An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) includes an apartment over a garage, a tiny house in your backyard, or any small dwelling on the same land as your single-family house.
“As the ‘missing middle housing’ concept is popularized among planners and designers, ADUs are poised to present the most viable stepping-stone solution for cities that are experiencing a housing crisis,” said Kol Peterson, author of Backdoor Revolution – The Definitive Guide to ADU Development.
New Hampshire and Vermont laws have been changed to make it easier for homeowners to build ADUs, to boost the states affordable housing supply without developing more land. Not every state has made widespread access to ADUs official,” said Jess Kelley of Solid Roots Construction in Manchester. “It is an incredible step forward, but, as we realized in the course of working with our customers who wanted to build one, many people still aren’t aware that they even have the option.”
Chris Lee of the company Backyard ADUs based in Brunswick, ME, guides people through the process of building an ADU, from design to permitting to move-in day. You can purchase a feasibility study of your land and local zoning rules from them for $450.
“When we started working on ADUs, we thought the mission was to help homeowners build rental units in their backyards,” shared Chris. “But, we quickly realized there was simply a huge gap in available housing — there are not enough quality small [not tiny] homes to go around and most builders don’t want to build them.”