Can I Put an Accessory Dwelling Unit on My Lot?

Can I Put an Accessory Dwelling Unit on My Lot?What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, is a second small dwelling on the same grounds as (or attached to) your regular single-family house, such as:

  • An apartment over the garage
  • A tiny house (on a foundation) in the backyard
  • A basement apartment

Regardless of its physical form (backyard cottage, basement apartment, etc.), legally an ADU has its own kitchen, bath and sleeping area, but is not considered a separate property that could be sold on its own. The owner of the ADU is the owner of the main home. ADUs must be connected to the utilities (except telephone, television, electrical, and internet) of the principal dwelling unit and may not have separate services.

Why Build an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

People build Accessory Dwelling Units for lots of reasons, but the most common goals are gaining income via rent and housing a family member. In Denver, these units have become especially common as real estate prices continue to rise.

Can I Put an Accessory Dwelling Unit on My Lot?

In Jefferson County and Denver, ADU’s are allowed in all Agricultural, Residential and comparable Planned Development zone districts that allow single family detached dwellings. An ADU may only be allowed as an accessory use to a single family detached residence. It would not be allowed on a lot which contains a two-family residence, duplex, single family attached residence, townhomes or apartments.

The choice of how and where to build an ADU will depend on the property owner’s needs and construction budget as well as zoning and building codes.

Factors that May Affect Your ADU Project

Before you begin your ADU project, you’ll need to know what regulations apply to your property in your municipality (The rules vary from city to city) and what factors may impact your project. Some of the things you’ll need to consider include:

  • Zoning
  • Parkways
  • Building Code
  • Location of Utilities
  • Location of Existing Sewer Lines
  • Transportation
  • Historic Landmark Status
  • If your home is part of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) you must gain approval from the HOA

Start with a Licensed Contractor

One of the most important factors when considering building an accessory dwelling unit is finding the right licensed contractor. As a leading ADU contractor in the Denver Metro Area, we stay up to date on the latest regulations, trends, and requirements.

Contact us for a free estimate.  Our experience as an ADU contractor throughout the Denver Metro Area and Jefferson County ensures we will provide you with the best plans to meet your needs.