ADU Design, or accessory dwelling unit design, is becoming more and more popular. This is due to more states adopting ADU laws that allow homeowners to build accessory dwellings on their properties. There are many different types of ADUs, but the overall ADU design principles really apply to any type and size of accessory dwelling unit.
In this article, we’ll review some key ADU design principles to follow, as well as discuss who to turn to if you’re looking for someone to help with your ADU design.
Key ADU Design Principles
1.) Maximize the Space
ADU design is often restricted by a lack of space. Each state and city has specific rules and regulations that restrict the size of an ADU, usually to 1,200 square feet or less. The ADU also has to be setback a certain distance from the property lines, other structures, and any easements. Many people also have a limited amount of open space on their property to fit an ADU. Therefore, most ADUs usually end up on the smaller side.
When working with a smaller sized space, it’s important to make the space not feel closed-in and cramped. In order to maximize the space and make it feel larger, consider the following:
- Vault the ceilings or make the ceiling height taller
- Add additional glass windows and doors to create a feeling of an expanded space
- Create an open floor plan with a combined living, kitchen, and dining area
- Add mirrors throughout to create a feeling of expanded space
2.) Maximize the Functionality
Proper ADU design is marked by functionality. An ADU can look beautiful, but if it’s not functional, the beauty will quickly fade. When you are working with a small space, like with most ADU design, functionality becomes even more important.
Accessory dwelling units must provide a place for people to eat and bathe, but most ADUs are built to be a residence or home for someone. Therefore, the ADU should offer more functions. Some functional items to consider adding to your ADU design are outlined below:
- Laundry (washer and dryer)
- Heating and cooling systems
- Cable and internet hookups
- Properly placed electrical outlets
- Ceiling fans
- Electrical outlets with USB chargers
- Proper lighting
3.) Maximize the Storage
The majority of people like storage space. It gives people a place to put things that is usually hidden away and out of sight. Proper ADU design should focus on maximizing the amount of storage space. While some storage options are built-in to the ADU design, others are pieces you can add into an ADU after it’s already complete to maximize storage space. Below are some ideas:
- Plan for a coat closet, if possible
- Install full-length cabinets to store linens, food, or larger items
- Opt for taller kitchen cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling
- Install floating shelving on the walls or a hanging storage system
- Plan for an island with storage cabinets underneath or purchase a moveable island
- Install a shampoo niche in the shower that’s large enough to store toiletries
- Purchase pieces of furniture with built-in storage options
ADU Design Orange County, CA
Superior ADUs specializes in ADU Design Orange County, CA. However, we don’t just design ADUs. We handle the whole ADU process for you from start to finish. We assess your property and contact your local jurisdiction to determine your ADU requirements. Our team them creates your ADU design or you can choose from one of our pre-designed ADU Models, where the plans are already complete. Our team then submits the architectural plans, along with all of the engineering required, to your city. Upon approval, our contractor begins building your ADU, while our project manager oversees the entire process.
Call us today to find out how we can help you create the ADU design of your dreams: