The Granny Flat Has a New Name


This story is a part of our August 2021 problem. To subscribe, click on right here.

The granny flat has a new identify. The venerable yard addition,
lengthy loathed by native jurisdictions for its constructing code
complications and do-it-yourself building and design, was not a
welcome mission in most municipalities. Bruce Monighan, city
design supervisor for the City of Sacramento, says the necessities
and restrictions had been completely different in each metropolis and each county,
including to the confusion.

But a number of California housing legal guidelines, together with Assembly Bill 68
and Senate Bill 13, which went into impact Jan. 1, 2020, modified
all that. The laws offers parameters on how and the place
granny flats — now known as accent dwelling models — might be
constructed, and it restricts native governments from adopting
ordinances that hinder their building. It additionally eliminates or
reduces the event impression charges cities can cost for ADUs.

Now these models are popping up in single-family backyards and
multifamily tons all around the state, and the Capital Region is not any
exception. An uptick in ADU curiosity has planning departments and
architects working collectively so as to add the product sort to the realm’s
much-needed reasonably priced housing stock.

ADUs have been round for not less than a decade, however earlier than 2019 —
when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed six housing payments supposed to
scale back native obstacles to reasonably priced housing — a variety of
restrictions made developing an ADU prohibitive and cumbersome,
akin to requiring the first or secondary dwelling unit to be
owner-occupied and mandating further parking for transformed
ADUs. Those restrictions and others have been lifted. But the
greatest change is the elimination of improvement impression charges for
models lower than 750 sq. toes, which might save a property proprietor
between $10,000 and $30,000, in line with Monighan. 

To guarantee ADUs are used for everlasting housing and never for weekend
or short-term leases, rental agreements should be for greater than 30
days. Units should additionally comprise residing, sleeping, consuming, cooking
and sanitation amenities, together with a full kitchen and toilet.
An effectivity kitchen and shared rest room amenities with the
major dwelling are permitted for a junior ADU, however a separate
entrance is required. 

Single-family-property homeowners can now construct each a junior ADU (no
greater than 500 sq. toes and completely contained inside an
current dwelling) and both a transformed ADU (like a storage
conversion) or a indifferent unit on the identical lot.
Multifamily-property homeowners can add as much as two indifferent ADUs and
a number of models inside current constructions. Suddenly ADUs are on
the radar as an reasonably priced and versatile residing area for household
and pals, and to create regular passive revenue.

Architects Get Involved

Mike Malinowski has been working as an architect for greater than 40
years, however even he’s stunned by the variety of ADU tasks in
the workplace of his Sacramento firm, Applied Architecture. “If
you requested me a yr in the past if I might personally be doing a tiny
home, I might have stated, ‘I don’t assume so,’” he says, referring
to models lower than 400 sq. toes. “But they pencil so effectively.”

Today, Malinowski has upward of 20 ADU tasks in varied
levels, together with two tiny homes. His tasks vary in dimension
from a modest 400-square-foot cottage to a 1,200-square-foot
household unit and are being constructed all around the area.
Currently, he’s engaged on tasks in Elk Grove, Vacaville,
Roseville, Folsom and Sacramento. The value is available in at roughly
$200 per sq. foot on the low finish and as much as $400 per sq.
foot on the excessive finish.

He is designing properties for people who find themselves in search of to complement
retirement revenue, need further area for household or are
making ready for ageing mother and father. “One of the distinctive issues about ADUs
is that they’re a particularly intelligent method to take non-public capital
and personal financial curiosity and have that targeted on fixing a
state-level disaster,” he says.

“One of the distinctive issues about ADUs is that they’re an
extraordinarily intelligent method to take non-public capital and personal
financial curiosity and have that targeted on fixing a
state-level disaster.”
Mike Malinowski Owner and architect,
Applied Architecture

While some property homeowners select to work with an architect for a
extra customized ADU, it’s not required. A variety of producers
provide prefabricated or modular models that may be trucked to a
web site. And the City of Sacramento is engaged on three to 4
pre-engineered designs that a property proprietor can choose and use,
together with their very own authorised web site plan. The designs will embody
a full set of drawings which were preapproved by the constructing
division. “We wish to see as many various methods to do it as
potential,” Monighan says. “Each of those choices have a completely different
value impression and a completely different threat evaluation, however all of those
paths needs to be accessible.”

Placer County can be making free ADU plans accessible via its
accent properties web page on its web site, which offers instruments to
calculate the price of constructing an ADU, in addition to the return on
funding. The county labored with Jackson and Sands Engineering
in Chico to design three plans with varied choices, all below
750 sq. toes, to maximise the affordability and bypass larger
improvement impression charges. Each of the jurisdictions is making a
concerted effort to market the brand new legal guidelines and reasonably priced housing
choices, however it may be a sophisticated process.

To assist, AIA California, an architectural affiliation, tapped the
AIA Central Valley chapter and others to create an ADU web site, It’s supposed to be a useful resource on how owners
and property homeowners can use the state’s new ADU coverage so as to add
residing area to their property. Malinowski spearheaded the
training mission and introduced on Sacramento architect Gennifer
Muñoz to put in writing the copy for the web site. “I labored with a group on
the web site improvement and designing the knowledge that went
into it,” Muñoz says. “It is de facto meant as a high-level device
that may be utilized to any jurisdiction within the state.”

Muñoz’s agency, Studio Oxeye, has designed a variety of ADUs for
shoppers, together with a 650-square-foot up to date, one-bedroom,
one-bath dwelling with an open kitchen and residing space. The
property proprietor intends to dwell within the unit whereas renting out the
most important home. Muñoz’s tasks are all customized and are
coming in on the upper finish, roughly $300 to $600 per
sq. foot. “I at all times begin the dialog speaking about
budgets, ensuring we’re working in actuality,” she says. “We
positively get calls from individuals who wish to construct for $150 per
sq. foot, and personally, I can’t promise that. But I wager
there’s a hero on the market that may try this.”

Properties With Existing ADUs Are in Demand — But They Are Hard to Find

Kandace Mulvaney, an skilled actual property dealer with boutique company Miller Real Estate in Carmichael, lately bought a Fair Oaks dwelling on a half-acre lot that included a permitted accent dwelling unit. “Availability of all these properties is de facto mild,” says Mulvaney. “They don’t come available on the market all that usually, and after they do, they fly off the market.” In all, there have been 12 presents on the property, which ended up promoting for $100,000 over the record worth.

Mulvaney has seen an elevated demand for properties with ADUs, primarily for households who need a multigenerational area to deal with family members close by. Some of her shoppers are searching for an ADU already constructed on the property, and others are eager about including their very own. Older, extra established areas with bigger tons, like in Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks and Granite Bay, are inclined to have extra of that sort of stock, however demand remains to be larger than availability. By Mulvaney’s estimation, patrons searching for all these properties are additionally prepared to pay considerably extra for them. “It’s going to differ, however on this market and based mostly on our latest Fair Oaks sale, I can see the place it may simply add 15-20 % to the worth,” she says. Conversely, she has additionally discovered that an unpermitted, do-it-yourself sort of unit can take away worth.

With extra individuals working from dwelling, storage conversions are additionally gaining in reputation. One couple she labored with didn’t have the area to develop their small East Sacramento dwelling, however as an alternative of transferring, opted to transform their storage into a dwelling workplace area. “They had nowhere to go, and this was a good possibility for them,” she says. “I at all times counsel my shoppers to have a plan, as a result of their first selection could not at all times work out.”

–Laurie Lauletta-Boshart

Enter Mark Roddy. Before transferring to Sacramento practically three years
in the past, Roddy labored in industrial structure in Phoenix and San
Francisco. He and spouse Caren Roddy — additionally an architect — had been
prepared for a life-style change and moved from the Bay Area to
Sacramento with their younger household in 2018. Roddy took a place
with Sacramento State educating inside structure and launched
his personal boutique structure agency. 

He has a long-standing affinity for prefabrication and
pre-engineered buildings, relationship again to when he lived in Phoenix
and designed a 700-square-foot addition to his historic 1928
bungalow that was an “experiment in reasonably priced, off-the-shelf and
lean building strategies.” The mission gained a variety of awards,
together with one from Metal Architecture journal in 2008.

“My spouse and I’ve at all times been nerds about prefabrication,” he
says. “And there’s different tasks I’m engaged on proper now and
enjoying with that typology (kinds of structure) as a answer
to decrease value, sooner schedule kinds of tasks.”

Roddy’s prefab ADU idea, known as barndominium, gained the AIA
Award in AIACV’s 2019 design competitors for its revolutionary use
of a prefab metal constructing. Outside of the design competitors,
Roddy is advertising his yard-barn mission (which was modified for
the AIACV design competitors to fulfill the wants and funds
parameters) to property homeowners eager about a prefabricated ADU,
which makes use of a pre-engineered steel package of elements for straightforward,
even DIY, building.

“The total objective of the state laws is that we’ve a
housing emergency proper now, so how will we get issues going
Mark Roddy, architect

Inside, off-the-shelf objects like kitchen cupboards and a wardrobe
from Ikea are additionally specified. For heat, Roddy’s design provides a
plywood wall panel system that hangs on the within of the
construction. “The total objective of the state laws is that we
have a housing emergency proper now, so how will we get issues going
rapidly?” says Roddy. “Wouldn’t or not it’s nice if you happen to may get this
factor up in a matter of weeks as an alternative of months? The yard-barn
concept was actually hatched on this notion of prefabrication. There’s
a lot extra flexibility there.”

Dov Kadin and his associate, Tawny Macedo, determined to go the
predesigned ADU route. Before buying their first dwelling
collectively within the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, the couple
deliberately seemed for a residence that might accommodate an
ADU. They discovered a 1925 bungalow located on a massive nook lot
with an unused facet yard that match the invoice.

This two-story, one-bedroom accent dwelling unit design by
Applied Architecture makes use of simply 16-by-21 toes of yard area. It
is available in varied designs, together with conventional and up to date
with photo voltaic choices. (Rendering courtesy of Applied Architecture)

The cost-conscious pair labored straight with a normal contractor
to construct a pre-engineered ADU of their yard for roughly
$135,000. The 820-square-foot dwelling took about a yr to finish.
The couple rents the unit out for $1,500 a month, which in
Sacramento is reasonably priced for households making about 85 %
of the county median revenue.

“We are very near the state definition of reasonably priced housing
with zero subsidies,” Kadin says. “To us, it’s a big win to be
in a position to do this. That’s why I’m such a massive believer in ADUs as
a part of the housing answer.”

The AIACV, which covers 17 counties in Northern California, has
made reasonably priced housing its focus for the yr, beginning with
this yr’s 2021 design competitors that challenges architects to
create a prototype for low-income, workforce household housing.

In addition, the native chapter is championing revolutionary tasks
from its member corporations and designers on how you can tackle reasonably priced
housing. “We actually would love corporations to get some exemplary pilot
housing tasks in place so individuals can see what can occur,”
explains Paul Menard, AIACV’s president. He factors to Paul’s
Place for example.

Paul’s Place, a multifunctional housing middle designed to serve
the unsheltered in Davis, was designed professional bono by long-term
Davis resident and architect Maria Ogrydziak. Ogrydziak is
partnering along with her son Luke Ogrydziak, cofounder of San
Francisco-based OPA, to finish the working drawings. The
mission is supposed to exchange the ageing Davis Community Meals and
Housing facility that has been in operation for many years. 

The four-story, tiny-house-type village is designed with colours
that mimic the encircling Davis terrain and contains loads of
outside terrace area for residents and visitors. Each of the 4
flooring progresses to extra impartial residing. The first flooring
serves as a daytime drop-in area with laundry and toilet
amenities, a useful resource middle, and 4 emergency beds.

“To have the neighborhood that helps one thing like this
understand they are often a part of doing one thing adjustments the
notion of the homeless and their plight.”
Maria Ogrydziak, Architect

The second flooring capabilities as transitional bridge housing with 10
bedrooms and communal areas. The high two flooring every function
9 reasonably priced 300-square-foot microhousing models, that are all
self-contained tiny homes. Wraparound providers are offered to
assist guarantee stability and independence.

“This was actually a neighborhood effort,” Ogrydziak says. “To have
the neighborhood that helps one thing like this understand they’ll
be a part of doing one thing adjustments the notion of the homeless
and their plight.” The mission is in plan verify and anticipated to
break floor this summer season, with an anticipated completion of
mid-to-late 2022.

Through the mixed effort of planners, architects, engineers,
builders and housing consultants, the ADU motion is beginning to
achieve momentum. Before 2020, Placer County obtained about 35 ADU
functions every year. Last yr, it obtained 100. In the primary
quarter of 2021, 24 functions had been filed. The City of
Sacramento has related numbers. Its ADU functions jumped from
30 in 2019 to 70 in 2020, with 20-30 functions monthly in

“It actually wasn’t till the state began placing down some
mandates about what jurisdictions needed to contemplate that the
trade actually took off,” Monighan says. “As a jurisdiction, we
consider in elevated densities, we consider in maximizing lot
potential, we consider in offering cheaper housing
options, so the ADU actually matches inside our idea of how we
start to fill out housing alternatives.” 

Kadin additionally believes the way forward for the ADU mission sort can be a
one-stop store for property homeowners, the place a single entity will
deal with all of the steps of getting an ADU financed, constructed,
permitted, rented and managed. “To the extent to which you’ll be able to
make it simpler for the home-owner developer, to me, that’s the
future,” he says. “And that’s the place I believe a lot of that is

Stay updated on enterprise within the Capital Region:
Subscribe to the Comstock’s publication
at this time.

Recommended For You