Construction Trends: Accessory Dwelling Units

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2020 and 2021 were the years of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – residential units inside of, attached to, or on the same lot as an existing single family home. These multifunctional self-contained living quarters provide extra square footage for new work-from-home arrangements, distance learning solutions, multigenerational living possibilities, and more.

ADUs were one of the pandemic’s most popular additions and, as it turns out, a valuable addition. According to a new study from, in America’s biggest cities, a home with an ADU is priced 35% higher, on average, than a home without one. There are roughly 1.5 million ADUs across the country, representing 2% of all homes and growing at a rate of 9% year-over-year. In fact, in August of 2021, 30% of all the single-family homes for sale in California had an ADU mentioned in the listing.

The cost to build an ADU remains an elusive figure. They range anywhere from $150,000-$400,000 depending on the size, location, quality of materials, complexity of the project, local contractor rates and more. According to Texas ADU builder, construction an accessory unit in Austin – another ADU hub—will run anywhere from $125,000 - $300,000. While the cost seems high, keep in mind the cost for single-family homes in these areas can cost 2 – 4x as much.

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