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An accessory dwelling unit (ADU), also known as a “granny flat,” is an additional dwelling built on the lot of a primary residence. Courtesy photo
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The fast, affordable way to your own backyard bungalow

As the state seeks to increase its housing supply, more people are being encouraged to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to their residential properties.

An ADU, also known as a “granny flat,” is an additional dwelling built on the lot of a primary residence. ADUs can generate more income for the property owner while also increasing housing stock in the area, but factors such as cost and time of construction on site may be keeping them from installing their own backyard bungalow.

Bill Smith, CEO of Backyard Bungalows, wants people to know that there is another more cost-effective, timely way to add an ADU to a property.

In an effort to ease California’s housing crisis, the state government recently passed new laws making it easier to build ADUs. That is how Backyard Bungalows came to be.

Most people are familiar with site builds when it comes to installing ADUs, where the entire construction process of an ADU happens at the location.

Site builds are a tedious process that requires hiring an architect and engineer, getting plans approved, shopping for a contractor as well as for appliances, materials, fixtures, and flooring and applying for building permits.

The site must then be prepared before construction of the ADU can happen.

“Anybody who has done a major remodel has heard horror stories of contractors not showing up, cost overruns, frustration running around from store to store — it’s just always a nightmare,” Smith said.

At Backyard Bungalows, Smith takes the factory-built approach to ADUs.

Though Backyard Bungalows is new, its experienced team has built over 70 factory-built residential homes from San Luis Obispo to Palm Desert to San Diego over the past five years.

“With us you simply order your ADU at a fixed price and in about 60 days it’s delivered and completed,” Smith said.

The time span is short because the site preparation and construction of the ADU in the factory occur simultaneously.

One step does not have to wait for the other as with site-built units.

The factory-built process is simple: pick a floor plan, select top of the line appliances, finishes and fixtures from the factory’s catalogue.

Backyard Bungalows’ contractor prepares the site while the ADU is built in an environmentally controlled factory. The ADU is then delivered to the site, where it takes a short three weeks to set-up and complete.

Backyard Bungalows offers floor plans from 400 to 1200 square feet in size and style and design choices from contemporary to Cape Cod.

“One of the great things about factory-built homes is that the price is fixed,” Smith said. “We know exactly what it’s going to cost and there can’t be any cost overruns.”

Many people use ADUs as a guest cottage, an extra space for college kids during the summer, or to generate extra income by collecting rent.

Some couples ready to downsize will even move into an ADU on their property and rent out the primary residence for more money.

ADUs also add to the property’s overall value. Smith explained that if a residence is valued at $500 per square feet, adding a 400 square foot ADU could mean the property value has increased by $200,000.

If you want to install your very own backyard bungalow, call Smith at 760-383-6020 or visit for more information.