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Asaf
24 March 2022
8 min reads

Some of the Main Differences Between ADUs and Tiny Houses That Should You Know About

There has been an upsurge in minimalist culture in the recent months and years. This has given rise to Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs and tiny houses. ADUs, as they are more commonly known, are a popular alternative to tiny houses for their curb appeal. Does this mean then that an ADU is not a tiny house? Well, in terms of size, these two units share some similarities.

However, there are some stark differences between ADUs and tiny houses that our design build LA team can help shine light on. But first, before we get into these differences and similarities, let’s first understand what an ADU and a tiny house are.

What is an ADU?

Accessory dwelling units or ADUs are small yet functional secondary dwellings that must be built according to set local building standards and codes. Because of this fact, ADUs invariably increase the value of a property.

ADUs are also known by other names including granny flats, backyard cottages, carriage houses, among other monikers. These names could stem from the fact that ADUs are usually built to accommodate some member of the family who may need privacy but not full autonomy of the property.

When you use the services of a design build ADU firm such as ours to build an ADU, it is possible to house a tenant or another person on your property without intruding on your privacy.

There are three broad  types of ADUs, namely;

  • Junior ADU(JADU)
  • Attached ADU
  • Detached ADU

What qualifies as a tiny house?

A tiny house means many things to different people in the US where the tiny house movement is now huge .This dwelling can be defined as a primary house or full-fledged dwelling that’s done on a tiny scale.

Living in a tiny house is often a conscious decision to scale down on materialistic living and focus on a more simplistic way of living. Tiny house living seeks to reduce one’s carbon footprint for a more eco-friendly way of life. In addition to all these, a tiny house may be off-grid or mobile but this is not necessarily a requirement.

What is the difference between an ADU and a tiny house?

There are a few stark differences between ADUs and tiny homes or houses. In a nutshell, a tiny house differs from a small house in terms of space, privacy, and the freedom to move about with your home.

Now, let us address the differences between ADUs and tiny houses:

ADUs increase the value of your property while tiny houses can reduce in value

ADUs are built according to the stringent building codes that exist in an area making them a real estate asset. They have plumbing in place as well as power lines and all the requirements that make a regular house run. Tiny houses on the other end may not necessarily have plumbing or a sewer system in place. Due to the lack of such vital components, these tiny houses decrease in value over time while ADUs increase the real estate value of your property.

ADUs are built on a permanent foundation while tiny houses are not

As mentioned earlier, before you build an ADU, you will need the services of a design build ADU firm like ours. We will help you get all the proper permits as well as building contracts before embarking on your construction as the law stipulates. For tiny houses, however, they can be mobile or built on a temporary foundation as their construction is not governed by any laws. The good news about that is that with a tiny house you can tow your house from state to state and live anywhere!

ADUs have more space than tiny houses

Granted that both of these units are small homes, an ADU will generally tend to have more space than a tiny house. In the US, tiny houses are built on less than 400 feet while ADUs can take up a slightly bigger space. This makes ADU’s a better space for entertaining or for families with more than one child. But don’t be fooled, tiny house engineering is great at making these small spacecs feel cozy and spacious despite their footprint.

ADUs are built according to stringent laws while tiny houses are not

If you intend to build an ADU on your property in LA, you need to consult a design build LA firm to get you started on the process. There are zoning laws and municipal laws to be observed as well as stringent planning and construction laws to abide by. A qualified design build ADU firm will help you get started on this process. On the other hand, building a tiny house can be a DIY project with little to no permissions needed from your municipality authorities.

Can an ADU be a tiny house?

ADUs and tiny houses share a few similarities, but one cannot be swapped out by the other. These are the similarities that they share.

  • They are both small living spaces made up primarily of a bedroom area, a kitchen, and a bathroom area.
  • They both provide an affordable living alternative in high-cost areas of living such as LA.
  • Both of these houses have all the main features of a normal-sized house. They only differ in their more efficient footprint thanks to their small size.
  • They are great as secondary dwelling spaces for family, guests, or tenants.
  • They can be great assets to generate extra income.

Final thoughts:

Are you torn between building an ADU or a tiny house? Our design build ADU team in LA has built many ADUs across the state with great success. What you decide to build is a matter of preference as well as what you want to achieve in the long run. If you are looking to increase your property value or accommodate family, we recommend using our design build LA services to construct an ADU.

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