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Updated: May 4, 2023

In-Law Suite v/s Accessory Dwelling Unit : Key Contrasts To Know

When investing in a new house, homeowners often consider a wide range of factors before making a decision. Among the most popular options for adding living space to a home are in-law suites and accessory dwelling units (ADUs), both of which are highly valued in the construction market. However, before making a choice between the two, it's important to assess which option is best suited to your lifestyle and specific needs. By taking into account your preferences, budget, and available space, you can make an informed decision about which type of living space to invest in. Get to know the key contrasts between In-law suites and accessory dwelling units. Contact home addition contractors near me for an expert advice.


In-law suites are typically part of the main residence and their design is influenced by the family's requirements and the existing structure of the home. They can be customized and are known to accommodate older residents. The primary purpose of an in-law suite is to provide an easily accessible and private living space for any family member while still remaining close to the rest of the household.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a self-contained living unit that is separate from the main residence and built on the same property. ADUs can be constructed as standalone structures in the backyard and typically feature their own entrance, kitchen, and bathroom. The design of an ADU is influenced by the homeowner's specific needs and preferences, as well as any relevant local building regulations. To be livable, ADUs have an adequate supply of water, sewage, and gas, among other necessary utilities.


In-law suites offer the advantage of sharing common spaces that are connected to the main house, which provides convenience for both the family members and the occupants of the suite. The shared spaces, such as the kitchen, laundry, and living areas, create a sense of togetherness while allowing each person to have their own personal space. This access promotes both independence and a feeling of connectedness among family members living in the same house.

Due to their self-contained nature, ADUs come equipped with their own set of facilities such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas. As a result, they offer their residents the luxury of personal space and independence, while still allowing them to live in close proximity to the main house. This feature adds significant value to the property, as it increases the overall living space and functionality of the property.


In-law suites also referred to as mother-in-law suites, are living spaces designed for elderly family members or guests that are typically created by repurposing existing rooms within the home. They are considered the most cost-effective option for homeowners since they do not require any additional construction or renovation to the space. Unlike ADUs, in-law suites can share the main kitchen of the house, making them a practical solution for growing families. By adding an in-law suite, homeowners can increase the overall value of their property and get a higher return on investment.

Accessory dwelling units are separate buildings that need additional foundational, construction, remodeling, and rehabilitation work. This can significantly increase the overall cost of a homeowner's renovation project. it requires separate utility hookups for water, gas, electricity, and sewer, which can result in higher utility costs. However, despite the higher costs, adding an ADU to a property can increase its overall value and provide additional living space, making it a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.


In-law suites are just a primary addition and shall require no permits. However, ADUs are additional construction units that might require necessary permits.

Want more information? Talk to the local Remodeling contractor experts, CT

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