Accessory Dwelling Units – A quick Download for Contractors

Posted by Justin Zeller, CR, Red House Custom Building, President of EM NARI and Chair of Marketing/PR Committee

One of the most requested additions/remodels to homes right now is the in-law, or ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). As our communities and prospective clients search for solutions to their changing family’s needs, knowing the parameters for ADU’s in your area will help you be prepared for the inevitable questions for a contractor in Eastern MA. Especially in the greater Boston area, ADU’s are a beneficial way for homeowners to provide options for their family, or supplement income, while also adding to the value of their property. In our expanding and ever-tightening housing situation, the ADU is a great solution to offer clients in need of separated space at an existing home.

As contractors, knowing the rules and regulations for ADU’s in each town prepares us for sales calls related to these additions. In a recent series of blog articles, EM NARI member Steve Greenberg’s team at steveworks writes specifically about Newton’s regulations and the step-by-step planning and implementation of recent an ADU project they have been working on. In their first article, Everything You Need to Know About Newton Accessory Apartments, steveworks provides helpful links to Newton government websites with further information.

In Accessory Dwelling Units Are Having Their Day, EM NARI member, Custom Contracting points out that Accessory Dwelling Units allow for families to provide alternate living options. Whether your client might need more square feet (and a separate space) for an elderly parent or a child returning home from college, an ADU can provide options that help now and later. While a separate living space on a client’s property can help with the immediate need of an aging parent, that space is an incredible added value later in life for guests or rentable space. Some clients are also utilizing these additions as a first floor bedroom. For instance, we have a current client who plans to use the addition as a first-floor master suite when they need to “age in place”.

As available housing stock continues to decrease in proportion to the number of people and jobs in Easter Massachusetts, ADU’s continue to become more popular. In Smart Growth / Smart Energy Toolkit Modules – Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), describes the ADU as one of the strategies of sustainable development, leading to more diverse populations and vibrant communities by improving “housing for both homeowners and renters at all stages in their lives.” ADUs add to existing infrastructure while allowing the characteristics of neighborhoods to remain intact and “ease development pressure on farmland and open space.” For EM NARI remodeling professionals, these are all selling points to help our clients find solutions for their ever-changing lives.

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