Free ADU home tour gives an inside look at living small in L.A.
Ever wondered what it’s like to live in a 400-square-foot converted garage a stone’s throw from another single-family home on the same property? You’ll have a chance to find out this weekend as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program under L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office hosts a free, self-guided tour of accessory dwelling units.
The ADUs will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission to all of the homes is free, and no reservations are required. A Google map, with a description of each home and address, is available on the city of L.A.’s Low Rise website.
In Los Angeles, where home prices and rents are spiking, accessory dwelling units, also known as ADUs, mother-in-law units and granny flats, account for approximately 20% of newly permitted housing units and have become a powerful tool that allows homeowners to make the most of their properties.
“Our housing affordability crisis demands that we get creative,” Garcetti said in a statement. “If just 10% of the city’s 500,000 single-family homes had an accessory dwelling unit, Los Angeles could increase its housing density by half in just a handful of years. Most notably, this could be done without altering the character of a neighborhood.”
Over the past year, The Times has chronicled the many ways in which ADUs have become an affordable game-changer for families who added a second home to house their elderly parents, grown children or renters to supplement their income.
California homeowners have the right to build at least two ADUs on their property. But naturally, there are rules and costs. Here’s a guide.
Saturday’s wide-ranging tour will feature 11 ADUs throughout Los Angeles, in neighborhoods including Elysian Park, Silver Lake, Hancock Park, Van Nuys, Mt. Washington, South L.A. and Venice. The tour will include projects by Los Angeles architects and design firms Bunch Design, Assembledge+, Taalman Architecture, IT House, Bau10, Cover, Abodu, United Dwelling and Otto ADU.
In an effort to give homeowners a realistic idea of what the building process is like, two of the ADUs — a two-story ADU in Silver Lake and a one-story carport conversion in Van Nuys by IT House — will be open to the public while under construction. If you’re interested in prefabricated design, two one-bedroom prefab homes designed by Norm Architects in collaboration with Dwell will be on display in the Abodu showroom in downtown Los Angeles.
When you’ve had your fill of houses, you can learn more about ADUs from a variety of perspectives as architect Linda Taalman moderates a panel discussion on low-rise densification efforts throughout L.A. with members of Casita Coalition and Revival Homes, architect Demar Matthews from offTop Design and a local homeowner and builder.
The discussion will be at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, 2300 Silver Lake Blvd. in Silver Lake, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 and attendance is limited to 50 people, with proceeds benefiting the programming efforts at the VDL Studio and Residences. Guests can register for the panel on Eventbrite, and will have an opportunity to ask questions at a Q&A following the presentation. The conversation will be filmed and aired online at a later date.
More on ADUs
They worried about long-term housing for their disabled son — until they built an ADU
This ADU rental with windows galore is a houseplant lover’s dream
How an aging Tudor’s ADU reunited a family and brought them closer together
They were spending all their income on rent. A garage turned ADU saved them
How an unremarkable alley-facing garage in West L.A. became a stylish ADU
They turned a house full of cockroaches and code violations into a ‘must have’ home — and ADU
They turned a one-car garage into a stunning ADU to house their parents. You can too
He challenged himself to build an ADU for under $100,000. What’s his secret?
She built a granny flat in Echo Park: How it saved her during the pandemic
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