With Utah housing growing exponentially and projected to expand over the next decade, more homeowners are looking to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).
Accessory dwelling units are a small, second dwelling on the same grounds as your home, either detached or attached to your single-family house. This can be an apartment over the garage, a tiny house/building in the backyard, or a basement apartment.
In order to sustain an ADU and keep it up to code, the Owners must obtain a conditional use permit certify that the following safety requirements have been met:
- Each bedroom must have a working smoke detector
- A working smoke detector and CO detector in hallways outside of bedrooms
- GFCI outlets have been installed in the kitchen and bathrooms
- The water heater must have earthquake straps
- All bedroom windows must meet minimum egress requirements
- For basement apartments, handrails and guardrails are installed
- Additional off-street parking
New construction ADUs must meet the above regulations, obtain a land use permit, and a building permit.
Like many avenues of real estate, there are pros and cons to building an ADU:
- Affordable and easy to construct (no requirement to pay for land, infrastructure, parking, or elevators).
- ADUs can increase income for homeowners.
- They create more room for family expansion and safeguard privacy.
- They provide as much space as newly built apartments and condominiums, and as guest homes.
- ADUs allow flexibility for seniors and the independence of family members.
- ADU’s can be environmentally friendly and help decrease energy use reduce that impacts housing.
Cons/Red Tape of ADUs
- Some local regulations can place caps on square footage, which makes it difficult for Utahns to navigate rules to create a mother-in-law apartment in their basement legally.
- With permits and architects adding sewer and electricity, ADUs can be costly to hook up once built.
- Homeowners in Rural Areas can have issues with ADUs depending on their property laws and regulations.
- Finding qualified labor can be problematic and expensive.
- Building materials are increasingly difficult to obtain with current shortages.
With housing prices throughout Utah and America skyrocketing, median housing costs have risen alarmingly, creating an affordability crisis with low inventory, high demand for homes, and bidding wars.
To help curb this crisis, HB82 creates leg room for more affordable options and in turn, helps homeowners to expand and increase the value of their property.
To learn more, please see below for literature on the HB82 legislation. For more information on accessory dwelling units in Utah or buying or selling your home, contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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