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.

This Snug Guesthouse in Upstate New York Is Good Enough to Live In
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 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
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.
This Tiny, Icelandic-Inspired Prefab Could Ease the Housing Shortage in Los Angeles
Design studio Minarc launches Plús Hús, a tiny prefab dwelling starting at $37,000 that offers an affordable, environmentally conscious housing solution in L.A. and beyond.
Yves Béhar Teams Up With Plant Prefab to Launch a New Line of Tiny Houses
The LivingHomes YB1 is a new customizable tiny house that can be built in a month and installed in a day.
KitHAUS Just Launched a New Line of Prefab Homes—and They Start at $88K
KitHAUS unveils their largest k-series prefabs to date.
Plant Prefab and Alchemy Architects Launch Net Zero–Ready Prefabs Starting at $170K
The new lightHouse LivingHomes are Plant Prefab’s smallest modular dwellings to date.
29 Granny Flats That Put Guests Up in Style
From detached studios to separate wings for in-laws, these granny flats give Grandma the royal treatment.
Mighty Buildings Makes Stylish, 3D-Printed Prefabs Starting at $115K
An Oakland startup combines prefab design and 3D printing to create cost-saving backyard homes.
An Austin Couple Build a 200-Square-Foot Office and Guesthouse in Their Backyard
The husband-and-wife team behind Cedar & Oak Homes dream up a chic, multipurpose ADU.
Budget Breakdown: A Cozy Studio Tops an L.A. Garage For $220K
Spurred by a recent state law aimed at easing California’s housing shortage, a Los Angeles family turns to architect Martin Fenlon to add an ADU to their backyard.
An Architect Builds a Svelte Backyard Tiny Home for His Mom
Architect Peter Liang’s 265-square-foot ADU sits in his sister’s backyard in Oakland, California, balancing privacy and togetherness.
5 Utah Prefab Companies Ready to Build Your Next Home
From A-frames to ADUs, these prefab, modular, and kit homes are available for installation in Utah’s diverse landscape.
This Backyard Granny Flat Is Filled With Clever Storage and Natural Light
Webster Wilson designs a cedar-wrapped ADU in Portland, Oregon, for a grandmother and her visiting grandchildren.
This Bright and Airy Backyard Cottage in Los Angeles Feels Like a Cabin in the Woods
Originally an ADU for aging parents, this cottage in Solano Canyon is at once lofty and snug.
7 Prefab Companies Ready to Build Your New Backyard Office
These prefab ADUs are the perfect solution for those in need of a separate home office.
A Family in Poland Adds an Origami-Inspired Retreat to Their Backyard
The owners’ fascination with Zen rock gardens informed the design of this tiny ADU.