The Undeniable Advantages of an ADU or Casita in New Home Design and Construction. 

ADU and Casita

The Undeniable Advantages of an ADU or Casita in New Home Design and Construction

Samuel Stewart

You may have noticed in recent years the explosion in popularity of ADUs, or “Accessory Dwelling Units.” Portland in particular has been at the forefront in this surge, due to both the flexibility in regulations in comparison to other cities, and the cultural tendency for Portlanders to adopt new sustainable design trends. We at Mark Stewart Home Design have created a number of homes with what we call “Casitas,” small attached spaces that can function as an ADU, but come predesigned into the house plan. Especially in new construction, ADUs and Casitas both offer many benefits to home owners.

Flexibility in Accommodation

Marin ADU and Casita House Plan
Marin Home Plan

Many homeowners have found themselves in the position where a family member or friend needs somewhere to stay for an extended period of time, whether they are visiting, between jobs, or between homes. No matter the reason for the stay, it’s often hard to strike a balance between comfort and privacy. ADUs and Casitas offer a way to provide the guest with their own private bathroom, closet, kitchen, and frequently a private entrance. This is especially important if the homeowner keeps a different schedule from the guest or works from home, and doesn’t want them using the main entrance while they are asleep or trying to focus. Our Marin house plan includes an attached Casita that, while connected to the home, only shares walls, no doors. The entrance is to the right side of the home, with its own private walkway and set of steps. Having a space like this on your property allows you to accommodate any number of unexpected situations without having to scramble to rearrange your home.

Use as a Rental

Image: Kol Peterson

The concept of the “share” economy has taken a firm hold in the last few years, with services like Airbnb causing homeowners to rethink how they utilize their property. ADUs and Casitas make excellent fodder for rentals, whether short term or long term. These spaces make affordable options for long term renters, whether they don’t need a lot of space, don’t have a lot of possessions, or are just simply trying to economize. With the shortage of affordable housing in Portland and in many cities, many more people are turning to these types of homes. These spaces can also easily be turned into short term vacation rentals, or in the case of Kol Peterson, can be used as the homeowner’s main residence while they rent the main house. With the main house functioning as the rental, the owner can often net enough profit to contribute greatly to or even entirely cover their mortgage payment while they live in the ADU.

Added Home Value

ADU and Casita
Baker ADU Home Design

While these factors are obviously of great benefit to homeowners, Casitas and ADUs also provide great benefit to builders. With so many people building these structures on their existing properties, the option to build new construction with a Casita built in offers a great ROI for builders. Getting ahead of the trend by including a Casita with your new home provides a huge selling point and, if done right, will greatly increase the value of the home. With this recently completed project, we included a 462 sf accessory dwelling unit, complete with its own covered porch and patio, completely separate private entrance, and full kitchen, bath, and bedroom.

There has never been a better time to build an ADU or Casita on your property, and if you are thinking about building a new home and want one built in, there is no better than place Mark Stewart Home Design to help you out. Click here to view all of our home plans with attached and detached Casitas.

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