Granny Flats? What Are They?

Posted by Jill Sloan on Saturday, July 13th, 2019 at 8:02pm.

Small Wooden House, Tiny House, Architecture   

Granny Flats, also know across the country as an accessory dwelling unit or ADU. 

ADUs are self-contained living areas usually located on the grounds of a single-family home. An ADU can be detached, or it can be attached to the other dwelling. They are sometimes called a granny flats/pods because it is a popular way for families to house their aging parents. ADUs have many different names across the country. 

Other names for Accessory Dwelling Units

 In-Law suites

  Laneway houses

  Secondary dwelling units

Garage unit 

 Carriage home

  Bonus unit

  Tiny house 

-ADUs can be tiny houses but not all tiny house can be ADUs.  They are like mini versions of full-size house with a foundation, unlike some tiny houses that are on wheels and can move from place to place. 

I think my favorite name for an accessory dwelling unit is a toss up between a granny flat or carriage home.  Would you ever think of putting a building behind your home to house your parents or children who came back to the nest? I know I would and I would probably use it for myself as a grand version of a she shed. Christian on our team would definitely add one to his back yard call it a granny flat and put it up as an Airbnb or rent it out.   

Advantages To Building An ADU

  • Gain income via rent
  • Keep aging family members close by
  • Separate space for your child who came back to the nest
  • Generate less of an environmental impact
  • Could add value

Disadvantages To Building A Second Dwelling

  • Hard to get permits approved
  • Hard to get zoning approved
  • Neighbors/hood give flack
  • Hard to get financing
  • Expensive to build 
  • Could be a turn off when you sell

As areas around the country are looking for ways to gain density without building giant apartment complexes. As such, cities are loosening regulations and allowing ADUs to be built. We highly recommend you check with your local municipality, and even your HOA, to see if a dwelling could be erected. 

ADUs Around the Country

 

Accessory dwelling unit 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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