What You Need to Know About Building a Accessory Dwelling Unit on Your Property
What You Need to Know About Building a Accessory Dwelling Unit on Your Property


An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a smaller scale living unit located on the same property as an existing single family home. These modest dwellings actually play a big role in providing affordable housing, extra income, and space savings in suburban areas. Since June 2023, ADUs are now permitted in Vanderburgh County, allowing residents the option to build a freestanding living unit for aging parents, young adults, or for rental income. And if you’re looking for an ADU that’s both modern and energy efficient, Modern Structure can design and build it. 


What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Accessory dwelling unit

Picture a typical, sprawling single family home exclusive subdivision.  While this housing concept serves a purpose, the number of people that can live on that big piece of land is limited. This is where ADUs come in.


ADUs are independent living spaces that use existing land and infrastructure (like roads, water, sewer, and electric) to increase housing supply. These small, but mighty, homes are also known as in-law suites, granny flats, aging-in-place units, or rental units.


Now, in Vanderburgh County, homeowners can increase the potential of their land by building an accessory dwelling unit attached to, or detached from their homes. So what are the advantages of building an ADU? We discuss that in the next section!


Private Living Space and Other Advantages of Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory dwelling unit

The overwhelming advantage of ADUs is increased, affordable housing availability. But what can building an ADU on your own property do for you?

  • It can provide additional living space for a young adult or college student, while still keeping them nearby.
  • An ADU equipped with an appropriate floor plan and accessories is perfect for an aging parent who may need assistance, but still needs the privacy of their own space.
  • You can help offset your own living costs with an ADU set up as a rental unit.
  • You have the option to design your ADU to mesh with the look of your current home.
  • Building an ADU on your existing property can take less time than building on undeveloped land.
  • ADUs can be built just as sustainably and as energy efficient as a single family home.

What Restrictions are Enforced for an ADU Build?

ADUs have been popular housing options for decades. Due to the fact that they share land with an existing single family home, and likely share water, sewer and electric; local municipalities must permit ADUs to be built. If ADUs are not permitted in your area, they are considered illegal. 


Fortunately, with the approval of ADUs in Vanderburgh County, we have the green light to build one on your property! As with any construction project, there are going to be guidelines that must be followed. If you work with an experienced builder like Modern Structure, you won’t have to learn all of the regulations. We know them, understand them, and ensure that your ADU is built to meet those standards. Below are a few of the general ADU requirements. 


In Vanderburgh County:

  • The primary landowner must occupy either the ADU or the home, full time.
  • Only one ADU can be built per primary residential structure.
  • Shipping or storage containers, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, other motor vehicles, travel trailers, or boats are not considered to be an ADU.
  • An ADU cannot be sold separately from the primary residence it shares a property with.
  • An ADU cannot be built before the primary home is built, but can be built at the same time.
  • If you own an adjacent vacant lot, the ADU can straddle the lot line

Modern Structure Builds ADUs to Suit Your Needs

Accessory Dwelling Units offer us the opportunity to expand our affordable housing supply, provide safe housing for aging parents and young adults, and help to foster multigenerational living (but with privacy!). 


If you’re looking for a way to help offset your mortgage by collecting rental income, or need a place for grandma to live nearby, an ADU does the job. Modern Structure is an experienced custom home building company serving Evansville and surrounding communities. We would be happy to talk with you about your plans to build an ADU on your property to meet your goals!


Contact us today. Consultations are free.


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