AD PRO by Architectural Digest asked Jim Westover, Principal and Residential Practice Leader at William Duff Architects, to weigh in on the rise in popularity of ADUs (accessory dwelling units).
‘More time at home this year translated to more home renovation projects—including, for many, the addition of accessory dwelling units. So, how do they function?
How to create an ADU
ADUs may be the conversion of existing spaces or new builds, depending on the space available and the needs of the clients. Jim Westover, residential practice leader at William Duff Architects in San Francisco, says his firm engages in both types of ADUs. “In dense urban areas like San Francisco, we are more likely to convert existing space—sometimes in a basement or an area behind a garage that lends itself well to being an ADU. In more suburban areas, it could be a conversion, addition, or independent new construction.”
What are some challenges to consider?
The restrictive footprint must be taken into account with every design decision—from the placement of doorways to furniture selection to decor elements. “The criteria for creating a useful, highly functional ADU is the same thought and attention as designing for a full-size house—they’re just smaller,” Westover explains. “If the ADU is going to really serve its purpose, it needs to be something you can actually live in comfortably.”’
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