, you’ll be bolstering your value rather than trading in one valuable space for another. 

Space for Visitors

Plenty of people dream of having private living quarters for short-term or long-term guests. Perhaps you have relatives that live far away and stay for long periods of time when they are able to visit. Having a separate space for them to stay can help keep the peace during an extended visit. Let’s face it, no matter how much you love your in-laws, sometimes 1 week together in the same house is just too much. With a guest house, everyone can live the life they’re accustomed to in peace and happiness. 

If private space for your guests is your main motivation behind building an ADU, then we recommend a detached ADU. This will give everyone maximum privacy.

There are many reasons why residents of Sacramento and surrounding areas are building ADUs on their property. If you’re considering building a custom ADU and would like to talk to an expert builder to learn more about your options, reach out to our team of experts here at ESI Builders. We’ve provided exceptional value to countless homeowners. We would be more than happy to discuss your hopes for an ADU to figure out the best solution for your needs!