Add Space with ADU

ADU: how to get started

Invest into an ADU in your backyard  to add more livable space for rental income, work, home school, man cave, she shed, guest house, home for your adult kid or parent.

Get up to three units on your single home lot with no zoning change.

How to start your ADU project

  1. Wish list – what exactly you need and why. Define budget.
  2. Site feasibility – what you and your builder need to know about your property.
  3. Secure financing. It is available, whatever your situation is.
  4. Select design, then construction method and builder.
  5. Select finishes and fixtures to confirm scope and budget. Finalize plans. Let your builder apply for permit.
  6. Preparation. Utilities work. Foundation. Construction.
  7. Pass building inspection and celebrate.

You do it yourself 

Get started right with our checklist and site visit form.

We do it with you 

Let us work on a plan that you can then follow on your own.

We do it for you 

Order a site visit from us or another ADU specialist in your area

ADU is a tiny home

Backyard home, officially called Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also known as granny unit, secondary home, in-law unit, garden or backyard cottage, coach house, casita, pool house or even a bunkie, is the best, and fast, way to add more space to your house. It is not a shed, it will have eating, living, hygiene and sleeping facilities. Its permitting is streamlined. You can get it built in 6 months (time to permit excluded). It is flexible in use and can be rented out when not needed by the family. A detached accessory dwelling unit does not trigger tax increase for the main house. It increases the home value. Investing in your backyard is literally a no regret move.

Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is the best way to add living space fast and, when built right, a great investment that increases your family wealth, as soon as construction is over.

Let us get started and build your ADU – Detached, Attached or Junior; Panelized, Modular or Custom. We have a plan for any shape and a crew for every kind. In fact, we have more than 200 plans in our library.

I was glad to see that your content to homeowners was accurate and varied. It wasn’t a “sales pitch” like I’ve seen from others.


Are ADUs here to stay?

As restrictions on our lives are thankfully beginning to ease, many of us are wondering which, of all the many changes brought to our daily lives by the Covid-19 pandemic, may be here for good. Will we continue to work from home, at least part-time? Do we actually prefer taking exercise at home rather than in a communal gym? Would our elderly family members, who stayed with us so we could care for them better during the pandemic, like to live with us more permanently?

If any of these lifestyle changes do in fact become the new normal for us, then an Accessory Dwelling Unit (or ADU for short) might be just what we need. So, what is an ADU and what can they offer us?

ADU is a small home

Also known as in-law units or in-law apartments, these are fully functioning independent, living spaces built on the same land as your main home. They might be a converted basement or attic, a detached separate structure like a converted garage or a new-build small cottage. What they have in common is that they are secondary units to an existing property and they use the same utilities as the main home. Their size can typically vary from 600 to 1200 square feet. Although they have their own entrance, they are legally part of the same property as the main home and can’t be bought or sold separately. 

Retire in your own backyard, with your family nearby

For many families, an in-law unit is the perfect care solution for older family members who still value their independence. It’s the perfect blend of having company and support close at hand, whilst still having your own front door.  For other families, the in-law unit can actually cater for the younger generation, offering hang-out space for teenagers or even a home for a young adult who can’t afford to buy or rent their own place just yet. 

Many functions of ADU

But what about that home office? Now that working from home is likely to be a more permanent feature of our working lives, many of us feel the need to have separation of our working and domestic lives. Working on the dining table or in a spare room just isn’t  sustainable long-term, especially, when you need privacy for conference calls or face to face meetings . An ADU can give your that vital psychological life/work distinction. 

If you used to stop off at the gym on the way to or from work, then why not incorporate a small home-gym into your ADU home-office?  Even if you just have a free 20 minutes at lunch time, it’s there waiting just for you. 

Financial benefits of ADUs

Aside from personal use, many homeowners are choosing to build an ADU for rental as a valuable source of supplementary income. Maybe you’d like a little extra help to pay the mortgage or provide some extra retirement income. You could even move into the ADU and rent out your main property for periods of time. Very importantly, a well-executed ADU can increase the value of your property by as much as 20-30%. Homes for sale with an in-law unit are an extremely attractive proposition.

Popular solution to affordable housing crisis

ADUs are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country and many states actively encourage them, seeing it as one solution to the urban housing crisis. However, local municipalities may place restrictions on their development, so you must check on your local regulations.

If you decide to take the plunge, there are plenty of companies who offer ready-made in-law unit plans and designs. Alternatively, you can work with architects and designers to create your own bespoke unit.

 Whatever route you take to creating your ADU , you can be sure that it will provide you with the ultimate in flexibility to meet your family’s accommodation needs, however they develop in our post-Covid future.

Do you still need help to choose the best way to move forward? 

6 minutes to learn the basics about Accessory Dwelling Units

We are one phone call (650)316 8083 (text for a call back) or email away, ready to offer ongoing support from start to completion.

For kids? For parents? Modern? Traditional? 2 bedrooms? 2 bathrooms? Attached? Detached? Junior? Custom? Modular? Home office? Guest house? What is a priority – cost or time?
Tell us what matters most and get your cottage built.

Wow. It is the most useful ADU website I have seen, by far.

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About Us

We have made it our business to know as many ADU builders as possible – our founder is a certified ADU Specialist. This is why we can match your needs to the correct builder quickly, why we know what is needed for permits and have everything in house to prepare, why ADU builders hire us to help their clients.

Get In Touch

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You can contact us at
We can also be found at (650) 316 8083

We are passionate advocates for compact homes, covering the Bay Area, from San Francisco to San Jose, including Redwood City, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Atherton, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, as well as Berkeley, Orinda, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, constantly adding new locations.

Home WiP Inc. 2022

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