If you have acreage or even an oversized lot within a suburban setting, you might be considering the addition of a tiny home as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). This article will cover compelling reasons to add an ADU to your land and the preparations necessary to make it happen. While many homeowners might not consider tiny living as a lifestyle for themselves, having a tiny home as an ADU on your property could provide added income, strengthen family ties, or offer additional social opportunities.
Having a Family Member Live in It
Do you have a family member in transition who needs a place to stay? Perhaps you have an aging parent or parents who need more supervision than they’d get while living alone but not so much as necessitates a move to an assisted living facility. Or, maybe you are the parent of a college student or recent graduate who no longer wants to live under your roof but needs a budget-friendly place to call their own. The fact is that more millennials today live with their parents than live outside of the home. All of these populations would be a great fit for an ADU on your property. The ADU provides privacy while allowing you to remain nearby to help out if you’re needed.
Renting It Out
ADUs are inexpensive to build and can offer additional income when rented out. The advantages of having an ADU on your property include being close to the unit so that you can detect any tenant problems almost immediately, you can address any repair issues quickly, you receive monthly income and you have the opportunity to build life-long friendships with those who stay on your property.
Airbnb and Guests
Your house is already bursting at the seams, but your aunt wants to come to visit. Where is she going to sleep? An air mattress is not a very comfortable alternative and doesn’t provide any privacy. Having an ADU for friends and relatives to use when visiting is a great alternative to cramming them into an already full house or footing the bill for an expensive hotel room. Best of all, once your aunt goes home, you can rent out the tiny home on Airbnb to recoup the initial investment in your ADU. Once you’ve paid off all the costs of your ADU, everything else adds to the family’s bottom line. If you’d rather rent out your tiny home more long term, having a property manager to take care of things for you could also be helpful.
When choosing the plans for your ADU, try to match the architectural style of your primary dwelling if the two will be visibly adjacent. Is your land out in the middle of the woods? If so, then it probably doesn’t matter if the two styles match. Choose whatever plans appeal to you that match the surroundings for your ADU. Take into consideration the lot’s grade and soil quality as well. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of tiny home builders, books, and websites devoted to helping you choose exactly the right plans for your project.
Preparing the Area
Now it’s time to make preparations to the site where you want to have the tiny home. Even if you’ve decided to build a tiny house on wheels, you’re still going to need a level place to park, as well as water, electric and waste connections. For a permanent ADU, you’ll need to consider whether it will be hooked into your primary home’s systems or if you want the ADU to be off the grid. These decisions should be made prior to preparing the lot. If pouring concrete footers for either a slab or crawlspace on which to erect your ADU, make sure to protect footers for mixed concrete if you live in a wet climate. Once the site is prepped and the ADU constructed, install landscaping and additional structures, such as porches and ramps, to make the tiny house more attractive and accessible.
There are a few additional things you may want to consider before proceeding with the project. Would making the ADU mobile so that it could be used for vacations or moved between different locations on your property be an attractive option? If so, the preparation phase will look somewhat different from building on a slab. Would a container that’s converted into a tiny dwelling appeal to your aesthetic more than a traditional ADU? Tiny homes made from shipping containers are modern and can be built as either stationary or mobile alternatives. Of course, city, state, and local governments have laws regarding the building and location of tiny homes. Be sure to investigate the permitting and zoning process in your local area before undertaking the build on your ADU.
If you’ve got the means to add a tiny home to your land, what do you really have to lose? It can be a great opportunity. You’ve got your permits, you’ve got your plans, and your preparations are complete. It’s time to build your ADU and enjoy the benefits of having a tiny home on your property.
Here’s another article you might like: Tiny Houses: Everything You Need to Know