Would You Like Less Stress and More Time? Consider Living in an ADU.

Would You Like Less Stress, Consider Living in an ADU
Would You Like Less Stress, Consider Living in an ADU
Would You Like Less Stress and More Time, Consider Living in an ADU

With the high cost and low inventory of affordable housing, the possibility of homeownership is decreasing and traditional rentals in high demand areas are quickly snapped up. 

So what is a person suppose to do?

The trade-offs of living in the city versus the suburbs have historically been that city living is more expensive, but you are closer to work, which means less time commuting and more time for friends and family. Living in the suburbs is less expensive for housing, but you have a longer commute, which means less time for friends and family. 

With the average commute approximately an hour to an hour and thirty minutes, living in the suburbs is becoming increasingly more expensive. With the cost of fuel, wear and tear on your car, increased car insurance, and unpredictable traffic, many people are searching for alternatives to traditional housing (home, apartment or condo).

The home industry is seeing increased demand for individuals, couples, and families for smaller, compact housing options. Small homes on compact lots (smaller than five-thousand square feet) are becoming increasing popular. These tiny homes, are providing an option for people wanting homeownership, but without the exceptionally large price tag. 

But what about those who don’t want to be homeowners, what is their option?

Consider an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). An ADU is a small “home” that is built within the boundaries of an existing single-family residential property, which can be either attached or detached from the original home. The majority of states have adopted laws which will allow for the addition of an ADU, but please verify with your state/local government to see if an ADU will be allowed in your area.

Living in an ADU has many benefits. Being closer to work, means less time for commuting and all of the expenses associated with car ownership and maintenance. Plus, you have the option of using mass transit, a bicycle, or ride-sharing services, making car ownership optional. With a shorter commute, you would have more time for leisure activities and more time for friends and family, which will ultimately reduce your stress level and can lead to a healthier lifestyle. 

Select Your Stove First – 5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Dream Kitchen

5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Dream Kitchen
5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Dream Kitchen
5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Dream Kitchen

You’re standing in your current kitchen thinking to yourself, why doesn’t anything in this kitchen work the way I want? Why is the refrigerator so far from the sink? I don’t have enough storage for all of my cookware. My pantry is so small, it can barely fit anything to last a week, let alone a little extra for a special occasion. After much frustration, you decide, “I’m going to remodel the kitchen!”

You’re excited at the thought of a new kitchen and start searching Mr. Google for design inspiration. You “ooh” and “ahh” at the photos of the latest appliances, cabinet styles, and lighting, searching for the right look, your dream kitchen! After a while, you start to feel overwhelmed with so many options that you don’t know where to begin. 

Here are five considerations when designing your dream kitchen:

#1 The Stove

For this article, the word “stove” is interchangeable with a built-in cooktop/oven combination.

Before selecting any other appliance, select the stove first. The manufacturer, type, size, number of functions, and accessories you select for the stove will start to set the budget for your kitchen. You might want all of the bells and whistles; infrared broiler, griddle, grill, eight burners, double oven (one gas/one convection), wok burner, etc. but do you really need all this? And do you have the space? 

Ask yourself the following:

What type of cooking do you do? Do you prefer quick meals or long simmering dishes, like stew? The type of cooking you do determines what types of burners you will need and the budget of the stove. If you prefer quick meals, you may not need or want the luxury eight-burner stove.

How many burners do you need? Stove sizes vary between 30” wide to 60” wide. Depending on the size, the number of burners range between four and eight. Add-ons such as a grill or griddle will affect the number of burners, stove size availability, and cost.

#2 How will you use your kitchen?

This might seem like a no-brainer, but this is a bigger question to think about than most people realize. The kitchen is often a gathering place, where children will do homework, where you might have idle conversation while cooking, or where you will enjoy a bowl of cereal. You might think, “Well I prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the occasional batch of cookies, what else is there to think about?”

Consider the following:

How often do you bake? Did you know that a kitchen is designed completely different if you prefer baking over cooking. What do you bake? How much preparation space do you need? Do you like to roll pastry for cinnamon rolls and croissants? 

Do you want family and guests to gather around an island while you prepare, cook, and bake?

#3 Allergies or Special Dietary Requirements

Does anyone in your household have special requirements, such as height or reach limitations, allergies, or medical conditions? Allergies or medical conditions may necessitate the need for separate work areas and storage. 

#4 How often do you host large gatherings?

A kitchen should be able to function for your day-to-day living, but could also have multiple people preparing/cooking food simultaneously. Does it feel crowded and chaotic when more than one person is working in the kitchen?

#5 How much pantry and storage space do you need?

Do you like to purchase in bulk? The pantry should be a multi-functional space for storage of small appliances, extra cookware and bakeware, and dry grocery goods (pasta, cereal, canned vegetables). The pantry can be purely functional or a showcase with accent lighting and pullout drawers or shelves to display heirloom dishes.

These five considerations are some of the types of questions your prospective architect/designer should be asking you when working with you to design your dream kitchen. We hope that your dream becomes reality and that you will be enjoying your new kitchen for many generations. 

If you are just starting a kitchen/house/ADU project, contact us early in the process to insure a smooth and comprehensive approach.

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