Could There Be a Boom of Backyard In-law Cottages?


In the nearly three years I spent researching and writing a book about accessory dwelling units—In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your guide to turning one house into two homes—I thought I had seen every variation of designing and building ADUs out there. But as I was putting the book to bed, I came upon a developer in Berkeley, Kevin Casey, with a new twist. Namely, Casey’s start-up offers homeowners a turn-key ADU package that includes private financing, design, permit approval and construction. What’s more, he seems to be making a go of it, with a first backyard cottage garnering a lot of praise, and six more units in the pipeline. Now he’s looking for builders in other regions to partner with.

Whether Casey’s ADU model will thrive in other states depends on its surmounting some formidable barriers—particularly, zoning codes. But it should do well in Left Coast cities and suburbs from San Diego to Seattle, which are by and large receptive to second units. And it’s hard to argue with his numbers. To keep this blog brief, I will encapsulate four Q&A’s below and let the interview do the rest of the talking.

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A New Path of Building with New Avenue Homes


Are you tired of the continual expansion of suburban sprawl? Or perhaps just want a home that is right sized for your household, instead of a giant McMansion? New Avenue Homes may provide you with a sustainable option.

New Avenue allows communities to grow inward, rather than outward, “New Avenue is an alternative development model that enables communities to grow internally as opposed to externally. We do this by building homes on underutilized properties within existing neighborhoods.”

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