An above garage ADU with a view of downtown San Jose

Homeowner: Brian and Nora

Spaces: An above garage

Brian and Nora had a very simple design in mind for their ADU to save costs, but their designer gave them the best of both worlds

I’m happy we built an ADU because it’s an investment in our family and our future for our daughter. We can have the flexibility and passive income. It’s such a smart use of our space and our property. I think it’s a great step.


The Backstory

Brian and Nora had their eye on building an ADU for almost two and a half years for financial security. When they finally felt ready to get things in motion, they figured a simple box design would be the best decision to save costs, since the Bay Area tends to have higher labor and material costs. That’s until their designer made them see the true value of excellent design.

San Jose Above Garage Accessory Dwelling Unit

The couple knew that they wanted to keep the yard and the garage for Brian’s woodworking projects, so they chose to build above the garage. Rather than plopping a square unit right on top, he cantilevered the front to hang slightly over the front of the garage. This may seem like a small detail, but when you look at the exterior of the unit, it makes a world of a difference in the aesthetic of the building.

Knowing that the unit would have a great view of downtown San Jose from that height, they faced the large windows in the bedroom in that direction for tenants to enjoy the view. Keeping their future tenant in mind, Adam also added a designated workspace in the bedroom to perfectly fit a desk and other office furniture. One of the main things he did to keep costs low was clustering all wet utilities like the bathroom, kitchen, and washer and dryer in one area. This seemingly small detail actually cuts plumbing costs by quite a bit.

Finishing off the look, they incorporated vaulted ceilings to make the 660 sq ft space feel airy and grand.

San Jose: A City With Big ADU Plans

ADUs are supplying much-needed housing in the Bay Area and provide financial independence for a lot of people. It’s really a smart investment and it’s great for those that need housing as well. -Brian

As a realtor, Brian knows firsthand how rough the housing market is in San Jose. It’s no secret that San Jose is in the middle of a housing crisis due to the recent tech boom in Silicon Valley. The most recent census reports that San Jose has even surpassed San Francisco as the most expensive city in the United States at an average monthly housing cost of $2,600! Luckily, San Jose has realized the true potential of ADUs and has policies in place to incentivize homeowners to build these wonder-homes on their properties.

Want to find out more about how you can build your ADU in San Jose with a trusted team like Brian and Nora? Maxable can connect you to top-rated local ADU designers and builders. Check your address here. 

Design: Mayberry Workshop

Build: First Class Construction