ADUs

Though you may know it better by another name—the granny flat, laneway house, in-law unit, or sidekick unit—the compact and practical accessory dwelling unit can provide homeowners with extra space for kids home from college or parents aging in place, additional income as a rental, or a simple guesthouse. As cities ease building restrictions to boost housing options, the ADU is seeing a huge uptick in popularity.

Everything You Need to Know About Building an ADU in Portland, Oregon
Everything You Need to Know About Building an ADU in Portland, Oregon
Accessory dwelling units help the city meet its density goals and extend housing options—but only after striking a short-term/long-term balance.
Salvaged Wood From a Neglected Shed Shines Again in This Los Angeles ADU
A couple enlist woodworking experts to turn the run-down shack in their backyard into a gleaming guesthouse.
With Three Good Reasons and $400K, an L.A. Couple Build the ADU of Their Dreams
In housing-strapped Los Angeles, a designer couple take on their own backyard build—and create a new rental in the process.
A Streamlined ADU in Texas Pays Homage to Midcentury Architecture
A Streamlined ADU in Texas Pays Homage to Midcentury Architecture
M Gooden Design creates a striking guesthouse next to a historic 20th-century home in Denton.
This Foldable, $23K Tiny Cabin Pops Up in Less Than Three Hours
A unique hinge system allows the Brette Haus to unfold into an instant shelter, home office, or event space.
A Designer’s $210K Prefab ADU Captures the Allure of California Living
Oni Lazarus of AO Studio commissions Cover to add a svelte prefab rental unit to the backyard of her Los Angeles home.
These $6.6K Prefab Office Pods Can Pop Up in Less Than a Day
My Room in the Garden is a modular work-from-home solution that’s affordable and stylish.
This New A-Frame Cabin Kit Can Be Built in a Weekend for $21K
Den’s new easy-to-assemble, flat-packed cabin is disrupting the prefab scene.
A Venice Beach Granny Suite Exudes Serious West Coast Cool
A simple garage renovation becomes so much more at the hands of architecture firm Bau10.
This Tall and Slender Micro Home Takes Up Less Land Than Two Cars
Ana Rocha Architecture’s Micro House Slim Fit is a 538-square-foot home that can slot right into forgotten city lots.
Budget Breakdown: A Laser-Cut Steel Addition Sharpens Up a Michigan Home For $85K
Budget Breakdown: A Laser-Cut Steel Addition Sharpens Up a Michigan Home For $85K
A light-filled extension delivers greater functionality and indoor/outdoor living to a historic 1914 residence in Ann Arbor.
A Family Guesthouse Made for Accessibility, Aging in Place—and That View
With both an aging relative and a wheelchair user in mind, architect Neal Schwartz creates a family guesthouse designed to be accessible to all.
A Detached Garage Becomes a Winning “Granny Pad”
In Seattle, Best Practice Architecture converts a detached garage into a chic, standalone apartment for an aging family member.
Guesthouse in Præstø, Denmark
In Præstø, on the Danish island of Zealand, a guesthouse infuses the regional vernacular with Japanese influence.
This Snug Guesthouse in Upstate New York Is Good Enough to Live In
A tiny outbuilding offers a cozy living space inside a simple shell.
A Tiny Guesthouse Hides in a Lush Australian Rainforest
Nestled within a rainforest on a private 20-acre plot in New South Wales, this compact Cor-Ten steel and glass guest retreat is a hidden oasis.
An Old Horse Barn Is Repurposed as a Chic Desert Guesthouse
Former horse stalls now serve as concrete room dividers in this modernist guest home in Phoenix, Arizona.
A Snug Garden Studio Makes Room for a New Zealand Family’s Growing Sons
A translucent pergola shades this 183-square-foot studio made from hardy OSB.
A Concrete Casita in Austin Does Double Duty as Guesthouse and Gear Storage
Ravel Architecture builds an efficient in-law unit in one family’s backyard out of board-formed concrete and steel.
A $185K Prefab Guesthouse Pops Up on a Tricky Hollywood Hillside
L.A.-based prefab company Cover rises above steep terrain to deliver a custom office/guesthouse without breaking the bank.
The L.A. Prefab Company That’s Aiming to Make Good Design Available to Everyone
Specializing in customized modular units for residential backyard use, the Los Angeles-based startup Cover is out to transform the market with their high-quality prefabs.
An Australian Garden Studio Opens Up to the Outdoors With Sliding Glass Walls
This ultra-flexible backyard garden studio functions as both a guesthouse and a communal space.
A Family Builds a Tiny Backyard Studio on an Even Tinier Budget
In coastal Massachusetts, a resourceful couple and their equally enterprising children use reclaimed materials to create a versatile 168-square-foot backyard building.
Budget Breakdown: A Seattle Couple Expand Into a Backyard Addition For $413K
When a furniture restoration business threatens to take over their historic Craftsman, this couple opt for a net-carbon, backyard unit.
These Affordable Backyard Homes Can Be Installed in Two Weeks, and They Start at $199K
Bay Area–based company Abodu has developed a permitting program to spur lightning-fast build-outs of backyard houses.
A Tiny Backyard Studio in Seattle Filled With Midcentury Finds
A petite outbuilding is exactly what a couple needed for their Seattle property.
An Unused Garage Is Transformed Into a Light-Filled Backyard Studio
An inspiring renovation gives new life to a San Francisco family's old, unused garage.
A Modern Micro-House in Portland Clad in Local Fir
Small in footprint, but grand in presentation, a 250-square-foot accessory dwelling unit provides cozy accommodations equipped with multifunctional furniture.
This 3D-Printed Tiny Cabin Offers a Creative Response to the Bay Area’s Housing Crisis
Sustainability and forward-thinking architectural techniques merge in this experimental tiny cabin clad in 3D-printed tile.
Budget Breakdown: A Portland Couple Design and Build a Compact Home for $222K
An architect and construction engineer couple build a sustainable, 624-square-foot abode for $221,580. Here's how the numbers add up.