Accessory Dwelling Units

Workbench is the local expert on building ADUs in Santa Cruz. An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also known as an "in-law unit” or “granny unit”, is a small living space on your property that serves as a second home. In order to qualify, the structure simply needs a sleeping area, a bathroom, and a kitchen. In Santa Cruz, ADUs can range from 150 - 1,200 square feet depending on homeowner needs, parcel size, and zoning.

Why we love ADUs: they are a simple step forward in combating our housing crisis. They add housing density to our community (without the complication of sub-dividing parcels), allow for inter-generational family living, provide aging-in-place options for our senior citizens, are well-sized for our college student population, and offer homeowners a long-term investment with the potential for a regular rental income stream.

Garden Terrace ADU Conversion

Design and Construction

Tucked into under 325 square feet, this central Santa Cruz garage conversion strategically houses all the living amenities of a much larger space. The full kitchen, separate living area, and modern bathroom will be used by the client's family, allowing multiple generations to live together on the same property. With a location on a busy street, noise, privacy, and light were top design concerns. Designed and built by Workbench, the finished ADU is physically separated from the main dwelling by a shared storage and laundry area. Internal soundwalls create a space of quiet respite, and carefully placed windows provide privacy from the street while taking advantage of hillside garden views.


Santa Cruz Garage ADU Conversion

Feasibility Study and Design

An under-utilized garage in Santa Cruz finds new life as a cheerful (and efficient) studio ADU. Workbench worked with the client to determine project feasibility, square footage potential, and architectural design.

Light and Lofted Santa Cruz ADU

Feasibility Study, Design, and Construction

This newly-built Santa Cruz ADU features distinct spaces for cooking, sleeping, and living- offering the full function of a traditionally-sized home within a smaller, more efficient scale. A vaulted ceiling, wide skylight, and well-placed windows were designed to maximize light, space, and privacy in the space.