Building an ADU in Denver Basics
Our resident ADU expert and agent Stacy Rozansky joins me in this episode to give an update on the current landscape in the Denver Metro area for ADUs. Our goal is to do these regularly, since this is a quickly evolving landscape and zoning regulations change frequently. Check out this episode to see how ADUs can add rental income to offset monthly mortgage payments.

We get a lot of questions from investor clients about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The thought is that these structures can add rental income to offset monthly mortgage payments, making Denver home buying more affordable. Plus Denver needs affordable housing, and ADUs can help meet that need.

Stacy is an investor herself and keeps close tabs on the latest developments, so she will act as our reporter and keep us informed.

– – Chris

Get All the Details on Denver ADUs Including

  • What is an ADU?
  • What zoning works for ADUs?
  • Which Denver neighborhoods are ADU friendly? Hint: Chaffee Park is one.
  • What is spot rezoning and why is it important?
  • Why is the average cost for a modest 800 square foot ADU 150-250k?
  • What types of financing are available for building an ADU?
  • Why are setbacks and variances important if you’re planning on building an ADU?

Three Learning Options!
  1. Listen to the podcast “#245: Building an ADU in Denver Basics” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
  2. Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom.)
  3. Read the blog post. Note, the blog is an executive summary. Get the in-depth breakdown from the podcast or video.

What is an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an independent, smaller residential unit. It is typically located on the same lot as a detached single family home.

Where to Start: Zoning

ADU zoning chart
https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/community-planning-and-development/zoning/denver-zoning-code/zone-descriptions.html

Accessory Dwelling Unit Denver – specific zone districts

ADU specific zone districts
ADU specific zone districts

E- Zone District

  • Height:    1.5 Stories / 24’ tall
  • Bulk Plane:  10’ lot line / 45° angle up to 24’
  • Lot Size:    Varies (see next slides)
  • Location:  Must be in the rear 35% of the lot
  • Setbacks:    5’ for sides and rear
    •   If 2 stories must be adjoining south setback
  • Footprint:    6,000 sf or less = 650 sf max
    •   6,000 – 7,000 = 864 sf max
    •   7,000 sf or more = 1,000 sf max
    •   *TU/TH/MU max is 1,000 regardless of lot size
  • Horizontal:  36’ is longest horizontal dimension
Detached ADU zoning requirements
Denver ADU map

Click here for live map of Denver Accessory Dwelling Units Zoning

Denver ADU zoning

ADU FAQs

These questions are answered in full on the podcast.

  • Can I build an accessory dwelling unit in Denver in a Single Unit zone district?
    • Yes. See slide with acceptable single unit zones-thing to note here is in SU districts you as the owner need to live on site either in the ADU or the Primary house
  • How much are permitting fees?
    • They will be almost the same as if you were building a primary residence so not cheap!
  • Can I sell my ADU separate from my primary house?
    • As of right now not in a SU zone district
  • Can I build my ADU myself?
    • Only if you have a GC license

If you would like to learn more about ADUs in Denver, check out our free Denver Additional Dwelling Units (ADU’s) Course.

YouTube Video: The Basics of Building an ADU in Denver

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Authors
Stacy Rozansky
Stacy Rozansky is an investor-friendly agent with Envision Advisors with experience in ground-up development and construction of Accessory Dwelling Units in Denver and the metro area.
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