Custom Cottage Designed, Permitted, and Built in < 10 Months

2 bed|1.5 bath|887 sq. ft.

An ADU Fit for Family, Friends, and Fun

The Cottage team designed, permitted, and built this 881 sq.ft. custom ADU in less than 10 months.

Living in a suburban Monte Sereno neighborhood has its benefits. Quality schools, friendly neighbors, and plenty of greenery, among other features. These benefits have led to rising home values and a sharp increase in demand for housing in the neighborhood—a trend seen across the San Francisco Bay Area over the past few years.

As a result of the increase in housing prices, however, homeowners with growing families or additional space needs have had a tougher and tougher time finding affordable properties with more square footage in the same neighborhoods they currently reside in.

For these Monte Sereno homeowners living on a quiet cul-de-sac, building a sizable detached ADU in the side yard of the property provided the perfect opportunity to add room for more while keeping them on the block.

Furthermore, the 881 sq.ft., 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom Accessory Dwelling Unit provides the homeowners future flexibility to move into the unit itself and rent out the main home in the future, while also increasing the overall property value for a property sale in the distant future.

The Cottage team designed, permitted, and built the new ADU unit in less than 10 months from start to finish—just in time for the homeowners to host the first of many March Madness college basketball watch parties.

ADU Placement That's Right for the Property

Monte Sereno Floor Plan

Before the new Accessory Dwelling Unit, the side yard space was a nicely fenced off grassy space. But with the space being underutilized, the homeowners saw the clear opportunity for a new detached unit in the same area.

The unit also sits at the top of a wide driveway and is mostly hidden from the street, creating some separation and privacy from the main home. While this wouldn't necessarily be an issue for the homeowners initially while they use the unit for their own family, the separation creates additional value for a future owner to rent out either (or both) of the legal units.

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From the outset, the custom exterior details—such as stucco'ed corner details and a stone veneer installed at the homeowners' request—provide visual continuity with the rest of the property and add to the curb appeal.

ADU Design To Maximize Space

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Walking into the detached unit, visitors can immediately feel the open floor plan of the main dining, kitchen, and living room area. With enough space for a full-sized couch, dining table, and TV mounted to the wall on one side, and the full kitchen on the other side of the unit, the entertaining areas of the ADU interior are perfect for guests.

You can't help but look up when you enter the unit as well. Vaulted ceilings and exposed beams frame a pair of skylights that let in additional natural light into the unit, and wide windows with built-in shades for privacy give the unit everything it needs to be "move-in ready" from day one.

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Part of the homeowners' shared vision was not only hosting family members and grandparents, but also for hosting friends and group gatherings. With that in mind, the integration of the kitchen with the rest of the dining and living room space became an important design consideration for this detached ADU.

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For starters, size: the kitchen had to be full sized, with full-sized appliances—especially a larger refrigerator. Storage was also key, with extra cabinet space both above and below the counters to ensure that there would be ample storage for the occupants.

ADU Kitchen Details for Hosting

Details matter for every custom Cottage ADU, and this one was no different. A custom backsplash pattern, stainless steel single sink, quality countertops, and strategic above-sink window placement are a few of the little things that are easy to miss on paper, but stand out in real life.

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Having designed hundreds of similar spaces, the Cottage Design Team was able to identify these opportunities early in the design development process and ensure that every square inch was used effectively in the space.

Flexible Bedroom and Bathroom Spaces

Early on, the property owners knew they wanted multiple bedroom spaces—one for guests, and the other as a flex bedroom or office space. The efficient layout of the bedroom and bathroom spaces allows for this while creating some separation between the two bedrooms.

On one hand, the bedroom closer to the front door has its own walk-in closet and half bathroom, perfect for the homeowners and their guests. While the closet space could have been used for a full bathroom to mirror the other full bath, the homeowners opted for the additional storage space.

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With access to the backyard via a wide sliding glass door, the second bedroom in the rear also sports its own closet space that cleverly juts into the kitchen to allocate more floor area to the bedroom living area. Little design details like these can be easily overlooked—they underscore the benefits of custom designing and building the ADU space, rather than opting for a prefab ADU "box" or modular floor plan that can't be altered.

Another fun door detail: custom barn doors to match the rest of the cabinets and accent colors seen throughout the ADU unit.

The extra large full bathroom sports a stackable washer-dryer unit as well as other custom features.
The extra large full bathroom sports a stackable washer-dryer unit as well as other custom features.

The bathroom was certainly one area that the Cottage Architectural Design team helped the homeowners explore—and invest a bit more into high-quality finishes. Tasteful tiling, custom floating shelves, and floor-to-ceiling wall tiling around the bathtub and rearmost wall give the space a more luxurious feel, while the in-unit stackable washer and dryer unit ensures that living in the unit is self-sustainable if it's used as a rental ADU in the future.

Custom ADUs to Fit Your Budget And Needs

At Cottage, we believe in providing homeowners the best ADU experience possible from start to finish. From the initial feasibility and planning conversations to design to permitting to construction, we're here to guide your project from start to finish.

Interested in building a similar attached or detached ADU, or converting an existing garage space? Contact us today by clicking the link below for a Free, No-obligation Consultation & Estimate for your ADU vision with one of our ADU experts!

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