ADU Story


Nevada City
Flexible Housing for Family

My family has lived here for seven generations, so this community has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I studied architecture in New York, and when our second son was born we moved back to Nevada City. This property had a separate workshop that we decided to convert into an ADU for my wife’s mother. I wanted the ADU to be a unique and comfortable home. It’s easy to build a bedroom and a kitchen, but it’s important to think about the colors, materials, and finishes that make a real home. The ADU turned out beautifully, we love the curved walls and modern finishes, and the patio and deck make a wonderful outdoor living and dining space. 

Design and construction took about nine months. We worked with a septic team to build a new system on a tight budget, and we talked with the fire department about safety requirements, like building fire truck access to the ADU and using fire safe materials for the Wildland Urban Interface. Construction wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. The added value to the property and rental income are a return on investment that balances everything out. 

While my mother-in-law lived here, we loved spending time in the ADU. Now our kids are grown and have children of their own, so they stay in the ADU when they visit and have a comfortable, private space. As my wife and I grow older we might move into the ADU and rent out the larger house, or give it to our children. We’ve rented out the ADU over the years and had great experiences with our tenants. We’ve met so many interesting people, and we’re still friends with some of them. I’m proud of the ADU, it’s a beautiful space and we use it to meet so many different needs for our family and the community. 

"I'm proud of the ADU, it's a beautiful space and we use it to meet so many different needs for our family and the community."


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