Adding to Your Seattle Home with DADUs
The NW Green Home Tour is coming to Seattle again the end of April. This is a project that you will be able to visit while on the free one day tour. Detached Accessory Dwelling Units are also known as an DADUs by the City of Seattle. One can go to the Dept of Planning and Development's website and find the CAM 116B or "Client Assistant Memo" regarding the separate living structures Seattle homeowners may build on their single family property. Much depends on the the size of the lot as well as available setbacks etc., but this is a great solution for increasing density without disturbing the feel and the lines of the neighborhood. If there is room on your lot this might be a great option to investigate, perhaps above an existing garage or the space at the back of the lot by the alley.
Below is the "Before" picture of a little used part of the yard:
Many Seattle neighborhoods are no longer car dependent and have readily available public transportation and such is the case of the build we will be following. The owner of this build could easily rent it out to a young professional who buses or bikes to South Lake Union or a student who attends the University of Washington. These projects can easily be built without having much long term impact on the neighbors or affect on-street parking.
Seattle DADUs can be a great option as extra guest space, as an income producing unit or as a home office or studio. Quite often these are designed as an "aging in place" solution using universal design techniques. The old wonderful homes we have here quite often have the kitchen and bedrooms on different levels. Accessory Dwelling Units can be a great solution for downsizing when the time comes to transition into an ADA compliant structure right in ones own back yard. The main house can become the younger generation's family home or as a rental when social security may not be enough to cover the bills.
This is what the start looks like from the sidewalk:
I will be following this project through completion with thanks to the generosity of the General Contractor Wayne Apostolik, and the patient homeowner.
If you want to know how this goes I plan on following this project through completion. Permitted Cottages once were easy to build, then the became illegal on single family lots. They are now again legal in some places. Best to check with the DPD if your Seattle home is a candidate.