Accessory Dwellings

A one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units…

ADU Design-Builder Profile: Birdsmouth Construction

Josh Salinger, owner of Birdsmouth Construction, had his first experience building an ADU when his company converted an unfinished basement into an apartment in 2011. Josh and his team pay careful attention to energy efficiency, wall assemblies, insulation, and heating and cooling systems.

February 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

Are ADUs green housing?

New evidence shows that ADUs have serious potential as environmentally sensitive housing.

July 9, 2014 · 6 Comments

How much do ADUs cost to build?

Some survey results about ADU costs… and some thoughts about why ADU developers aren’t usually real estate “pros.”

June 25, 2014 · 7 Comments

My tiny house after 5 years: things I would have done differently

I’ve written here about how well my tiny house is working out — I converted my detached 1.5-car garage to a little “accessory dwelling unit” and have mostly rented it … Continue reading

February 27, 2012 · 7 Comments

A Sister-In-Law House

Walt Quade has a knack for figuring out a work-around. The design and construction of his own ADU provided several opportunities to hone this skill. When he and his wife … Continue reading

February 14, 2012 · 3 Comments

Shawn’s Live-Work Accessory Dwelling

Shawn Busse bought a 950 square foot ranch house on a long, skinny lot with the intention of building an accessory dwelling unit behind it. His plan was to live … Continue reading

February 11, 2012 · 1 Comment

Reflections on Six Years in “temporary housing”: a mobile detached bedroom

From 2003 to 2009, I lived in a tiny home on wheels located in Iowa City. I built the home with Jay Shafer, proprietor of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The … Continue reading

January 26, 2012 · Leave a comment

My garage apartment — a place that redefines family

I’m pretty much an obsessive planner when it comes to big projects.  I researched and penciled out a lot of scenarios before I developed my garage into a little apartment, … Continue reading

October 29, 2011 · 10 Comments

Building a detached ADU

Building a detached ADU isn’t necessarily different than building a house. Although ADUs (usually <800 sq ft) are necessarily smaller than a normal house (avg house size is 2,382 sq … Continue reading

October 29, 2011 · Leave a comment

My primary residence: profitable ADU and personal palace

Fundamentally, I was seeking a residential living situation that would pay for itself. To me, dwelling in America cost too much. I sought a less expensive way to live in … Continue reading

October 26, 2011 · 7 Comments