The end of the year is approaching, and that means we have some new, amazing ADUs to showcase. The ADUs of 2022 knocked it out of the park, so much so that we decided to feature more projects than ever before!

Take a look at our top 10 favorite projects below and our crowned winner voted by our audience!

Historical Carriage House Saved from Landfill

Denver, CO

Garage Conversion

540 sq ft, 1 bed, 1 bath

Initially, this family received bad news. They were told by previous contractors that their carriage house was unsalvageable for a garage conversion, heartbreaking information they didn’t want to accept.

So, when ADU4U arrived at their property and instantly fell in love with the 1906 carriage house, they assured the homeowners that it was there to stay. Not only did it match the primary home wonderfully, but it also exemplified the historical character of the neighborhood.

Fast-forward in time, and their carriage house is now a five-star rated, income-generating ADU that glows with uniqueness and character. It contains vaulted ceilings that brighten the space with plenty of natural light, an energy efficient design, custom cabinetry, and a salvaged barn door. A gorgeous space for renters and visiting family alike!

What a happy ending!

Designed and built by ADU4U Limited

Clever Garage Conversion within Historic Preservation Zone

Pasadena, CA

Garage Conversion

627 sq ft, 1 bed, 1 bath

This family had a small dilemma. While they hoped to add additional living space to their home, they didn’t want to sacrifice the parking and storage space their garage offered. A garage conversion seemed out of the question. But then, they had an idea.

The owners decided to convert their existing garage into an ADU and then rebuild the garage directly in front. Sounds simple enough, right? Not quite! There was the added challenge of them living in a historic preservation zone, meaning that any new construction had to match the existing designs perfectly.

GreatBuildz’s contractor, Curtis, and his team not only felt up for the challenge, but they conquered it! They did a stellar job at building a garage nearly identical to the original, including restoring the initial garage structure to its original historic beauty while transforming the inside into a stunning ADU.

Beyond the historic charm of the outside, the inside contains a large, open-concept floor plan, a bold green kitchen with gold accents, and rustic yet modern design elements throughout.

Now the family has the additional space they dreamed of, great for arts and crafts, entertaining or even a home for a future live-in nurse.

Designed by Chisel & Tool

Built by GreatBuildz

Unanticipated Garage Conversion Lends a Hand Amidst Pandemic

Los Angeles, CA

Garage Conversion

487 sq ft, 1 bed, 1 bath

Most of us are not unfamiliar to the wrench that Covid threw in many of our lives and plans at the start of the pandemic. These homeowners, like many of us, experienced Covid’s blowback firsthand.

As small-business owners, they initially began the ADU process with the intent on transforming their garage into a much more usable office space to manage their affairs. But once the pandemic was in-full swing, they realized it would serve a much greater purpose as additional square footage for their family.

This garage conversion took customization to a whole new level, from open shelving to kitchen cabinetry to clé tile backsplash. The unit even featured a unique tongue and groove vaulted ceiling for some extra flair.

Despite the changes Covid made on their ADU plans, the finalized product was just what they needed for their busy family— them and their three sons — during the pandemic. But even more special? These homeowners also used the space as housing for families who were in transition as a result of the pandemic. What a great example this family set, showing the tremendous impact a big heart and helping hand can have in the world!

Designed and built by New Generation ADU

Above Garage ADU Features a Rooftop Deck with a View

Denver, CO

Detached Custom Build/Above Garage

556 sq ft, 2 bed, 2 bath

This 2 bed, 2 bath ADU build takes us all the way to Denver, Colorado where the goal for this project was to accrue some passive rental income. Some special features of this unit include vaulted ceilings, an in-unit washer/dryer, an energy-efficient design, and a rooftop deck with views of the surrounding Denver area. All this in just 556 square feet!

Those at Prenvalley Builders derive a sense of pride from this project given how much was accomplished within such a tight site. It was not an easy feat, but the final result was easy to love!

Designed by Nagy Design

Built by Prenvalley Builders

Photography by Ethan Herrold Photography

Perfect Home for Bay Area Caretaker

Los Altos, CA

Detached Custom Build

740 sq ft, 1 bed, 1 bath

Bay Area caretaker with a heart of gold, Nicole, is the primary caretaker to her 94-year-old grandmother with dementia. With limited affordable housing options in her area and two lovable but massive pit bulls in tow, Nicole and her husband wanted nothing more than a home to call their own. Luckily, their ADU offered the perfect solution.

Enlisting the help of architect, Adam Mayberry, AIA, the end result was a gorgeous one-bedroom, one-bath unit with a spacious walk-in closet, vaulted ceilings, and a serene bathroom complete with a soaking tub. Not only did Nicole’s ADU have an intelligent spatial design that met everything on her wishlist in just 740 sq feet, but she now lives in more than ideal proximity to her grandmother. Talk about a win-win!

Architect: Adam Mayberry, AIA of Mayberry Workshop

Construction: Scott Adams

Smart Design Overcomes Narrow Lot Challenges

San Diego, CA

Detached Custom Build

344 sq ft, 1 bed, 1 bath

Every lot is unique and is going to come with its challenges, which is just one of the reasons why having an experienced ADU designer to take on your project is crucial. The proposed space for the ADU was a bit narrow and they ran into a bit of an issue with easements, but the designers of Ruland Design Group were able to come up with a design that fits perfectly in the space. Not to mention, they were able to make it into a one-bedroom rather than a studio, which is tough to do with 344 sq ft!

Some final touches that really tie the space together include a stackable washer and dryer, a patio, and even an outdoor shower for when guests stop by for a swim. That’s definitely a feature we haven’t seen before!

Design by Ruland Design Group

Build by ADU Builder Pros

Chula Vista ADU for Keeping Grandma Close

Chula Vista, CA

Detached Custom Build

749 sq ft, 2 bed, 1 bath

When the time came for this homeowner’s mother to move closer to home, an ADU emerged as the right choice for the job. With a detached build, both the daughter and her mother could maintain the privacy and autonomy they still desired.

This California classic, farmhouse-inspired ADU did not disappoint! In the kitchen is a full island with vaulted ceilings above that expose beautiful wood beams, allowing this space to feel big and open. The homeowner also wanted to allow some ocean breeze inside, so this ADU delivered with the two, bright skylights. For some extra oceanside breeze, there’s even a tiled patio off the main living area and master. And for chillier nights, a fireplace is inside to enjoy.

This mother-daughter duo was an amazing team for Proteus Homes to work with, especially given their keen eye for design and vision for the space. Now, the mother has her dream home right in the very backyard of her daughter and grandson!

Designed and built by Proteus Homes

Traditional Garage Gets a Modern ADU Makeover

Los Angeles, CA

Garage Conversion

364 sq ft, studio, 1 bath

With a toddler and newborn ruling the roost, these homeowners just needed a little extra space to make living, working, and entertaining at home more functional. Converting their garage into an ADU was the obvious answer.

Architect Mark Nichols, AIA, and Jamie B. Interiors worked together to create a gorgeous design that feels like a breath of air. They incorporated a vaulted ceiling with exposed decorative beams located at the hips of the ceiling and a sensible and refined material palette selected by Jamie B Interiors. The interior aesthetic consists of light materials with warm wood accents that provide some texture but in a refined way. The interiors utilize restraint from excessive pattern or color to help the small but cozy ADU not feel too busy.

Design by Mark Nichols, AIA

Interior Design by Jamie B. Interiors

Photography by Hunter Kerhart

2-Story ADU Blends Contemporary with Functionality

Los Angeles, CA

Detached Custom Build

900 sq ft, 1 bed, 2 bath

Contemporary and functionality blend well together in this two-story ADU. Features like tall ceilings with exposed beams provide a modern touch, while the surplus of storage and open kitchen layout with an island offers plenty of practicality. There’s no shortage of windows throughout, either, letting lots of natural light inside to brighten up each room.

Although this ADU has a lot going for it already, there’s potential for more! The unit is even set up for a future rooftop deck over the adjacent garage. As of right now, the homeowner is happy with the project and how it has created cost-effective homeownership.

Designed by Maio Grodsky

Built by Building Blocks

Expansive 1,200 Sq Ft ADU for a Growing Family

Vista, CA

Detached Custom Build

1,200 sq ft, 3 bed, 3 bath

These homeowners were looking to bring their two children closer to home in Vista, California. Fortunately, they discovered the perfect solution right in their very own backyard! The abundant space on their property allowed the family to build the largest ADU possible — a fantastic 1,200 square foot unit!

Although the 3 bed, 3 bath floor plan was standard, the rest of the unit was anything but! The inside featured an in-unit washer/dryer and a built-in kitchen island, while the outside sported custom upgrades like S-tiled roofing, energy efficient solar panels, and gridded windows to match the primary residence. But what really took this ADU from great to glamorous was its stunning poolside view!

With SnapADU there to help design and build the space, this family now has the ideal home for their growing family!

Designed and built by SnapADU

Voting closed! Subscribe to our newsletter to find out who is crowned the winner on Thursday, December 22nd. 

Honorable Mentions

Spacious ADU with Lofted Ceilings and Skylights

Monte Sereno, CA

Detached Custom Build

800 sq ft, 2 bed, 1 bath

Given its ability to generate a sense of space that exceeds its footprint, this detached ADU is an exemplar of masterful design. The goal for this property was to provide a comfortable extra living space, and it far surpassed expectations.

The resulting 2 bed, 1 bath ADU features an intelligent open floor plan that creates the illusion of a unit much larger than 800 square feet. The custom kitchen is complete with vaulted ceilings, faux beams, and skylights, all of which extends into the living space. As a result, the ADU exudes a calming, spacious feel from the moment you walk in!

Designed by Cottage Technologies

Built by Integrum Construction

Detached ADU Brings the Outdoors Inside

Oceanside, CA

Detached Custom Build

1,100 sq ft, 2 bed, 1 bath

Scheduled to be completely finished in just a few days, this detached ADU takes open and inviting to a whole new level!

The high, sloping ceilings fill the unit with bright light, creating a cheerful, welcoming ambiance inside. But that’s not all! This space brings the outdoors inside through a stunning open air courtyard and three folding Panoramic Doors, both unique features that makes this project stand out. With other soft, soothing design choices throughout, this ADU provides the perfect, peaceful oasis for housing family members.

We can’t wait to see the final product.

Designed by Modern Granny Flat

Built by CalHomeCo