Edina just became the latest Minnesota city to allow for the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs). This is huge for homeowners looking to expand their liveable space and embrace multi-generation living while ensuring privacy for everyone.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind if you’re considering the possibility of an ADU. Here’s what Edina homeowners need to know.

What is an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an independent residential unit located on the same property as a single-family home. Casually, these are also sometimes called “granny flats,” “mother-in-law suites,” or “garden cottages” – but we prefer ADU as it’s the official title and more clear what it can be used for. 

a graphic showcasing the different types of ADUs: interior attached (basement or attic), attached ADU (addition), and detached ADU.

An ADU must contain a bedroom or living space, its own kitchen (with large appliances), and a bathroom. It also must have its own separate and lockable entrance door. 


Most homeowners consider an ADU when they’re exploring multi-generation living. This could be grown children, aging parents or other family members. For long-term living, an ADU is much more comfortable than a guest bedroom as it offers more privacy.

Related Content: What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

Where Else in Minnesota are ADUs Allowed?

As ADUs become more popular, more cities in Minnesota allow for their construction. It’s important to note that each city has its own rules and requirements for building an ADU. You can explore a full list of Minnesota cities where ADUs are legal on our blog: Are ADUs Allowed in Minnesota?

Building an ADU in Edina

If you’re an Edina homeowner considering the possibility of an ADU, here are some factors to explore first.

Get a home survey 

This is vital for any addition, but especially for ADUs. A survey will show you what options you may have (or not have!) for exterior additions. 

Know Edina’s restrictions

It’s important to review Edina’s requirements and limitations for ADUs. There are some key considerations that will impact your design options. These include:

  • Maximum square footage for floor areas is typically 1,000 feet (there’s an exception for basement ADUs)
  • Internal and attached ADUs cannot have an entrance facing the public street, or stairs on the front of the dwelling.
  • Detached ADUs must be located behind the rear building line of the main home.
  • There are setback and height requirements:
    • For detached ADUs up to 1½ stories or 18 feet, whichever is less, the following setbacks apply: 
      • Interior side yard: 5 feet 
      • Corner side yard: 15 feet 
      • Rear yard: 5 feet 
    • For detached ADUs up to 2 stories or 25 feet, whichever is less, the following setbacks apply: 
      • Interior side yard: Same as principal structure setback requirement (varies by lot width)
      • Corner side yard: 15 feet
      • Rear yard: 12 feet except that the setback may be reduced to 5 feet when abutting an alley.
  • Edina – like most cities – has restrictions on how much of a lot can be covered with a building. Edina City Code Section 36-438 breaks down these restrictions in detail.

The best way to account for these restrictions is to contact Titus for a design consultation. We can discuss your property, your specific needs and explore the best options for moving forward.

Explore expert resources

While you’re exploring ADUs, it’s helpful to dig into expert resources so you know exactly what to plan for and how to find the right partner. Use our FREE ebook all about ADUs to explore your options.

Download Now: Discover ADUsADU eBook Cover Mockup 3D

Your Guide to Unlocking Your Home’s Potential

Love your home, but need more livable space? Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) may be your answer. These additions combine the best elements of apartment and tiny home living, to create independent spaces on your property.

Accessory dwelling units are perfect for:

  • Grandparents/parents who need their own space
  • College-age and young adult children living at home
  • Adding a fully rentable unit to your property, for extra revenue

Discover the power of ADUs with our free guide.

Get the Guide

Titus Contracting is a full-service remodeling company offering commercial and residential construction. We have an office in Burnsville, Minnesota and work throughout the Twin Cities.