Difference Between An ADU And Backyard Home

There has been a growing trend in many states, especially California, to build an additional unit in your backyard. However, many people stop and wonder if there is a difference between an ADU and backyard home, as well as which one they should build to meet their needs.

What Is An ADU?

An ADU is an additional dwelling unit built on a single-family plot of land that already has a primary home built on it. It can either be an attached, detached, internal, or conversion structure used for a variety of reasons including:

  • To bring in extra income by renting it out
  • To house aging parents
  • To house children getting ready to move out
  • To house visiting family members or friends
  • To act as a gym, art studio, office, etc.

There are specific ADU size limits that they must meet in order to abide by the numerous rules and regulations they face within the various states they are legal within. You can find which ADU laws apply to you by talking with your local planning board.

ADUs continue to grow in popularity as the nation faces a growing housing concern that small affordable housing units like ADUs can help solve. Essentially, an ADU is a small unit in your yard that has electricity, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a living space for you to use however you please.

What Is A Backyard Home?

A Backyard home is just another word for an ADU. They are the same exact thing. Different regions in the U.S. refer to ADUs as different things, but the proper name is ADU. Other common names for ADUs include:

  • Accessory apartment
  • Backhouse
  • Backyard bungalow
  • Carriage house
  • Coach house
  • Cottage
  • Garage house
  • Granny flat
  • Guesthouse
  • In-law suite Ohana (popular in the Hawaiian Islands)
  • Secondary Dwelling Unit

So, building a backyard home is exactly the same as building an ADU. It is just another name for it. So, the next time your neighbor tries to tell you there is a difference between a backyard home and an ADU, you can prove them wrong.