What Are Separate Houses On Same Property Called? (Explained)

When a property has more than one home on it, each of these homes has its own name and specific use. These homes are designed to be used in various ways, such as for guests, storage, or rental units, and they come in various sizes and styles.

This article will explore the different types of separate houses found on properties.

Let’s look at some of the most common types of separate homes!

What is an ADU?

Most separate buildings on a property are called an “ADU.”

ADUs, or Accessory Dwelling Units, are additional dwellings that share a property with the primary residence.

They can vary in size and style, ranging from a small studio to a multi-room unit, and can be attached to the main house or located as a separate structure on the property.

ADUs typically include a kitchen, bathroom, and living space, making them self-contained. Homeowners may use an ADU for various purposes, such as a guest house, rental unit, or workspace.

Compared to other separate houses, ADUs are specifically designed to be an extension of the main house. Rather than completely separate dwellings, they are intended to complement the main house and share the same property.

Additionally, ADUs can be subject to local zoning and building codes, which may impact their size and design.

Here are several examples of ADU’s:

Guest House

A guest house can be a small cottage or a large structure with multiple rooms. Guest houses are frequently used to provide lodging for visitors from out of town or those staying for an extended period.

A guest house’s primary purpose is to provide a comfortable and private space for guests to stay while they are away from home.

The property owner may use it to house visiting friends or family members, or they may rent it out to travelers as a source of income.

A guest house differs from other separate houses in that it is typically smaller than other structures, such as a carriage house or a barn house. While some guest houses have multiple bedrooms, they are usually only designed to accommodate a few guests.

Furthermore, unlike other types of separate houses that may have more extensive amenities, guest houses typically have a private entrance, bathroom, and kitchenette or mini-fridge.


A studio is a special detached structure with an open layout for multiple functions, versatile enough to serve as a home, office, or both.

Many people use she-sheds or small outbuildings as studio spaces.

A studio could be the ideal addition to your home if you have a specialized hobby or line of work or prefer a more adaptable layout.

For example, writers or painters often create a shed space for their “studio,” with heating or cooling, electricity, and wifi.

Studios can range in size and design, but most are adaptable to various uses. They may have an open floor plan with few walls to create the illusion of more space, high ceilings to let in light, and large windows to let in air.

Pool House

A separate building located near a swimming pool that provides a variety of amenities for pool-goers is commonly known as a pool house.

This separate structure is usually designed to include features like changing rooms, bathrooms, and storage space for pool equipment. Some pool houses may also have a kitchen or bar area where you can prepare drinks and snacks for your guests.

In contrast to other types of detached structures, a pool house is intended solely for those who frequent swimming pools. Showers and saunas can help bathers freshen up and relax after a swim.

Its proximity to the pool may feature expansive glass doors and windows that lead directly to the pool deck.

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Granny Flat

ADUs are sometimes called granny flats.

Granny Flats are usually smaller than the main house and may have limited amenities, such as a kitchenette and a bathroom. They are often used as guest houses or rental properties.

The term “Granny Flat” also comes from the tradition of letting your parents or in-laws stay there. For example, houses sometimes have a “Mother-in-Law Suite,” encompassing a guest bedroom with an attached bath for guests (usually parents or in-laws).

Separate living quarters from the main house are one of the most appealing features of a Granny Flat. Homeowners with dependent relatives, such as elderly parents or grown children, can benefit greatly.


The word “Casita” comes from the Spanish language, where it means “little house” or “small house.” The term typically refers to a small dwelling unit detached from the main residence.

Since Spanish is a commonly spoken language in the United States, “Casita” has become widely used to describe this living space.

Casitas can vary in size and style but are usually smaller than the main house and include basic amenities, such as a bathroom and kitchenette.

They are often designed with privacy in mind and may have a separate entrance or be far from the main house.

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Carriage House

A carriage house is a type of separate building that was originally used to store horse-drawn carriages.

These buildings were typically small, simple structures, often with only one or two rooms and a large door to allow easy access for the carriage.

Another characteristic of a carriage house is that it may have a loft or storage area above the main level. This area was typically used to store hay or other materials needed to care for the horses that pulled the carriages.

Today, it has various uses, such as a garage, living space, or storage area. The main difference between a carriage house and other separate houses is its historical use.

One unique feature of carriage houses is that they are often located near the main house, as they were originally intended to store carriages for quick and easy access.


The word “cottage” comes from the Old English word “cot,” which means a small dwelling or shelter.

Over time, the term “cottage” has come to refer to a small, cozy living space often located in a rural or semi-rural area. Cottages are typically characterized by their charming, quaint appearance and focus on comfort and relaxation.

A cottage is a small, self-contained living space often located on the same property as the main house. It is typically designed as a separate structure and may be used as a guest house, rental unit, or private living space.

Cottages can come in various sizes and styles but have a rustic or vintage feel and include amenities such as a kitchenette, bathroom, and living space.

Barn House

A barn house is a separate building designed to resemble a traditional barn but converted into a living space.

It typically features a large open floor plan with high ceilings and exposed beams and may include living areas, bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

Barn houses can come in various sizes and styles and may be designed to incorporate the rustic charm of a traditional barn with modern amenities.

They may also feature large windows or skylights to provide plenty of natural light.

The open floor plan of the barn house can be ideal for entertaining guests, hosting events, or enjoying a comfortable and expansive living area.

In addition, barn houses can provide a peaceful and private escape from the bustle of city life because they are often situated on larger properties.

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Boat House

A boat house is a separate house or building designed to store and protect boats on the same property.

It is typically located near a body of water, such as a river or a lake, and often includes amenities like a boat slip or dock.

Depending on personal preference, boat houses can be constructed in various sizes and styles. They may also be designed to blend in with the natural surroundings and are commonly constructed using materials such as wood, stone, and brick.

Aside from storage, a boat house can be converted into a comfortable living space. Some boat houses are already designed with living quarters, including a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

Others are remodeled from housing boats to housing people! This makes them a great option for boating enthusiasts who desire a convenient and cozy living space near the water.


Abodu – How to Install a Casita in California

Realtor – What Is a Carriage House? Horses Not Included

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