The Best ADU Floor Plan Ideas for Maximizing the Space

7 Home Additions That Can Add Value to Your Property

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) adds value to your property, allows for flexibility with your family’s housing situation, and can even act as a source of income. The key to a successful ADU is a great floor plan. 

When working in a smaller space, fitting everything in can feel impossible. And if you google “500 square foot floor plan”, the designs are often for apartments, not small houses. 

If you want to learn how to maximize the space in your ADU floor plan, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about making the most of small spaces with different ADU floor plan ideas. 

Take Advantage of Vertical Space

When working in a small space, every inch counts. If your ADU has high ceilings, take advantage of that vertical space by installing a lofted room. Lofted rooms offer incredible functionality while adding breath-taking architectural intrigue. 

These spaces can be used for any type of room, but the following rooms are the most functional: 

Lofted Bedroom

Since bedrooms are used primarily at night, you won’t need to traipse up and down a set of stairs or a ladder multiple times a day. Lofted bedrooms also add privacy without needing to build interior walls that block natural light and can make a space feel cramped. 

Lofted Living Area

A lofted living area gives you an escape from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the ADU. Your family, guests, or renters can head upstairs to watch a movie or read a book. 

If you choose to use a lofted space as a living area, be sure to include a dining space somewhere else in the ADU. Carrying plates of food upstairs can be treacherous and messy!

Lofted Office

A lofted office helps create a separation between work and relaxation. With more and more people working from home, it’s important to create functional home offices that encourage productivity and focus. 

Attic Storage

If your ADU doesn’t have enough room for a lofted space, you can still make the most of the vertical space with attic storage. There are plenty of attic storage ideas to make the most of your overhead space without compromising on the functionality of the ADU. 

Utilize Under Stair Storage

If your ADU has a loft space or a second storey, take advantage of the space under the stairs.

When homeowners are looking for ways to save space, under stair storage is often overlooked. But, it makes use of otherwise wasted space and can be a standout feature when utilized effectively

Use Interior Sliding Doors

When maximizing the available space, you always want to choose the space-saving option. Sliding doors save a ton of floor space in your ADU layout, giving you design flexibility around doorways.  

When regular doors are open, they can get in the way. Sliding doors stay along the wall, keeping the space sleek and visually tidy. 

Combine Different Areas

One of the best ways to maximize square footage is to design multi-functional spaces. 

When designing the floor plan, consider the people who will be making use of the ADU. If you’ll be renting the space out to students, you need to prioritize a study or office space. If you’re building an ADU to give your extended family a place to stay on vacation, then you should prioritize a comfortable, spacious living area. 

Living and Dining

Besides just being a popular home design trend, open-plan living and dining can also save a lot of space in your accessory dwelling unit floor plan. Use area rugs to visually separate the room into different sections. 

In a long rectangular room where the main couch faces one of the short walls, you can place your dining table directly behind the main couch to save valuable inches. In a square space, you can place the dining table in one corner while an L-shaped couch sits across the room. 

Kitchen and Dining

Since ADUs seldom need more than 2 to 4 spaces at the dining table, you can combine your kitchen and dining area to save valuable floor space. 

Add island counters to your kitchen to provide surface area for food prep as well as a dining table to eat. 

Laundry and Bathroom

In an ADU, it doesn’t make sense to have an entire room dedicated to laundry. Instead, design the space to have a slightly larger bathroom that can contain a washer and dryer. This combination can make plumbing the ADU more efficient since everything happens in the same place!

Bedroom and Living

For extremely small ADUs, you can get away with combining the bedroom and living room. With a few extra pillows, the main bed can be used as a daybed during the day.

If you have slightly more wiggle room, you can place the couch against the foot of the bed. You can use lighting and area rugs to visually separate the areas. 

Design the Perfect ADU Floor Plan With Jay Cad

Knowing how to design an ADU floor plan is the best way to maximize the space you have. With some clever use of vertical space, sliding doors, and multi-functional areas, you can create a beautiful and functional living space for your family, guests, or renters. 

Jay Cad has extensive experience with creating floor plans and designing ADUs for every home. Request a quote today to start designing your dream ADU.

Contact us today to get a quote if you have any drafting needs! We will happily help you design any of your ideas here at Jay Cad!


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