ADU stands for "accessory dwelling unit." Usually, this refers to an add-on living space, such as a garage apartment or an in-law suite. It can be really convenient to have an ADU added to your home, and most designers will be able to draw up ADU building plans that are compatible with your structure and with local building codes. However, it's important to keep function at the forefront when designing any ADU building plan. Here are some specific features and qualities you may want to include in your plans.
Increasing the ceiling height may not always be possible, depending on the location of your ADU. But if you can manage to raise the ceilings a foot or even six inches, you'll be glad you did. Taller ceilings can make even the smallest of ADUs seem more spacious. It is also easier to move shelving units and tall appliances into a dwelling with a taller ceiling and taller doorways. Plus, a taller ceiling gives you more light options. You can hang pendant lights or a chandelier with less worry about someone bumping into it.
If there is enough space to include a picture window, draw one into the plans. Picture windows let so much light into the space. They'll make the unit more energy-efficient since the occupant won't need to turn on the overhead lights as often. The view through the picture window also comes as part of the decor, in a way. This minimizes your need for other decorations.
In a small ADU, you typically don't want to leave a lot of items out, as they can make the space feel cluttered. And yet, there isn't always a lot of space for extra closets and typical storage. Ask your designer to incorporate some hidden storage spaces into the plans. For example, they could put drawers under a stairway, storage benches under the windows, or pull-outs between some of the wall joists.
If you plan on having an older relative move into the ADU, consider designing it with wider-than-usual doorways. This way, if the occupant ever ends up in a wheelchair or scooter, even temporarily, they will have an easier time navigating through the space. Wider doorways can also make the dwelling feel more spacious.
With the tips above, you can work with your designer to create more functional ADU building plans. Good luck!
For more information about ADU house plans, contact a local contractor.