Image courtesy Abodu
Granny flats, backyard cottages, guest houses, ADUs…
whatever you call them, accessory dwelling units are an eco-friendly, cost-effective way to get more value from your property
As housing prices and living costs continue to rise, more homeowners are ditching the hassle and uncertainty of house hunting and finding ways to make their current home fit their needs. Prefabricated secondary living spaces can be a great, sustainable way to add a guest house, backyard office, art or recording studio, or rental property to your primary residence. With customizable floor plans and designs to suit any aesthetic, the only limit is your imagination (well, and your yard size).
We’ve put together a guide to some of today’s top prefab ADU manufacturers to help you find an option that fits your style and budget.
Looking for a more portable, tiny living option?
Check out 20 Tiny Home Manufacturers to Match Any Budget.
Plús Hús Los Angeles, CA
As Icelandic natives and custom home designers, Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson create spaces that are sustainable, high functioning, and flexible. As Los Angeles residents, they are deeply concerned with the city’s housing crisis, as well as the enormous waste associated with traditional construction. Plús Hús (pronounced like “couscous”) tiny homes and ADUs can help you make a difference from your own backyard. It’s a simple, efficient, multi-purpose structure designed to let anyone add an affordable, environmentally responsible home, guesthouse, or work/creative space to their property. Plús Hús is built with a “revolutionary sustainable building material, mnmMOD, and manufactured in Los Angeles.
Designed with simplicity of form and function in mind, the minimalist architecture lends itself to making the most out of the available space, while tasteful color schemes of white, black, and finished wood provide a clean and stylish overall product suitable for as many purposes as you can imagine. To cap it off, a fully sized French door heaps light onto the space inside.
BOXABL LAS VEGAS, NV
Unfolded and delivered right before your eyes, Boxabl will transform your idea of what a truly livable space is. These ADUs are fully ADA compliant with room for wheelchair operation and other mobility assistance. Boxabl’s Casita model comes equipped with all appliances, so you can save time and money not having to move in appliances on your own.
Living with less money doesn’t mean living with less quality: 9.5-ft ceiling, 8-ft windows, fully furnished with all the appliances—full-size everything… We think we have the only technology that can lower the cost of building construction substantially, and that includes lower-income, affordable housing.
CUSTOM CONTAINER LIVING ARCHIE, MO
These shipping container cabins use specific 20 ft and 40 ft floor plans but can be designed to your specifications. Having previous experience in traditional home building, founder Robert Wagoner strives to create a floor plan and design that is unique to your personal needs with transparency in customization along the way from conception to final product.
Custom Container Living’s website shares this surprising benefit of shipping container homes:
Strength and Durability. Containers are much stronger than normal wood construction methods. They are made with steel uni-body construction, the strongest construction method possible. The walls are made from 14 gauge, 0.075 inch corrugated sheet steel panels that are welded to the main structure. The top and bottom side rails and end frames are 7 gauge tubular steel. The steel used to build modern shipping/cargo container is a corrosive resistant, high-strength, low-alloy steel. The roof of the containers is constructed with die-stamp corrugated steel sheets; chambers can be found at the center. The roof’s main purpose is to keep out the elements. The bottom of the container has 3-4 mm thick cross members that have recesses along the bottom side rails, which allows them to be lifted with special straddle carriers. The floor of the shipping/cargo container is 28 mm thick with 19 ply treated plywood screwed into the structural cross members. Shipping containers can resist snow, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
ABODU REDWOOD CITY, CA
Headquartered in California’s center of innovation and pushing boundaries, Abodu transforms backyards and small lots into radically forward-thinking homes to enhance living and create joy. Combining two recent waves of legalization of additional dwelling units (ADUs) and tiny homes, Abodu is blazing a trail into the frontier of backyard living, using timeless, modern design. Because of their small square footage, Abodu homes use less materials and produce far fewer emissions than constructing traditional single-family homes. And less space means less energy to heat the home.
Make a difference in your community. Abodu ADUs are helping to solve the housing crisis one yard at a time. Talk to us about how you can help house those who need it most. Whether you need to provide housing for your college grad or a place to live that’s closer to work, we’ll help you get there—and without worry about dreaded shared walls.
HAUS.ME SEATTLE, WA
Haus.me manufactured and modular homes are intended to be 100% solar electric, requiring no connection to the grid, gas, propane, or other fuel—though a grid-connected package is available. The innovative 3D-printed wall material and an efficient heat pump with heat recovery ventilation combine for supertight, energy-efficient construction. Both off-grid models come equipped with smart home tech and 100% furnished. Estimated ship dates: 2023.
New, the on-grid 120 sqft Microhaus is intended as an income-producing ADU or guest house that will remain portable:
These homes are energy-efficient with low operating costs. They are durable and made from eco-friendly materials that are safe for you and the environment. Back-up power, a large water tank, and our Cloud Self-Diagnosis system make each one perfectly sustainable.
Studio Shed Louisville, CO
Studio Shed is leading the “shed revolution” and embracing the idea that living smarter is better than living bigger. The founders know firsthand how a secondary living unit can transform a property, and they inspire owners to harness their creativity to get the most out of their homes. With hundreds of customization options, Studio Shed ADUs are all about creating the perfect lifestyle fit. The 3D Design Center on their website can help you visualize the ADU of your dreams.
And if you’re stressed about local zoning laws, Jeremy Nova, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Studio Shed, introduced a new line of building-code–friendly ADUs:
For 15 years, our team of prefab experts have worked closely with our customers to design the ADUs of their dreams. It’s a natural evolution for us to now offer a select few turnkey, ready-to-ship designs of our most sought-after floor plans featuring the high-quality standards we’ve built our company around. Pre-engineered plan sets are a game changer for our customers. They meet building codes around the country, so our customers have one less step to worry about.
Dvele Riverside, CA
Homes are evolving, and Dvele is driving the transformation. Founded with the belief that homes can play a vital role in the transition to clean energy, Dvele builds ADUs to last 100 years—with no loss in energy efficiency between year 1 and year 100. The fully finished, pre-designed homes can create their own microgrid by producing clean energy and storing it in batteries, so you’re protected from power outages. Their Mini-Home is 381 sqft with 120 sqft of deck space. It’s pre-permitted for California and ready for immediate delivery.
The way we have evolved the home and how they are produced is having a radical, positive effect on our planet and economy,” said Kurt Goodjohn, Co-founder and CEO of Dvele. “We’re creating entire communities of Self-Powered, Self-Healing homes. Homes that can share clean energy and be resilient through our decentralized energy strategy. Homeowners can earn a profit or get free power forever, further reducing the cost of home ownership.
MEKA San Jose CA
Since 2009, MEKA has delivered affordable, eco-conscious prefab modular homes to customers around the globe. Right now, they service all 50 states and 10 provinces in Canada. MEKA’s ADU designs are sleek and modern with optimized functionality, and they’re built to withstand earthquakes, floods, high winds, and other harsh weather conditions. They offer pre-designed, innovative options starting from the 160 sqft Liberty to the two-bedroom VOR at 800 sqft on up; an home for everyone.
Owners can customize the appearance of ADUs, inside and out, with top-quality finishes. Just ask this satisfied customer:
We are very pleased with our ADU from MEKA! They modified the ADU to our specific requirements and guided us through the whole process.
Samara Redwood City, CA
Backyard is the new ADU from Samara, a California-based company founded by former Flex Chief Executive Mike McNamara and Airbnb Co-Founder Joe Gebbia. The units are fully customizable and 100% electric. They even come with a solar array, so they run “net zero” and may even save money on your energy bill for your main home! Balancing style and function, Backyard is built to last, with precision, factory-engineered steel frames. While it still offers a light, airy interior designed to compliment the natural world surrounding you.
Mike McNamara, Co-Founder and CEO of Samara, stated:
I co-founded Samara with Joe Gebbia to create impactful products that provide useful solutions for peoples’ lives across many decades. We started with Backyard because ADUs give homeowners ultimate flexibility to further optimize the use of their existing space with our Studio, One Bedroom, and recently launched Two Bedroom units. With Backyard, we focused heavily on beautiful design and sustainable features—an all-electric unit, precision engineered using modern materials that last for years; a quiet, advanced ducted air filtration system; and excess solar energy generation that can be used to offset usage in the front house—while also managing all steps of the process from manufacturing to permitting and installation.