Four ADU Designs With Garages We Love

September 21, 2020

Four Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Designs With Garages We Love


Building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in California is about the hottest real estate trend. When SB261 and its many accompanying bills were passed, statewide the game changed. Now virtually any property is basically zoned multi-unit. We have the right to convert garages, vacant space on the lot and build as many as two units with both ADU’s and Jr ADU’s being permitted.

San Diego County has created pre-approved plans you may use to speed up the approval process. Saving homeowners on drafting and architectural costs. This is creating additional units in a much more cost effective manner. This article though, is covering some of the more interesting designs you can utilize to create something really special.

When buying a house in San Diego with the idea that you can build an ADU in the future, these designs could be helpful. While we’re unsure of the value you’ll see when selling your home in the future, the income created by these ADU’s are providing returns over 10% in most cases which is excellent. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the rules we’re using to select the designs. As we have active ADU projects starting in Oceanside I’ll use their rules. Most importantly that we cannot exceed 1200 square feet in size. Lets begin.


Modern two story with a one car garage

This 1125 sq. ft. three bedroom two bathroom modern design is one of our favorites. Making off street parking and storage possible on a very small footprint (25 x 30) this unit could fit into almost any property with alley access and allow the feeling of having an entire detached second home on the property.

Standard Two Story Two Bedroom

This design is really clean, and very similar to the other design we’ve highlighted. Allowing almost 1100 sq. ft. from a very small footprint. These designs are including a garage which is rare for ADU’s in California. But we love garages and wanted to show how you can create a true second home with your ADU build. 

Four Car Garage Plus Open Loft ADU

This plan is a car guys dream come true, the large four car garage on the ground floor with a huge upstairs space ready to be designed into the right unit for your needs. This size loft is likely maxed out as a one bedroom but could be done into a two bed one bath if the bedrooms and living space are very small. There are plenty of these being built around coastal Oceanside with second level balconies that in some cases even offer an ocean view. 

Three Bay Carriage House With One Bedroom Unit


This modern ADU design, shown fully completed in Georgia is a very modern version of a classic carriage design. Alloing for a huge one bedroom unit with large cloests and living room this design allows for options. 

The three car garage/workshop is what we really love but the whole design really works. Most of the designs we’ve found will work in a space of 60’x40′. 


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