Eyeing Evanston: Thoughts on Design | Designing an ADU

While ancillary housing units (ADUs) play a valuable role in the wider community, they exist to provide people with a healthy and safe home. This article focuses on the latter of these two purposes – how to design ADUs that best meet the needs of our residents. As the final article in a two-part series on ADUs, this essay aims to give Evanstonians a more comprehensive understanding of why and how you or your neighbor would take on an ADU project.

Like any project, your ADU must start with a purpose. Why is it being built and for whom is it being built? In many cases, ADUs are used in various ways over time. They can function as an apartment for a tenant or family member for years, only to become a home business during a career transition, as in this recent RoundTable article about a bike shop located in a garage. It’s helpful to have a clear understanding of both the primary and initial purpose of the framework and the use cases sought after over time, as this greatly affects which type of ADU makes the most sense for you.

It can then save time and money to come up with a budget range for an ADU project early on. Otherwise, you may end up designing a unit that doesn’t fit your budget, which may require a redesign. While it is tempting to search for “dollar cost per square foot of an ADU” on the internet, it can often be difficult to compare apples to apples. Different types of ADUs often have different cost ranges, and expenses such as utility connections or permit fees can sometimes be excluded from an estimate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.