Your cart is empty.

Revamping Your ADU: Essential Renovations for a Stylish and Functional Space

An image of a room being redone. Debris covers the floor, there are exposed poles in the middle of the room, and shovels leaned against a wall.
When you are ready to tackle your next renovation product, prepare the right way with DRYLOK® products.

Are you looking to spruce up your existing ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) or are you considering adding one to your home? Whether you’re after a complete overhaul or just some minor touches, the right renovations can make all the difference when it comes to making an ADU both stylish and functional. From clever storage solutions to energy-efficient appliances, there are countless ways of revamping an ADU for maximum impact. 

In this article, we’ll discuss some essential renovations that will help turn your ADU into a fashionable and comfortable space.

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

An ADU represents an additional residential space situated on the same property as a single-family residence. Despite its formal-sounding name, ADU” is the most widely recognized term across the country for this kind of housing. What characterizes an ADU is its status as a supplementary housing unit, rather than any specific architectural design. 

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) refers to an auxiliary house or apartment that is legally permitted and shares the same land as a larger, primary residence. The unit cannot be sold independently but is frequently employed to generate extra revenue through rental or to house a family member. For example, a compact unit can be occupied by an elderly parent to avoid relocating to a senior care facility.

Benefits of Remodeling an ADU

Property Value

Remodeling your ADU can increase your property value by updating various elements that make it more appealing to potential buyers/​renters. One key area for maximizing value is the kitchen. Even small kitchen updates, such as replacing a stained sink or an old microwave with a new stainless steel model can add significant value to your home. 

Experts suggest that kitchen improvements offer the most bang for your buck when it comes to increasing property value.

Rental Income

Upgraded features, modern amenities and an overall enhanced appeal make the property more desirable to potential tenants, which allows you to charge higher rent.

Flexible Living Arrangements

A remodel can provide more flexible living arrangements by incorporating elements that maximize the functionality and versatility of the available space. Goodhomes Magazine describes some ways to achieve this:

  1. Zoning a room with a geometric paint job, a DIY plant room divider, or a rug to visually separate different areas within the same space.

  2. Using multifunctional furniture that serves multiple purposes, which is especially useful in smaller spaces. Flexible living spaces require clever furniture with multiple uses.

By incorporating these elements in a remodel, you can create a more adaptable living environment that can easily accommodate changing needs and preferences.

Essential Renovations for an ADU

While upgrading an ADU with a fresh paint job will make it more attractive, you need to address any underlying issues associated with the structure.

First Things First — Masonry Repair and Waterproofing

Building a residence starts with the construction of the foundation. In most cases, this will be a masonry structure, either concrete block or poured concrete. Over time, settling occurs and moisture buildup can cause issues that should be addressed during the renovation. Here are a few recommendations:

Cleaning and Removing Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a common issue that occurs when water-soluble salts present in concrete or masonry migrate to the surface and leave behind unsightly white deposits as the water evaporates. To clean and remove efflorescence, it’s essential to first inspect areas such as parapets and chimneys, where the problem is most likely to occur. 

The initial step for removing efflorescence is to wash the wall and scrub the affected area using clear water to see if the stains disappear — take care not to use any chemicals that may worsen the situation. 

In addition to these methods, you can also use a product like DRYLOK® Concrete and Masonry Liquid Etch & Cleaner. It is designed to clean and etch concrete surfaces and effectively remove efflorescence while preparing the surface for painting or other treatments.

Filling Major Cracks

Addressing substantial crevices in masonry surfaces is crucial for preserving the structural stability and aesthetics of the surface. To fill cracks that are deeper than ¼‑inch, start by blending and applying a fortified patching compound to the major crack. The repair can be performed using a caulk tube, bottle or pre-mixed compound from a container, depending on the patch’s dimensions. 

DRYLOK Fast Plug Hydraulic Cement has been specifically engineered to quickly repair larger gaps in masonry surfaces. This hydraulic cement hardens in just 3 to 5 minutes and halts active water leaks, which makes it an excellent choice for addressing significant crevices and ensuring a long-lasting, waterproof repair.

Filling Minor and Hairline Cracks

Filling minor and hairline cracks in masonry surfaces is crucial for maintaining the appearance and preventing further damage to the structure. To properly address the smaller cracks, start by cleaning out any loose material from the cracks, as debris can hinder the filler material from bonding effectively. Next, apply a thin layer of bonding adhesive, which is critical for ensuring that the sealer or filler adheres to the existing concrete structure. 

Products like DRYLOK Masonry Crack Filler and DRYLOK Pourable Masonry Crack Filler are specifically designed for repairing minor and hairline cracks in masonry surfaces. DRYLOK crack fillers are a durable, flexible and paintable solution for fixing smaller cracks with a quick and easy repair. 


Adequately waterproofing masonry surfaces is crucial for safeguarding the structure against water-related damage and ensuring its durability. 

Start the waterproofing process by detecting any existing water damage, such as white chalky lines on concrete blocks or walls, which are calcium salt deposits or efflorescence carried to the surface by water. Before applying a fresh coat of sealant, it is necessary to eliminate efflorescence by scrubbing the affected area with a stiff brush and water. 

DRYLOK Original Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer has been specifically formulated to provide a seal and protect masonry surfaces from water infiltration.

Insulation and Ventilation

Enhancing the insulation and ventilation during a renovation is crucial because it provides the opportunity to boost the indoor comfort level of the home while also reducing monthly heating and cooling expenses. 

Upgrades to insulation during a renovation could be included in the initial plan, or they might arise from building code requirements or the uncovering of defective systems throughout the project. By improving insulation and ventilation, homeowners can enjoy greater comfort, increased energy efficiency and a more healthful living space. 

Plumbing and Electrical

Updating the plumbing and electrical systems during a remodel is essential to ensure the safety, functionality and value of the property. Proper planning and consideration of skill level combined with a budget are crucial when undertaking a remodeling project. 

Improving plumbing and electrical systems can bring the property up to current code standards, but it can also enhance its efficiency and performance by reducing the risk of water damage or electrical hazards.

Modernizing these systems can accommodate new appliances and technologies where the renovation budget may be allocated toward new appliances, fixtures and high-quality materials. 

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

An image of a kitchen being remodeled. Plastic wrapping covers many of the appliances and tools are placed throughout the room.
When revamping your kitchen, count on DRYLOK products for easy application and reliable results.

Updating the kitchen and bathroom during a remodel is essential as these areas are high-traffic and high-function spaces in a home that significantly impact the overall property value. By renovating these rooms, homeowners can enhance the functionality, aesthetics and comfort of their living spaces. 

Modernizing the kitchen and bathroom may involve updating lighting, fixtures, appliances and finishes, which can create a more enjoyable and efficient daily experience. 

For instance, incorporating dimmers in the bathroom lighting can create a more relaxing ambiance for leisurely baths. 

Flooring and Lighting

Upgrading the flooring during a renovation is essential, as it can significantly impact the overall appearance, functionality and comfort of a home. New flooring can enhance the aesthetics of a room and provide improved durability and ease of maintenance. 

For those with concrete slab floors, an option like DRYLOK Latex Concrete Floor Paint can be an economical and practical solution. It is specifically designed for concrete surfaces and provides a durable, protective and decorative finish that can significantly improve the appearance and lifespan of the floor.

Upgrading the lighting during a renovation is equally important, as it enhances the functionality and mood of a space. Proper lighting can highlight the room’s features, create a comfortable ambiance and improve visibility for tasks like cooking and cleaning. In addition to aesthetics, modern lighting solutions often provide energy-efficient options that can lead to long-term energy savings.

Work With DRYLOK for the Best Renovation Products

For any homeowner considering a renovation, DRYLOK makes high-quality products that will protect and enhance the value and functionality of your home. DRYLOK Waterproofing products are specifically formulated to give your masonry surfaces a long-lasting seal that will prevent water infiltration and damage.

Contact us today to find a store near you