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Rear Yard Accessory Dwelling Unit

J. Roy Construction

Shared By

dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Rear Yard Accessory Dwelling Unit


Project Status



324 sq. feet


  • Jeff Roy

Room or Space



Design Awards

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Project Description

The City of Davis allows rear yard accessory dwelling units, but limits the size of a detached structure to 325 square feet. To design a desirable, fully contained one bedroom house at that size was a challenge. The goal was to create a complementary building to main home and that did not appear boxy, while still containing a bedroom, a full bath, laundry facilities, a full kitchen and dining nook. The completely self-contained kitchen includes a full size refrigerator, dishwasher, 36” dual fuel range and microwave/hood. Several design features helped to create sense of place such as a hipped roof with wide overhangs to help with shading in hot California Central valley, a low roof that reduces the influence of rear yard unit on the back yard shared with the main home, a L shaped exterior footprint to break up overall appearance, and an 8’6” ceiling height, that was not too small, not too tall. Seven foot high doors also help to make it just right. Quality finishes that match main home simplified ordering and gave interior a quality feel. These include Cherry shaker doors and cabinets, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, nickel hardware and fixtures, granite “Tunas Green” countertops in the kitchen, and travertine tile bath floor. The full bath includes a generous shower at 36" x 42", elongated toilet, large pedestal sink, vintage styled medicine cabinet and stacked washer and dryer. The heating and cooling requirements are handled by a mini-split heat pump and hot water is provided by an exterior mounted on-demand water heater. This functions as a perfect guest house or rental for nearby university students. In the end the only element missing was a closet but this was solved by furnishing with an armoire in the bedroom, while still having space for a full size bed.
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