The Significance of Granny Units and ADUs During a Pandemic

What Is A Granny Unit or ADU?

Granny Units, In-Law Suites, or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are secondary dwellings that share either a structure or a lot with the primary structure. They can however vary wildly in form and function. The most common forms of ADUs are attached to the main house with their own private entrance. Others are studio apartments which may be located in the backyard or on top of the garage. While the more complex ones are nice size homes sharing the same lot as the primary residence.

Attached Apartments

With attached apartments, a glimpse at the home’s exterior may not reveal the division in the living spaces. They are completely separate and fully functional housing units. They frequently have their own separate entrance somewhere on the exterior of the home. They may be located in the finished basement or garage of the main house with externally-accessible locations. They can be internal apartments or external apartments, meaning they may share utilities and major appliances, or they may have their own.

Detached Quarters

These can be anything from the apartment above the carriage house to a full-size house constructed on the lot. They are used as completely separate living spaces and can serve dual purposes as studios or other creative spaces. These are becoming the preferred method for creating an ADU, as there is minimal impact on the primary dwelling residents. This means less disruption, more privacy, and increased independent living options for the elderly.

Multigenerational Households Without Traditional Stressors

Multigenerational homes are a preferred method of cohabitation in many cultures, and for many reasons. Currently, multigenerational households are seeing a resurgence due to several economic factors. Not only are housing costs up, but income and employment are way down.

This year has taken its toll on countless families. Many of them find that sharing living expenses, child care, and transportation costs through multigenerational households makes life a bit easier.

However, this living arrangement isn’t always ideal. It can include stressors that you may not encounter otherwise, even in a post-pandemic landscape. Even with all of the benefits that it can provide, sharing living space with even the most beloved members of your family can wear on your patience.

The ADU Finds Renewed Purpose During The Pandemic

With the pandemic changing our world forever, particularly the economic landscape, creating a multigenerational household has become a way for families to become more resilient. The downside to this type of living is that the closeness will eventually fade away, and you begin to feel like you are always stepping on each other’s toes.

ADUs can help mitigate that by providing a way for families to grow closer and grow stronger. Facilitating easy interaction between family members while maintaining their separate living areas and a sense of personal space is the best way of going about this. One of the most often cited complaints surrounding intergenerational living is the lack of perceived privacy. But when an ADU is constructed on the lot, different family members can socialize and remain hyper-local without compromising their sense of privacy.


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