How To Make the Most of Your Backyard With an Adu Floor Plans

ADU backyard sitting area

How do you make the most of your backyard when building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the San Diego area? This is one of our most commonly asked questions. When you build an ADU, you instantly add square footage of livable space to your home, so it’s no surprise that people ask how to make the most of it.

Your ADU is an extension of your home, which then extends out into your backyard. Making the most of your floor plan design is a great way to enjoy your investment to the fullest. Utilizing your backyard is a great way to embrace the outdoors and then the free-flowing style of living that comes with it. While your backyard may just seem plain and simple, adding an ADU and then making the most of your floor plan can be a great way to liven up your space without the need for renovations. House to Home has put together all of our favorite ways that you can make the most of your backyard with an ADU floor plan in San Diego.

Why Make the Most of an ADU Floor Plan?

Why wouldn’t you make the most of your floor plan when you’re already investing time and money into an ADU? When we talk about your ADU floor plan, it’s more than the internal structure. It’s about what surrounds your ADU and what comes of it. Your entire backyard is an extension of your ADU and vice versa. These two elements combined are key to making the most of your floorplan.

Add More Usable Square Footage to Your Home

ADUs add considerable monetary value and value for your family in terms of space to use. By optimizing your floor plan, you practically double the amount of space to use that your floor plan provides. When you have an ADU in your backyard, it also encourages you and your family to use the space that’s already there.

Give a Space for Guests and Families To Use

Outdoor living is a huge bonus for those with large families who have built an ADU for guests. Your ADU floor plan allows you to fully use your outdoor space as an extension of your living area. When you optimize your floor plan correctly, you create a welcoming space for guests and family to use.

Create an Outdoor Movie Cinema

For those that have the space, creating an outdoor movie cinema will make your house the most popular on the street. Utilizing a few lounge chairs or bean bags and combining this with a projector and a hung-up white sheet is a beautiful way to watch a movie under the stars. While this depends on your floor plan and layout, it can be done for those with the allowing space. 

Opt for Open Plan Living

Open-plan living is a trend that has recently become more popular over recent years. Especially in the Encinitas area, we’ve seen this increase take over. Open-plan living is all about having one big free-flowing space within your ADU, but we’ve taken open-plan living to another level. Open-plan living can extend to the outdoors.

This means installing big doors that open up onto a grassed area or small courtyard. Opting for open-plan living is a great way to make use of your floor plan. The sense of indoor-outdoor living truly comes alive when you use open-plan living correctly, bringing freshness to your ADU and backyard.

Add an Outdoor Shower

In sunny San Diego, we often find that our clients are located near the beach or coastline, so it only makes sense to include an outdoor shower as a part of your floor plan design. Your outdoor shower can be placed on the outside of your ADU and be completely enclosed for privacy purposes. To further enhance your floor plan design, our team can fit the outdoor shower near your ADU’s bathroom for easy access. If you don’t have the space to fit in an outdoor shower, then chat with us about including a hose to rinse off sandy feet after a day at the beach. Leaving your ADU mess and sand free.

Backyard Gym

Home gyms have gained popularity since the pandemic and are sticking around for the long haul. A backyard gym is a great way to use your ADU floor plan. Having a gym near the entrance to your ADU allows you to walk in and out quickly, using your backyard and ADU floor plan to the fullest.

Add a Deck

When working with us to design your floor plan, we often recommend to clients that adding a deck is a great way to use the space. A deck can be built off your ADU so that when you open the doors, you’re stepping directly onto it. Decking is a great way to add monetary value and provide additional outdoor living space. Depending on how many people you’re catering to, add a few deck chairs or an outdoor couch to use the space, creating a warm and inviting environment.

Build a Gazebo

We highly recommend building a gazebo if you’ve ever considered it. Gazebos are a great way to extend what your ADU already gives you. Just like a deck, a gazebo is a beautiful way to use your outdoor space and truly adds that value. They can be styled to suit your design style and pair beautifully with vining plants.

Include an Outdoor Firepit

With an ADU, you’re left with endless amounts of opportunities to embrace outdoor living. For example, creating a space for a firepit is perfect for the colder months in Encinitas and San Diego. Fireplaces not only create a great feature that adds to your backyard, but they also provide a conversation area.

Depending on your budget and area, going for a built-in fireplace could work for this. This adds another design feature to the area. However, if you’re considering a freestanding fireplace, there are plenty of incredible design options.

Create a Conversation Area

Creating a conversation area is a great way for guests or your own family members to take full advantage of your ADU floor plan. Pick a spot that is ideally in the shade. Then, add a few chairs, a small coffee table, and a throw blanket. Creating a conversation area, allows for guests to sit back and relax or creates a place for you to sit and enjoy your morning coffee. This is a great way to use up dead space in your backyard, doubling as a conversation area for guests.

Create a Garden Path

Working towards a garden path is a great way to direct guests to your ADU or your home. When you have guests over, they can often come a little reserved, so creating a garden path that naturally runs through your home is a good way to gesture and show where they should be walking. A garden path is also ideal for adding to the landscaping of your yard. You have the option to pick elements that match your design style or create a stand-out design feature with mix and match tiles.

Add Ambient Lighting

Lighting in any space is crucial, no matter if it’s indoor or outdoor. Including ambient lighting in your outdoor space, ADU encourages families and guests to use it. Using a combination of wall scones and string lights to give off that feeling of warmth and coziness. While this is an essential design element that should be considered, it’s also a practical element that mustn’t be overlooked.

Set Up a Dining Table

Outdoor dining is a beautiful way to come together as a family and enjoy the outdoors. Setting up a dining table outside in your backyard allows your guests, friends and family to enjoy the space together. While indoor dining is perfect for every day, eating and spending time together outside further uses the investment of your ADU and allows everyone to embrace the space.

Final Thoughts

Making the most of your backyard with an effective ADU floor plan is perfect for ensuring your investment is even more worth it. Making a few of these changes or adding elements that work for you can elevate the space and provide you with an incredible amount of value.

If you’re considering having an ADU built to use as an extension of your space or guest house or are just needing more room within your family, then get in contact with us. House to Home has over 25 years of experience in the building industry. Our business is based on a customer-centric foundation. We work towards a solution that works for you and your family. Creating ADUs and homes that fit you and your family’s lifestyle. If you’re not ready to start your building journey yet, follow us on social media to see the latest or read through our blogs for all of the insider tips.