What is an ADU?: Accessory Dwelling Units explained

ADU’s are HOT! There are several reasons why and they may just be the best remodeling answer to meet your needs. At Glickman we are the areas leader in the design and building of ADU’s and we specialize in adding the accessibility features that can be the perfect fit for those with special needs.

In this blog we’ve included some important information about ADU’s and some photos showing the numerous ways that you can incorporate an ADU on to your property. When you’re ready, give us a call.

Please contact us or call us at the numbers below.

Maryland: (301) 444-4663
Virginia: (703) 832-8159
Washington, DC: (202) 792-7320

What is an ADU?
An accessory dwelling unit, usually just called an ADU, is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. The term “accessory dwelling unit” is a institutional-sounding name, but it’s the most commonly-used term across the country to describe this type of housing.

What ADUs have in common
While their structural forms vary, ADU’s share some common traits and face common design and development challenges. For one thing, the fact that they’re secondary housing units on single family residentially zoned lots, places ADU’s into a unique category of housing. And ADU’s also have some other distinguishing characteristics that help further define, differentiate, and distinguish them from other housing types.
-ADU’s are accessory and adjacent to a primary housing unit.
-ADU’s are significantly smaller than the average US house.
-ADU’s tend to be one of two units owned by one owner on a single family residential lot.

Why Municipalities around the DMV are improving ADU Codes.
Well, for starters, most households, over 60%, in the United States are now 1 and 2 person households. Yet, most of our legacy housing stock, and even our new residential housing stock, is designed for families of 4 or 5 people.

ADU’s provide flexible dwelling options in central city neighborhoods, utilizing existing governmental infrastructure (eg. roads, sewers, schools), and reduce the demand for expanding infrastructure in far-lying reaches of a developed metropolitan area.

ADU’s provide housing with a relatively small environmental footprint. New, detached ADU’s provide rental housing that is 44% smaller per capita than standard, new single family rental units. And new ADU’s overall provide housing that is 33% smaller per capita than standard, new single family units. In a building lifecycle, smaller residential spaces use less energy in construction, deconstruction, and habitation.
ADU’s provide more affordable housing options in residential neighborhoods without dramatically changing a neighborhood’s character.

Types of ADU’s
The fact that it’s a secondary housing unit is what defines an ADU. And as you can imagine, there are many types of ADU’s: Granny Flats, In-Law Suites, Backyard Cottage, and At- Home Office are just a few. In every case we at Glickman|Design remodel Build take great care at working with our clients to ensure that their new ADU meets the aesthetics of the property they are situated on and satisfies all of the local building codes.

One car garage turned ADU
3 story Bump-Out ADU (Basement, 1st and 2nd floors)
Refinished basement of ADU Bump-Out
Backyard Cottage” ADU
At Home Office” ADU
Backyard Cottage” ADU