About ADUs

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Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs are also known as second units, granny flats, in-law apartments, and backyard cottages. Creating an ADU on your property doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Lilypad Homes has the expertise, knowledge and relationships to help homeowners create an ADU that functions as an independent living space for renters, family members, or in-home caregivers.

Today’s homeowners, increasingly made up of empty nesters, single parents, retirees and those seeking a smaller environmental footprint, need flexible, more affordable housing options, which are in short supply given the predominance of large single-family dwellings. Fortunately, California laws have recently changed to simplify the permitting of ADUs, making it easier than ever to build private, independent units on existing single-family properties.

Let Lilypad Homes help remodel your home to maximize its value and earn rental income. You will gain greater economic freedom while providing much needed housing in your community. 


ADU Benefits

  • Earn Rental Income

  • Add Flexibility

  • Increase Home Value

  • Build Community

  • Achieve Sustainability

Earn Rental Income:
Gain financial security by carving out unused space into a private, independent rental unit. This dependable source of income can help pay the mortgage, college tuition, or fund a much needed vacation. ADU rental income can make it possible for first-time buyers to afford a home.

Add Flexibility:
Imagine a young couple renting out their unit to a teacher from a nearby school. Later when their family grows, they include the unit as part of their home. Years later, when the children go to college, the unit is rented to an aging neighbor who has decided to downsize. Eventually, the couple retires, moves into the unit and allows their newly-married daughter to begin her family in the main home. ADUs provide flexible multi-generational living spaces that meet changing needs.

Increase Home Value:
Today’s homebuyers understand that their space needs will change over time as children leave the nest (and sometimes return), and aging parents need assistance. Multi-generational homes and properties with legal rental units garner a premium price. The housing market as a whole will go up and it will go down, but a property with a rental unit will always be desirable.

Build Community:
While many Marin and Sonoma residents commute to San Francisco and beyond, thousands of others commute into our counties for jobs as teachers, nannies, medical staff, and public safety officers because our local housing options are scarce. ADUs can benefit our communities by adding housing units and including more of these important members of our work force as residents. 

Achieve Sustainability:
By using existing land and housing infrastructure to create new homes (infill development), ADUs reduce the environmental footprint of housing and help retain the natural beauty of our environment.  And by providing housing to local workers, commute hours and emissions are dramatically reduced. ADUs are an antidote to sprawl!



If that seems overwhelming, Lilypad Homes is here to help. 

With a Lilypad Homes Feasibility Assessment, we tackle steps 1 and 2 and quickly get you on the road to flexible, more affordable housing.

If you then choose to move forward, Lilypad’s Design and Consulting services can help take your ADU project to completion with ease. 


What are the steps to create an ADU?

  1. Define your goals

  2. Research your property’s possibilities

  3. Initial cost/benefit evaluation

  4. Preliminary design

  5. Meet with Planning & Building Dept.

  6. Obtain construction estimates

  7. Finalize design

  8. Obtain financing

  9. Select contractor

  10. Apply for permits

  11. Prepare for construction

  12. Construction phase

  13. Rent unit


Learn about the types of units, their benefits and relative costs, along with the basics of what’s allowed in your town. We’ll explain the process of creating an ADU or JADU and help you determine the next steps.


We will assess your property and identify the options for creating your ADU or JADU.