frequently asked questions

Although ADUs have been around for some time, their popularity has grown dramatically in recent years and many people are discovering them for the first time. For those of you who are in that group, we have put together a few questions and answers to help you better understand the basics of ADUs and a little about our company as well. If you are interested in learning more about accessory dwellings, we encourage you to check out sites like the Coalition for Smarter Growth to find out why ADUs are staging a comeback!  

ADU is short for Accessory Dwelling Unit. You may also know it as a granny flat, in-law suite, backyard cottage, accessory apartment, guest house or garage apartment. Whatever the name, they are typically a secondary, self-contained structure on the same property as a single-family house.

ADU’s can be developed, by right, in Washington DC and in many surrounding counties. Capital Dwelling will walk you through the zoning approval process based in your specific jurisdiction. If you have questions about the zoning regulations where you live, give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss it further.  

The benefits of an ADU are both immediate and long term. Once the unit is complete it is yours to use as you see fit. It could be a home office, a homework room or an in-law suite. One of the greatest features of an ADU is its versatility. Regardless of how you use it, an ADU will significantly increase your property value, which means getting more money for your property when it comes time to sell your home.

Rental regulations can vary dramatically by jurisdiction, especially when it comes to short-term rentals. Capital Dwelling offers property management and leasing services to help homeowners navigate their local rental market. 

ADUs present a unique rental offering. The appeal of an ADU is not the same as an apartment or a condo of a similar size. Because we specialize in ADUs we understand the unique appeal of these spaces and we can communicate that to potential tenants to maximize your rental income as a property owner. 

While projects can be as low as $50,000 for a basic unit, our typical full-service ADUs are closer to $150,000, on average

Capital Dwelling is a full-service provider of ADUs in the Washington DC region. We begin by working with the homeowner to create a design that meets your needs and fits your budget. For those who need financing assistance, we work on behalf of the homeowner to secure funding from a network of local and national lenders. We oversee the construction process, partnering with established contractors to complete your ADU on time and on budget. In addition to the basic, fixed-price agreement, we also offer enhanced landscaping and interior design options once your unit is complete, as well as leasing and management services if you choose to rent out your ADU to generate additional income. 

Because they are developed in a controlled environment, prefabricated buildings have inherent advantages over traditional on-site construction. They are not susceptible to delays due to weather. They are constructed with greater precision and with more oversight of quality control, resulting in less waste at the jobsite.    Our company uses prefabricated ADUs because we believe they are efficient, sustainable and they help us deliver a superior product for our customers. 

Everyone’s financial situation is different, but for some homeowners there may be tax breaks associated with financing a home improvement project, like an ADU. You should consult a tax professional to find out what benefits apply to your particular situation. 

When you add an ADU to your primary residence, you are increasing to the total livable area on your property and you are adding a space that can generate rental income. While individual property valuations will vary, appraisers will look at both of these factors when they are determining the increase the value of your home.