24 Rockland Street Unit 6A Hanover, MA 02339

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ADU Friendly Cities In Massachusetts Plus ADU By-Laws, Ordinances & Codes For Each Town

Note: This page is designed to be a helpful guide- please contact each town or AHJ personally to confirm the details as they relate to your specific & unique situation *see additional disclaimers below

State of Massachusetts ADU Law

In response to MA’s growing housing shortage, Gov. Maura Healey’s 4.1 billion dollar housing bill rolled out in late 2023 with zoning reforms that allow ADUs (accessory dwelling units) to be built as a right throughout the Commonwealth.

Learn More: Call Massachusetts’s Premier ADU Resource Cozy Nest Creators (781) 745-0000

Photo By Dan Leahy

Cohasset

781-383-4100 ext. 5118. Depending on whether the property is on sewer or septic, the regulations for usage can change a bit. (The building inspector is going to call me back). On their website, I have updates to ADU regulations as of November of 2023.

Photo By Ruth W. Demby

Duxbury

Bldg Dept: (781) 934-1100 ext. 6002 Limit on ADU size is 850 sq ft and there can only be 1 dwelling unit per 60,000sq ft of land.  Bylaws are current

Photo By John Phelan

Hanover

Bldg Dept 781-826-5000 x 1078: They said they just adjusted their ADU bylaws in May. They haven’t been through the AG’s office yet but they should be by September.. As of May 2024, you can now build a detached ADU up to 800 sq ft with a special permit. It is NOT restricted to owner occupy, it can be rented out. Attached ADUs (or “additions” as he called them) are permissible by right, only regular building permits are needed.
Photo By Timothy Valentine

Hingham

Governor is about to sign into legislation to change the requirements to build ADUs by right, but might not be in place until 2025. They do allow attached or detached ADUs. Must be outside setbacks. Everything needs a permit. Depends on if you have enough septic to add additional bedrooms, if you are on city sewer you must get approval(check with the health department). As of right now, the ADU cap has not been met. Max square footage is 875 or 35% of the gross area of the main building. Always check with the historic district if your property is there about their specific laws. Water and sewer cannot be metered separately.
Photo By T.S. Custadio

Hull

781-925-1330. The Commissioner is out till next week, he’s the one who will answer any ADU questions
Photo By KnowledgeNerd02364

Kingston

781-585-0500, no answer
Photo By ToddC4176

Marshfield

781-834-5555. All ADU’s must be approved by the ZOning appeals board, but they do not allow ANY short term rentals or detached ADU’s whatsoever. Zoning bylaws(Section 305-11.09)
Photo By John Phelan

Norwell

781-659-8018. Detached ADUs are allowed, legislation was passed last year to allow detached ADUs by right, but there are still restrictions on size and occupancy and sewer requirements. You are allowed to rent it out but may vary depending on short or long-term use.

Exact criteria for ADUs can be found at the website below (section 201-8.1 Section D)

Photo By ToddC4176

Pembroke

781-293-3864, no answer. Found specific bylaws, but still no answer to check on if anything has changed
Photo By Marco Almbauer

Plymouth

508-747-1620 option 6, option 4, option 1. No answer, but here is the link to the proposed changes for 2024 regarding ADUs. As soon as I Can get them to answer the phone i will check on the status.
Photo By cmh2315fl on Flicker

Scituate

781-545-8716. All ADUs must be approved by the planning board. Attached and detached are allowed, but none by right, they all must be approved individually. The lady I talked to said that the bylaws and info on their website is 100% up to date, and no changes have been made.

Cape Cod’s Towns
Updated June 2024

Photo By John Phelan

Barnstable

508-862-4038. No special permit is needed for a detached ADU(only building permit) as long as it doesn’t exceed the size of half the primary dwelling or 900 sq ft, whichever is smaller. NO short-term rentals must have a 12-month lease.
Photo By Jpo

Bourne

508-759-0600 x 1342. Waiting on AG to sign off on new laws from May. But here is the announcement about the 2024 changes and also the current bylaws(as of 2022)
Photo By ToddC4176

Falmouth

508-495-7470, She tried to transfer me to the building inspector, but nobody answered
Photo From Wikimedia Commons

Mashpee

508-539-1400 x 8556 Attached and Detached units are allowed with a permit. The girl on the phone said they should update all the bylaws for this year if anything changed.
Photo By Andrewrabbott

Sandwich

508-888-4200, gave me an email for the commissioner. Brendan brides bbrides@sandwichmass.org, said he would be the best person to answer those questions(I did not email him yet)

Cape Cod’s Towns Currently Outside Of Our Service Area

Brewster
Chatham
Chilmark
Dennis
Eastham
Edgartown
Gosnold
Harwich
Nantucket
Oak Bluffs
Orleans
Provincetown
Tisbury
Truro
Wellfleet
West Tisbury
Yarmouth
This summary is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Please consult the official municipal building codes and regulations, and seek guidance from the local building department or a qualified professional for authoritative information on building code requirements and how they apply to your specific project. Building codes are subject to change, so always refer to the most current version. The author and website owner assume no liability for the use or misuse of the information contained herein.

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Initial Zoom Call

Before we dive into the formal evaluation process, we start with an initial Zoom call that lasts approximately 1 hour.

Evaluate

Following the initial Zoom call, we proceed to order a Feasibility Study, which comes at a cost of $599.

Budgetary Pricing

With a thorough understanding of your property, we proceed to develop a comprehensive budget.

Planning

Once you have reviewed the budgetary pricing and decide to proceed, it’s time to delve into the planning phase

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Build

At Cozy Nest Creators, we strive to have your ADU ready for occupancy in as little as 3-4 months from the start of construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most common asked questions about ADUs

What Are Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are versatile living spaces that are constructed on the same property as a single-family home or, in some cases, on multi-family residential properties. ADUs are known by various names, including guest houses, mother-in-law units, granny flats, or backyard cottages.

There are two main types of ADUs:

– Detached Units: These are standalone structures typically situated in the backyard or on the side of the property.

– Attached Units: These are created by converting existing space within the primary home, such as an attic, garage, or basement.

How Does an ADU Impact My Home's Value?

The presence of an ADU on your property can have a positive impact on the overall value of your home. This is primarily due to the income potential that ADUs offer. By renting out the ADU, homeowners can generate an additional stream of revenue, which is attractive to potential buyers.

However, it is essential to note that the exact impact on your property’s value may vary and should be assessed by seeking a second, independent opinion. Factors such as the local real estate market and the quality of the ADU can influence the extent to which it affects your property’s value.

Why Are ADUs Becoming More Popular?

The rising popularity of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in the United States can be attributed to several compelling factors. Firstly, ADUs serve as a practical response to the ongoing housing crisis, providing a viable solution to the shortage of housing options. Additionally, ADUs offer homeowners the opportunity to generate supplementary income, making them financially appealing.

Furthermore, ADUs are recognized for their cost-effectiveness and environmentally friendly nature. They maximize the efficient use of available land resources, making them a sustainable housing option. Moreover, ADUs align with evolving socioeconomic trends in the U.S., facilitating aging in place and the creation of multigenerational households. These benefits translate into easier and more cost-effective care for aging parents.

Moreover, homeowners are increasingly turning to ADUs as a means of diversifying their income sources. The trend toward downsizing and minimalist living is on the rise, and ADUs enable individuals to simplify their lives while still enjoying the comforts of a neighborhood setting.

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