Detached Accessory Dwelling Units

Detached Accessory Dwelling Units or DADUs can be an extremely desirable feature in a home. Many buyers are willing to pay a premium to acquire a home with an existing income source as they may provide opportunities for extended family members, long-term tenants, and even short-term rental opportunities with the right permits in place.

Can I build a DADU on my Nashville property?

It depends. What’s your zoning?
  • R80-R6, RM2-RM20, RM40-RM100, OR20-OR40, ORI and Commercial properties are eligible.
  • Are you in a historical district? Additional research will be needed.
RS Zoning is typically not eligible
  • though you may be able to build a detached structure with a single use. Example: a kitchenette OR a bathroom, but not both. 
Building permit needed? Yes.
Should I get a survey? Yes.
  • Be sure to learn about the setback requirements in your area.
Will a DADU increase my taxes?
  • Probably so. Anything that increases the value of your home will likely increase the tax basis.
Budget considerations:
  1. Custom or stock?
  2. Stand-alone or above garage?
  3. How much land prep is involved? (tree removal, grading, backhoe)
  4. Separate meters allowed? Can your current line/box carry the additional load?

Metro Nashville’s website will be the definitive source for additional reading.


Additional terminology: Granny flat, pool house, guest house, casita, Airbnb, STRP, STR, ADU, garage apartment, detached apartment, carriage house, studio apartment,