6 ADU Design Ideas to Increase Your Property Value

Are you dreaming of a luxury ADU (accessory dwelling unit) and hoping to maximize the return on your investment?

A 2012 report in The Appraisal Journal examined ADUs in Portland, OR and found that the ADUs contributed, on average, 25% or 34% of each property’s appraised value (depending on the formula used). The report also explained that “adding an ADU to a single-unit property could reasonably add 51% to longer-term measures of value or return.”

Once the decision has been made to add an ADU, many homeowners ask themselves: How can I build my ADU so that it adds value to my life and my home’s value?

The answer is to make your ADU as functional, convenient, and aesthetically appealing as possible. These are a few of our favorite ADU design ideas:

1. Cozy Mother-In-Law Suite

Photo by Aw Creative on Unsplash

Single story ADUs present a wonderful opportunity for aging in place. Many people love the convenience of living in an ADU while their family resides only feet away in the main home. A cheerful, homey ADU with universal design principles can help the family stay close while also affording everyone the privacy and independence they need.

Designing a new space makes it easy to accommodate the occupant’s present and future needs with features like:

  • Plenty of lighting with accessible two-way switches
  • A walk-in shower with extra grab bars and a hand-held shower head
  • Windows that are easy to open and close
  • Non-slip flooring in soft materials like cork, linoleum, or rubber
  • Door levers instead of doorknobs
  • Technology (including the thermostat, lighting, and security system) that can be controlled with a smartphone or remote

2. Rustic Backyard Guest House

Photo by T Cud on Unsplash

ADUs can either be attached to your main home or they can stand alone as their own separate structures. A detached ADU in your yard provides some privacy at a convenient distance. A modern backyard cottage with a woodsy, rustic feel will blend in beautifully in most Oregon and Washington neighborhoods.

To keep the look consistent, choose natural materials, exposed wood, and nature-inspired colors like green and brown.

3. Garage ADU Designs

Do you need to have a huge yard if you want an ADU? Not at all! An ADU can also be built by converting part of your current house, such as an attached garage, attic, or basement.

While there is typically no downside to finishing an attic or basement, many homeowners do not want to lose the use of the garage (or the potential resale value that a garage can add). In many cases, it is possible to add an ADU on top of a garage rather than converting it, which allows you to keep your existing garage intact.

4. Bright, Modern ADU

ADUs are typically smaller than the main residence, but that does not mean they need to be dark and cramped. On the contrary, ADUs can be stylish, open, and contemporary, with all the modern amenities a person could want.

Let in as much natural light as possible, but also install plenty of overhead, task, and accent lighting. If possible, consider a whole wall door for a seamless indoor-outdoor experience. Opt for light, neutral colors and an open floor plan.

5. Luxury ADU Getaway

Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

A luxury ADU can be the perfect place for a staycation — or to provide a wonderful experience for guests who come to visit you. Pamper yourself and your guests with features that make you feel calm and happy. These decisions will depend entirely on your unique preferences, but luxury ADU design ideas include:

  • Spa bathroom with heated floors and towel warmers
  • Meditation room or yoga room
  • Small rock garden outside (or any natural element that relaxes you)
  • A small wine bar or bar cart in the kitchen
  • Smart technology for convenience, energy efficiency, and security

6. Thoreauvian Tiny House

Photo by Sol Haus DesignMore bedroom photos

Many of us like the idea of taking a break from modern living every now and then. In fact, some people prefer to live a simple life full time. If a tiny house appeals to you, but you would rather not live too far from modern conveniences, a tiny house ADU may be the perfect compromise.

The trick here is to get the most out of the limited space you have without making it feel cramped. Multi-function furniture and creative storage solutions go a long way.

Are you ready to add an ADU?

Whether you want a nearby home for a family member, an opportunity to earn rental income, or a way to downsize without leaving your neighborhood, your ADU should be designed to meet your needs. At Hamish Murray Construction, we can help you with both attached and detached ADUs in the Portland, OR area, and we would love to build you a space that adds joy and functionality to your life.

Give us a call or send us a message anytime!