In 1960, there were 6.9 million single-person households in the States. In 2017, that number rose to 35.25 million. Yet it may be questioned whether there’s been a significant enough shift in how we design and build houses to accommodate this rising number of single-person households. So what do these statistics mean for the average homeowner? Today, we’ll look at some of the benefits of incorporating an ADU (additional dwelling unit) into your upcoming home remodel in Atlanta, GA.
The Benefits of ADUs for Aging in Place
Did you know that constructing an additional dwelling unit may enable you to age in place? There are several reasons for this. Aging in place is often very difficult to do without help close at hand and building an ADU gives you the option of having a caretaker on-premise while still allowing both parties to maintain privacy.
Alternatively, it may even make sense for you to design your additional dwelling unit specifically for aging in place so that you can move into your ADU while you rent out your primary home, supplying supplemental retirement money and funds for medical expenses. This option works particularly well for retirees whose homes are designed with level changes and tight spaces that can become increasingly challenging to navigate.
The Benefits of ADUs for Generating Supplemental Income
Building an ADU can also be an easy way to generate extra cash flow. Since there is a recorded rise in single-person households, there’s also an increased need for small and affordable living arrangements. Of course, you’ll need to do some research to discover how much of a financial boost you can expect to receive from your ADU.
Start by soliciting bids for building your ADU, researching going rates for single-household rentals in your area, and discovering how much extra you may need to pay on property taxes. Remember to consider long-term pay-offs as you run your calculations since many financial investments pay large dividends down the road.
The Benefits of ADUs for Housing Family and Friends
Of course, it may also make sense to build an ADU for non-financial reasons, particularly to accommodate family and friends. More and more, college graduates are moving back in with their parents or relatives, retiring parents are moving in with their children, and single friends are looking for ways to split finances and enjoy one another's company while retaining their privacy. In any of these scenarios, having an ADU on-premise is the perfect way to make long-term hosting doable for homeowners and guests alike.
Benefits Beyond “Dwelling”
The benefits we’ve highlighted so far focus on living spaces. However, you don’t have to limit your use of these additional dwelling units specifically to “dwelling.” There are actually a lot of different ways you can use an addition to your home. Here are a couple of additional ideas for adding spaces such as these for other purposes.
In recently released data from the US Census, more than five percent of workers in the US worked at home in 201. That’s roughly 8 million people. On top of that, a report released in 2018 shows that more than two-thirds of the global population work away from the office at least weekly. It can be difficult to work from home, however, when your home office is actually in your home. Creating a separate office space at home—but out of the house—can be a great solution. You'll have a quiet space that's dedicated to getting work done. You'll be less likely to be interrupted. And if you build in amenities such as a small kitchen, bathroom, and even a bedroom, you won’t be tempted to run into the house while you’re trying to work. In addition, by adding those features, you can repurpose the unit for living space later if you choose. Depending on how far away from the main house you are, you may want to consider adding an additional router to the new space to ensure that you have adequate wi-fi.
Add a Craft or Hobby Space
Do you have (or perhaps you’ve only dreamed of having) a craft or a hobby that really needs its own space? Maybe you love painting. Perhaps you’re a potter. Or you could be a closet composer and have always dreamed of having a studio of your own. Building a separate space to pursue your hobbies can be a dream come true. If your hobby is a little messy (painting and pottery are both naturally that way), you don’t have to clean up everything if you’re in the middle of a project. Also, you can keep the smells of paints and the dust associated with pottery out of the main house. Plus, there’s the benefit of being able to create in privacy, without being disturbed. As with a home office, it makes sense to include a small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom so that the space can be used for other purposes later. Ventilation is one thing you'll want to consider if you use the space for painting, pottery, or a similar craft that needs a slightly higher level of airflow. If you design the space with that in mind, it shouldn't add much in the way of expense.
Create a Guest Cottage or Airbnb
If you frequently have guests visiting, you may want to create a private space for them to stay. Your guests will have their own space to be alone when they want, but they’ll still be close at hand. Having their own bathroom and kitchen area provides them with the space they need to feel comfortable and move at their own pace—without feeling like they are intruding. By using the space as an Airbnb when you don’t have personal guests can even make this addition pay for itself!
Checking Codes and Zoning Laws
Finally, as you consider constructing an ADU during your upcoming home remodel in Atlanta, don’t forget that checking local zoning laws is an essential first step. As you research local laws, don’t forget to explore all your options for ADUs: for instance, if you happen to be restricted from building a separate small home on your particular property, you may still be able to build one above your garage, in your basement, or as an addition to your main home. The forms ADUs can take are as multitudinous as the benefits they offer!
Updated from the original Nov 18, 2018 post