Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have become an increasingly popular option for homeowners who want to use their properties to create additional residential space. ADUs are standalone structures that are designed to be secondary homes on a residential property, often referred to as a granny flat or backyard cottage. To regulate the construction and use of these structures, ADU laws have been put in place across different states in the US. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at ADU laws and how they work in different states.
What are ADU Laws?
ADU laws refer to the zoning regulations, building codes, and other legal requirements that govern the construction and use of accessory dwelling units. These laws vary depending on the state and jurisdiction, but they typically cover parameters such as size, location, parking requirements, safety regulations, zoning laws, occupancy restrictions, and building codes. Understanding these laws is crucial if you’re planning to build an ADU or convert an existing structure into one.
How Do Adu Laws Differ Across States?
ADU laws can vary vastly depending on the state and local jurisdiction. Some states, such as California, have streamlined their ADU laws to make it easier for homeowners to build ADUs, while other states have more stringent laws that restrict their use. California’s ADU laws, for example, allow for the construction of detached ADUs up to 1,200 square feet and attached ADUs up to 50% of the primary dwelling’s living area. Other states, such as Maryland, place more restrictions on the use of ADUs, including occupancy limits and requirements that the ADU be occupied by a relative of the property owner.
How to Navigate Adu Laws
Navigating ADU laws can be complicated and confusing. One of the best steps to take is to consult with local zoning officials or building inspectors. They can help you understand what the local regulations allow and what requirements you’ll need to meet before beginning construction. Another option is to work with an experienced ADU contractor who can guide you through the process from start to finish.