Backyard Cottages in Seattle

In my last post I talked about Mother-In-Law apartments or ADUs. Cottage Houses are much like ADUs but they are called DADUs – ‘DEtached Additional Dwelling Units.’

I am personally very interested in DADUs. Cory has a nice, detached garage on our property in Ballard and I think it would be great to have an apartment above it. Mom and Dad can stay there when they come to visit and we can rent it out as a short-term or vacation rental. Just another project to put on the list…

The rules for a DADU are very similar to that of an ADU. Again, one of the units must be owner occupied. What I find interesting with a DADU is that the owner-occupant must live in the structure for more than six months of each calendar year  but the owner is allowed to receive rent for the owner-occupied unit. This would be great for ‘Snow Birds’ wanting to maximize their investments. Rent the big unit all year, live in the small unit in the summers and rent it our during the winters.

For single family zones:

  • Minimum lot size to establish a DADU is 4000 square feet
  • DADU is limited to a gross floor area of 800 square feet
  • One off street parking space MAY be required
  • As with ADUs, sleeping-space window must be to code, DADU must adhere to building standards, etc…

That just touches on the subject, please call me if you want further clarification or read the City’s CAM for Backyard Cottages.