Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Accessory dwelling units, which sometimes go by “mother-in-law apartments,” “granny pads,” “elder cottages” or “secondary suites,” among other names, are small dwelling or living spaces erected on the same property as an existing home. As the “baby boomer” population continues to age and home prices continue to increase just about everywhere, these smaller, more affordable residential units are becoming far more popular because they allow older adults to live independently in their own homes while still maintaining close proximity to family.

While many people use accessory dwelling units to house their aging parents, others use them for a wide range of other purposes. Because they are affordable, easy to erect and conveniently located, many people use them to generate steady income as AirBnBs or rental spaces. Others granny flat owners choose to use their pre-engineered steel dwelling units as:

  • Mother / Father In Law Apartments
  • Rental Units
  • Home Gyms, Offices, Art Studios
  • Man Caves / She Sheds
  • Teen Apartments
  • Guest Houses

When limited housing markets and rising costs would otherwise keep aging parents or others from living in their own homes, self-contained metal accessory dwelling units present affordable alternatives that increase the value of a property.


Accessory dwelling units are self-contained, so there are provisions in place regarding sleeping, cooking entry and sanitation. Sunward Steel is well-versed in these provisions and can help those looking to add parent pads to their properties design units that meet their needs and comply with applicable codes and requirements.