Family Friendly DADU

The Seattle planning department recently asked for submissions for pre approved backyard cottage designs. The intention is to remove some of the barriers to building a detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) by reducing the design and permit fees as well as review times. As DADU advocates, Fivedot submitted two designs for consideration. We feel that the greatest impact DADUs can have in Seattles urban landscape is addressing family housing and both of the designs we submitted address that area.

DADU’s don’t need to be accessory.  Recent code changes present the opportunity to build a truly custom home for yourself right in your own back yard.  You can downsize and stay in your neighborhood.  You can build an affordable custom home with a responsible footprint,  while adding density and preserving the character of your neighborhood. Below are the two models. 

1000 sqft Bar

1000 sqft L

This accessible courtyard DADU can fit within the existing fabric of Seattle neighborhoods to add housing for a young couple, retirees down sizing, college students or in-laws. The unique courtyard design allows the DADU to borrow outside space to make the small footprint feel larger while preserving occupant privacy. As a one story DADU, this design can be fully accessible allowing use or visitation by all. 

Fivedot submitted designs because we believe DADUS are a great addition to the urban fabric and every little bit helps. That said, we recently did a quick analysis of our last three projects to see just how much of an effect design and permit fee reductions would have on overall affordability. As you can see below, not that much. Construction costs make up the majority of the costs associated with DADU building ranging from 76% to 84% of the total cost. Soft costs (architects, engineers, surveyors etc.) range from 6% to 12% and permit fees range from .6% to 3%.

With that in mind we determined that the most effective way we as designers could reduce cost would be to make the design as easy to build as possible. We designed our DADU submissions with easily available materials, easy to build assemblies and a range of options for customization.

If you are interested in one of these designs, please contact [email protected]

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