The Rising Trend of ADU’s Over Garages: A Comprehensive Guide

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Nov 27, 2023

Have you been considering new ways to utilize your home space more efficiently? Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “ADU over garage” and wondered what it means and if it’s the right choice for you. ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit, is a concept that’s gaining massive popularity, particularly in urban areas. So, let’s dive into what makes an ADU over garage a fantastic option for homeowners.

What is an ADU Over Garage?

An ADU over garage is essentially a secondary living space constructed above a garage. Also referred to as a granny flat, garage apartment, or carriage house, this accessory dwelling unit (ADU) comes with its own kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, making it a fully functional independent living space.

Benefits of Building an ADU Over a Garage

The growing interest in ADUs over garages is not without reason. Here are some compelling benefits you should consider:

  1. Additional Rental Income: An ADU over garage provides an excellent opportunity for homeowners to earn rental income. With the current high demand for affordable housing options, renting out an ADU can help cover mortgage payments and maintenance costs.
  2. Increased Property Value: A well-constructed ADU over a garage can significantly increase your property’s value. If you ever plan on selling, this could be an attractive feature for potential buyers looking for flexible living options.
  3. Multigenerational Living: An ADU over garage is a perfect solution for those who want to keep their family close while maintaining privacy. It can serve as a separate living area for aging parents or grown-up children.

Key Considerations for Building an ADU Over Garage

While the benefits are attractive, there are certain considerations you should take into account:

Building Regulations and Permits: First, you’ll need to understand your local building codes and zoning laws. These regulations may dictate the size and design of the ADU over garage. Be sure to get all necessary permits before you begin construction.

Costs: Building an ADU over garage involves significant investment. Consider factors such as construction costs, additional utility connections, and maintenance expenses.

Design and Construction: The design of your ADU should complement your primary residence. Also, work with a trusted contractor to ensure your ADU is built to last and complies with safety and building standards.

Making the Decision: Is an ADU Over Garage Right For You?

If you’re a homeowner seeking to make the most out of your existing property, building an ADU over garage could be a fantastic decision. It’s an investment that pays off not only monetarily but also in terms of enhancing your living options.

However, remember that this venture requires careful planning and consideration. Start by doing your research, consult with professionals, and ensure your project adheres to local regulations.

In summary, an ADU over garage presents numerous opportunities, from additional income to increased property value, and even providing a comfortable space for extended family members. It’s no wonder that more and more homeowners are exploring this rising trend.

The future of living may just be in maximizing our spaces, and ADUs over garages are a stride in the right direction. With thoughtful planning and execution, your garage can be more than just a space to park your car—it can be a home within a home.


Transforming your existing garage space into an above garden ADU is an innovative way to maximize your property’s potential. Whether you’re considering a second floor addition to a detached garage or a full garage project, it’s crucial to ensure the structure is structurally sound and harmoniously integrated with the main house. An ADU project not only adds extra space but also invites natural light and a fresh perspective to your living environment.

When planning a second story ADU, it’s important to consider the impact on the first floor, including the need for a new roof and the integration of support posts. With plans approved, a garage ADU can be a rewarding investment, adding several layers of value to your property. As we’ve explored, building an ADU over a garage requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. Ensuring the second story is structurally sound and complements the existing home is key.

This type of project not only leverages underutilized space but also offers potential for rental income or expanded living quarters. When embarking on a garage ADU project, it’s vital to navigate the approval process efficiently, ensuring your plans are approved and the construction is up to code. By thoughtfully designing and executing your ADU project, you can transform your garage into a dynamic, versatile space that enhances your home’s functionality and appeal.

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