• RTB Staff

State by State ADU Profile: Alabama


Accessory dwelling units’ popularity has been rising recently. ADUs are smaller, independent residential dwellings in the same space as a standalone single-family home. Laws and the level of regulation regarding ADUs vary wildly across the country. Some states, like California, have explicit ADU regulations in most of their counties. Others, like Alabama, have next to no rules. However, this does not mean that those looking to set up their ADU in the state have free reign.

The specific rules vary by city, town, or county, so anyone looking to purchase an ADU in Alabama should contact their local government for information. Alabama has 67 counties and 460 towns and cities. Each of these has its own rules regarding development and land use, meaning that a citizen looking to add an accessory dwelling unit to their property has to contact both county and city authorities.

The Association of County Commissions of Alabama has compiled a helpful list that includes links to most of the counties’ websites, though it is likely that the ones not listed may not have an online presence at all. For those who do not, citizens may need to call or visit in-person to determine their county’s stance on ADUs.

As for cities, most major ones have websites that can be accessed through Google. Those in more rural towns should be familiar with their area and can contact their city officials another one.

In most places, it seems that as long as the ADU is built away from populated areas, there is no problem. Jefferson County is the only county with explicit rules regarding accessory dwelling units. They are only allowed in certain districts, and cannot be more than 200 square feet. According to Alabama Tiny Homes, tiny homes are still not widely accepted by most Alabama residents. While ADUs are not the same as tiny homes, a reluctance to allow one could lead to hesitance towards the other.

For those in Alabama looking to purchase and set up an accessory dwelling unit, their best course of action is contacting their local government. Without state-wide regulation, it is up to each district to decide how to regulate these units. If you are looking for an ADU, check out the Container Box. With units starting at $23,500 and several different styles in both work and home models, anyone trying to find their perfect ADU should see their collections.

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