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Top 3 ADU Types That Increase Property Value (Ranked): ADU in Los Angeles

May 14, 2024

Modern ADU in Los Angeles

Top 3 ADU Types That Increase Property Value (Ranked): ADU in Los Angeles


ADU in Los Angeles, also known as Accessory Dwelling Units, have become increasingly popular among homeowners in Los Angeles, particularly in places like Los Angeles. ADUs offer a way to significantly increase property value and provide additional living space, rental income, or accommodation for family members. In this article, we will explore the three main types of ADUs—detached, attached, and garage conversion units—and analyze their impact on property value.

Detached ADU


A detached ADU, often referred to as a Granny Flat, is a separate structure from the main house. This type of ADU in Los Angeles typically adds the most value to a property. Detached ADUs are stand-alone units that provide extra livable square footage without sharing walls with the primary residence.

Value Addition

In Los Angeles, the addition of a 1,000 sqft detached ADU can significantly boost property value. Based on an average cost per square foot of $614, a detached ADU in Los Angeles of this size could increase property value by approximately $614,000. This substantial increase is due to the additional independent living space, which can be utilized for various purposes such as rental income or family accommodation.


  • Privacy: Detached ADUs offer a high level of privacy for occupants, making them attractive for rental purposes.
  • Flexibility: These units can serve as guest houses, rental properties, or housing for extended family.
  • Market Appeal: Properties with detached ADUs are highly sought after, especially in urban areas like Los Angeles where space is at a premium.


While detached ADUs offer significant value, they also come with higher construction costs compared to other types of ADUs. Additionally, homeowners must ensure there is enough space on their property to accommodate a detached unit.

Attached ADU


Attached ADUs are built as extensions of the existing home. They share at least one wall with the primary residence but have separate living facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom.

Value Addition

Although attached ADUs do not add as much value as detached units, they still provide a considerable boost to property value. The value increase is determined using a cost per square foot analysis. However, with an attached unit, homeowners are typically allowed to increase the current size of their home by only 50%, which can limit the added value compared to a detached unit.


  • Cost-Effective: Building an attached ADU can be more cost-effective than constructing a detached unit since it utilizes existing structures.
  • Utility Sharing: Attached ADUs can share utilities with the main house, reducing the overall cost of construction.
  • Integrated Design: These units can be designed to seamlessly blend with the existing architecture of the home.


Attached ADUs offer less privacy than detached units, which can be a drawback for potential renters. Additionally, the limitation on the size of the addition can restrict the potential increase in property value.

Garage Conversion ADU


Converting an existing garage into an ADU is another popular option for homeowners in Los Angeles. Garage conversions involve transforming the garage space into a livable unit with necessary amenities.

Value Addition

Garage conversions can boost property value, although typically not as much as detached or attached units. The primary appeal of garage conversions lies in their lower construction costs. While converting a garage into an ADU in Los Angeles can be less expensive, the loss of the garage for its intended purpose might slightly decrease property value. However, the potential rental income from a garage conversion can offset this decrease.


  • Affordable: Garage conversions are generally less expensive to build compared to other types of ADUs.
  • Efficient Use of Space: These conversions make use of existing structures, saving on materials and labor costs.
  • Quick Turnaround: Since the basic structure is already in place, garage conversions can be completed more quickly than building a new ADU from scratch.


One major drawback is the loss of garage space, which can be a significant issue for homeowners who need it for parking or storage. Additionally, garage conversions may require substantial modifications to meet building codes and regulations.

Making the Right Choice

Ultimately, the choice of which type of ADU in Los Angeles to build depends on factors such as budget, lifestyle, and property layout. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:

Evaluate Your Needs: Determine the primary purpose of the ADU in Los Angeles. Is it for rental income, guest accommodation, or housing for family members? This will help guide your decision on the type of ADU to build.

Assess Your Property: Consider the layout and size of your property. Detached ADUs require more space, while garage conversions and attached units can be more suitable for smaller lots.

Budget Considerations: Calculate your budget and explore financing options. Detached ADUs generally cost more to build but offer higher returns, while garage conversions are more affordable but provide a lower increase in property value.

Consult with Experts: Engaging with architects, builders, and real estate professionals who specialize in ADU in Los Angeles can provide valuable insights and help ensure your project complies with local regulations.


Building an ADU in Los Angeles is a strategic investment that can significantly enhance your property value and provide numerous benefits. Whether you choose a detached, attached, or garage conversion ADU, each type offers unique advantages that cater to different needs and budgets.

In summary:

  • Detached ADUs: Offer the highest increase in property value and maximum privacy but come with higher construction costs.
  • Attached ADUs: Provide a balance between cost and value addition, ideal for properties with space constraints.
  • Garage Conversions: Cost-effective and quick to build, suitable for homeowners looking for an affordable ADU option.

If you’re considering building an ADU in Los Angeles, take the time to explore your options, evaluate your property’s potential, and consult with experts to make an informed decision. With the right approach, your ADU project can be a valuable addition to your property, enhancing both its functionality and market appeal.

By understanding the different types of ADUs and their impact on property value, you can make a strategic choice that aligns with your goals and maximizes the benefits of your investment in an ADU in Los Angeles.

ADU in Los Angeles

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