What is the Difference Between an ADU and a Guest House?

When it comes to home building or remodeling, there are many different terms to learn. Two terms that are often used interchangeably are Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and guest houses. While they may seem similar, there are actually several key differences between the two. Understanding those differences will help you determine which option may be best suited for your needs.

What is an ADU?

An ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit, is a self-contained living unit that is located on the same property as a main house. Essentially, an ADU is a separate living space that is designed to be a completely separate home in its own right. They can be attached to the main house, such as in the case of a basement apartment, or they can be a completely separate structure on the same property.

Some common uses of ADUs include:

  • Renting the unit out for additional income
  • Providing housing for aging relatives or adult children
  • Serving as a home office or studio space

Benefits of ADUs

  • Increased property value
  • Additional living space
  • Potential for rental income
  • More privacy and separation from the main house

What is a Guest House?

A guest house is similar to an ADU in that it is a separate living space located on the same property as a main house. However, while an ADU is a self-sufficient unit with everything needed to function as a completely separate home, a guest house is typically designed as an extension of the main house. It may not have a kitchen or bathroom of its own, but instead relies on the amenities of the main house for those needs. In some cases, a guest house may even share a wall with the main house.

Some common uses of guest houses include:

  • Providing a space for guests to stay overnight
  • Serving as a home office or studio space
  • Acting as a space for hobbies or crafts

Benefits of Guest Houses

  • Additional space for guests
  • More affordable than an ADU
  • Fewer regulatory requirements than ADUs in some areas

Key Differences Between ADUs and Guest Houses

While ADUs and guest houses share some similarities, there are several important differences to be aware of, including:

  • ADUs are typically self-contained living units, while guest houses may not have their own kitchen or bathroom
  • ADUs are often designed to be a separate dwelling from the main house, while guest houses are typically an extension of the main house
  • ADUs are often subject to more regulatory requirements than guest houses
  • ADUs may be more expensive to build than guest houses due to their self-sufficient nature

When it comes to deciding between an ADU and a guest house, it ultimately comes down to your specific needs and goals. If you are looking for a self-contained living space that is designed to function as a completely separate home, an ADU may be the better choice. However, if you are simply looking for additional space for guests or as an extension of your main house, a guest house may be a more affordable and practical option. Regardless of which option you choose, working with a reputable home builder, such as Prospect 30 Eight Construction, can help ensure that your project is a success and meets all regulatory requirements.

Since 2006, Prospect 30 Eight Construction has been building top-quality custom homeshome additions, and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) throughout the Denver Metro Area and the Front Range. If you have any questions, please contact us for a free consultation.