Consider Adding a ‘Granny Flat’

Home improvement professionals say they’re fielding more inquiries from homeowners about adding accessory dwelling units—often nicknamed “granny flats.” A fifth of remodeling contractors say they undertook projects over the last year to create an ADU by converting an existing space, and a similar number say they created an ADU by building a new addition to a property, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Home Builders.

ADUs are smaller units added to a property, and they can be pricey to build. Only 6 percent of remodeling contractors report completing an ADU project for less than $25,000. Three-fourths say ADU projects cost at least $50,000, and 28 percent report projects costing at least $150,000.

Source: “Many Remodelers Are Now Creating ADUs,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (May 22, 2019)

More Home Owners “Add Second Units to Existing Homes”

Household sizes are growing: More home owners are renovating homes to add second units so they can take in roommates to bring in extra cash or have a space for aging parents or adult children who want to move back home. 

Michael Litchfield, author of In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats, says many of these second units are either converted garages, attics, unused rooms or basements, or actual additions or detached cottages.

More cities are passing laws to make it easier to build second units too. These are usually called accessory dwelling units or ADUs. For example, Denver recently changed its housing code to allow second units, USA Today reports. And in Hudson, Wis., housing codes now allow garage apartments.  

Mostly driven out of economic worries and tighter budgets, more “people are doubling up, even tripling up,” says Arthur Nelson, director of the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Research Center.

Source: “A House Divided Helps Pay the Bills,” USA Today (Aug. 17, 2011)

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