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What is an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an efficiency or 1-bedroom apartment located on the same property as a single-family, owner-occupied house. It is a self-contained, independent housing unit complete with a kitchen, bathroom, living space, and permanent utility connections (water, sewer, electric). It can be attached or detached to the primary home.


Benefits of ADUs

The benefits of accessory dwelling units are endless and unique to you, but here are a few of the most notable to us.

Live closer to family and friends

Age in place

Create more privacy with homesharing

Have a smaller home to downsize to

Generate rental income

Create community


Have options!


Who we are

Hosted by HomeShare Vermont, The Burlington ADU Working Group seeks to help Burlington homeowners create accessory dwelling units on their property. We include representatives of AARP-VT, Hinge Architecture, the City of Burlington, VHCB, the Vermont State Housing Authority and others. We have advocated successfully to change city ordinances to make it easier to create ADUs in Burlington including reducing parking requirements, simplifying the permit process, allowing for an increased size of units as well as increased lot coverage in some circumstances. We are focused on community education through publications, webinars, home tours and more.


What we can offer you

Download our guide, sample architectural designs, notice of home tours, webinars and more.

FREE Electronic Guide to Creating an ADU in Burlington
This 28-page guide helps Burlington homeowners determine if an ADU is feasible on their property. It covers feasibility, permitting, design, financing and much more. It is a great starting point if you are thinking about creating an ADU. If you live outside of Burlington, you will need to contact your town for the planning, zoning and permitting rules.

FREE Sample Architectural Designs
In addition, we have sample architectural designs of four different detached ADUs ranging from 400-750 square feet. The smallest is a studio design, then we have a 1-bedroom design, another with a bedroom loft and finally the largest is a fully accessible 1-bedroom home. These designs can give you a feeling for what the difference in size can give you, even if you are not considering a detached unit. Again, each town will have different rules on what size ADU you can create depending on the rules and your lot coverage and zoning.