Christopher Strom Architects

Copy of Second Suite

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CHRISTOPHER STROM ARCHITECTS
3308 GORHAM AVE
ST LOUIS PARK, MN 55426
612.961.9093

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What is a second suite?

A Second Suite is a permanent secondary residence on a city lot with a dedicated kitchen and bathroom. Legally, they are referred to Acessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and they come in several different forms. 

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▸ What is a second suite?

A Second Suite is a permanent secondary residence on a city lot with a dedicated kitchen and bathroom. Legally, they are referred to Acessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and they come in several different forms.

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Who are they for?

Grandparents, Adult Children, Rental Income… or just more space for your home office or studio.

▸ Who are they for?

Grandparents, Adult Children, Rental Income… or just more space for your home office or studio.

Why are they important?

A Second Suite allows city residents to expand without increasing the mass of the primary residence. It can also allow for multi-generational living while maintaining independence and privacy from the primary home.  Families can share resources, provide care-giving, and enjoy spending time together.  It is a cost-effective alternative to an apartment or even an assisted living facility.

▸ Why are they important?

A Second Suite allows city residents to expand without increasing the mass of the primary residence. It can also allow for multi-generational living while maintaining independence and privacy from the primary home. Families can share resources, provide care-giving, and enjoy spending time together. It is a cost-effective alternative to an apartment or even an assisted living facility.

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Are Second Suites legal in Minneapolis & St. Paul?

Yes, as of December 5th, 2014, when the Minneapolis City Council approved an amended zoning code to allow for “Accessory Dwelling Units.” In St. Paul, the City Council voted October 17th, 2018 to allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on single family lots throughout the city. Other cities may have different regulations, but nation-wide trends in zoning are becoming more flexible in this regard.

Yes, as of December 5th, 2014, when the Minneapolis City Council approved an amended zoning code to allow for “Accessory Dwelling Units.” In St. Paul, the City Council voted October 17th, 2018 to allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on single family lots throughout the city. Other cities may have different regulations, but nation-wide trends in zoning are becoming more flexible in this regard.

What are the design options?

Second Suites are custom-designed for your location by Christopher Strom Architects.  Homeowners may decide to “build-to-blend” with the character of their existing home – or – add a pleasing modern counterpoint to your yard.

▸ What are the design options?

Second Suites are custom-designed for your location by Christopher Strom Architects. Homeowners may decide to “build-to-blend” with the character of their existing home – or – add a pleasing modern counterpoint to your yard.

How much does a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (Second Suite) cost?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the specifics of your project. ADU’s have the same budget realities as any new home… a second home in your backyard.

For a new, detached ADU in Minneapolis, MN, here are some rough guesstimates:

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Again, this is a very generic budget with minimal detail. Specific factors will influence the total cost, including: availability of contractors, quality of finishes and appliances, quality of the soil, or special factors requiring variances for city approval. We address potential costs with you before beginning your project.

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How do I get one?

An architect-led code review can determine if a Second Suite is possible for your property.  Chris Strom has 15 years of architectural experience and is very familiar with Minneapolis Residential Zoning Code; in fact, he has been an advisor to city zoning staff for recent Minneapolis residential code changes including the adoption of the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance.  Chris is a two-time “BLEND Award” winner and his projects have received numerous Star Tribune “Home of the Month” and Mpls-St. Paul Magazine awards.  Chris was chosen as the 2014 “Emerging Talent” by the American Institute of Architects–Minnesota for his unique design solutions.

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How long does it take to design and build a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (Second Suite)?

This is also a difficult question to answer without knowing the specifics of your project. Weather, for one, is especially hard to predict!

For a new, detached ADU in Minneapolis, MN, here are some rough guesstimates based on experience:

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