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Front Page - Friday, August 9, 2019

Interest in accessory dwelling units growing

While single-family homes remain the most desired type of dwelling among home buyers in the Chattanooga area, alternative living spaces are making headway. Accessory dwelling units, also known as granny flats, mother-in-law suites or secondary dwelling units, are ideal for individuals seeking out a non-traditional living space.

ADUs are self-contained living units with their own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. You can find ADUs on the same grounds or attached to a single-family home.

Why are ADUs gaining in popularity? Here are a few reasons to explain their growing interest:


ADUs are attractive for individuals who are seeking independence but can benefit from support. Aging parents, young adults who are in a housing transition, or persons living with disabilities are most likely to seek out ADUs.


In some cases, this type of dwelling positivity impacts both the home owner and the occupant. Individuals living in an ADU pay less in market rent compared to other housing options in the area and home owners can benefit from the extra monthly income.


Dramatic changes to a neighborhood are not required with ADUs. This type of living space often fits in seamlessly with the local aesthetics. ADUs don’t require new infrastructure, public investments and don’t add to the density of neighborhoods.


Units added to an existing property as a backyard cottage or apartment over the garage are smaller. Therefore, ADUs require less energy, material and waste during construction and regular maintenance of the space.

As with many housing trends, the concept of ADUs is continuously evolving in the region. Before you add an ADU to your property, it’s best to contact a professional builder or remodeler who’s familiar with Chattanooga-area permitting and regulations.

To find a professional who can help you plan and build your perfect ADU, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net.