Nowadays, many people are interested in ADUs. Building your own accessory dwelling unit can take a lot of time and effort, but if you plan everything well, you will succeed at it. Hence, here’s what you need to know about writing a designing plan for an ADU.

#1  Understand Different Types of ADUs

First and foremost, you need to understand the different types of ADUs that you can choose from, including:

Detached New Construction ADUs (such as granny flats, backyard cottages, DADUs, and laneway houses)

    • ADUs Above a Garage or Workshop or Attached to It (aka garage apartments and carriage houses)
    • Basement Conversion ADUs (such as basement apartments, secondary units, English basements, in-law units, and accessory apartments)
    • Additional ADUs (bump-out ADUs)
  • Garage Conversion ADUs
  • Internal ADUs

Some of these are quite similar to each other while others are different. Nevertheless, you should always decide what will work best for you when choosing which type of ADU to plan and build. Do your own research about these different types of ADU and make your choice.

#2  Create an Outline for Your Plan

Once you understand what these different types of ADUs are, you will need to create an outline for your designing plan. This outline is meant to help you plan out everything one step at a time without forgetting any important elements of your plan. You will need to include everything from heating and cooling to your chosen color scheme for the ADU.

Obviously, you can’t know everything just yet, but there are some very important things you can already include in your outline. These are your project overview and scope, your goals and objectives, your design requirements, and your budget and timeline. More on these in detail in the following sections.

#3  Accurately Estimate Your Resources

To be able to create an accurate and realistic designing plan for your ADU, you need to accurately estimate your resources. Think about the budget you have as well as the raw materials available to you.

Do you have an opportunity to increase your budget or get more resources? Which materials will you need to purchase? Which services will you need to pay for? How big will your backup budget be? Based on your resources, you will be able to do one or another thing, so base your plans on your resources.

#4  Get Assistance If You Are Lost

If you are particularly stressed out by all the planning and you don’t think that you will be able to manage it all on your own, you can always get assistance. There are many agencies that offer architectural engineering services and similar consultancy services that can help you create your designing plan.

On the other hand, you may want to hire a person who could do some technical or linguistic corrections to your plan – or maybe even write it with you. You can check the writing services reviews site Trust My Paper to find an experienced writer who is an expert in ADUs and can help you with your plan.

#5  Set Clear Goals and Standards

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important parts of your outline and designing plan is the section with your goals and standards. Ask yourself what your objectives are for the ADU and how you plan to achieve them (e.g. you want to have a specific type of floor in the ADU, so you need to purchase the right materials for it).

Similarly, you need to think about the standards you want to maintain while designing and then building your ADU. You will need to meet certain construction standards, but there can also be some requirements you set based on your personal preferences For instance, these can be storage space requirements.

#6 Plan Out a Timeline and Deadlines

Another part of your plan is your schedule. You need to plan out a timeline for all your activities and set deadlines for all the tasks that need to be performed to build your ADU successfully.

Start with the major goals you set and then break them down into smaller goals. Based on these goals, make lists of tasks that need to be performed. Set specific deadlines for completing these tasks and consider the possible extra time you may need.

#7 Balance Comfort and Quality

When designing your ADU, always try to think about both comfort and quality. You need to design an ADU that you will personally like, and to do that, your construction will need to be comfortable for you to use while maintaining the standards of quality.

Use the resources you have in a smart way and try to find an original approach to the problems you have to solve. Do you have limited space? Find ways to create more places for storage (e.g. by making more shelves). Do you have a tight budget? Find alternative affordable but sustainable materials to buy.

#8 Be Careful with Your Calculations

One of the most important aspects of planning is that you need to make accurate calculations that you can then use during the construction process. If you make mistakes in your calculations, your plan might ultimately be completely unusable.

This is why it’s best to calculate everything several times and make sure that there are no mistakes. In addition to that, you can have someone else perform the calculations as well to have a different person check everything. Check the custom writing reviews site Best Essays Education to find an expert writer who knows everything about ADUs and can check your calculations for you.

#9 Ensure Your Design’s Sustainability

Sustainability is not just a trend but rather a standard that most people actively try to meet. This is precisely why you need to ensure that your ADU is sustainable and environmentally friendly while you are still designing it.

Use materials that are proven to be eco-friendly. When building your ADU, use practices that are also deemed to be sustainable. Find people who can give you a consultation about the right, sustainable way to construct your ADU.

#10 Proofread and Edit Your Plan

Last but not least, make sure to proofread and edit your ADU designing plan once you have finished creating it. By proofreading and editing your plan, you will polish it and create its final version that you will use during the construction of your ADU.

Of course, you can still deviate from the plan a bit during the process based on the circumstances that arise. However, you still need to finalize a version of the plan that will help you get started.


All in all, creating your own designing plan for an ADU is essential for building an accessory dwelling unit. Utilize the tips in this article to help you create your ADU designing plan and successfully execute it.


Lillie Jenkins is a creative copywriter and content writer. She has worked as a copywriter since school, so her writing skills are well-honed. She works as a copywriter at the popular writing center BestWritersOnline.  She writes publications in such fields as marketing, business, education, and personal life.  More than writing Lillie loves to travel and read professional literature.