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How To Build An ADU: Starting At Cost

How To Build An ADU: Starting At Cost

There are numerous reasons to construct an ADU cost. It could be a place for the entire family to ensure that parents and adult children can be close by. Many people prefer a steady income stream provided through the rental of the ADU. If you decide to lease your property to an ongoing tenant or provide short-term rentals or even short-term rentals, an ADU is an excellent choice for any home with a single-family.

California has passed new laws in 2019, 2020, and 2021, making the construction of an additional dwelling an excellent option for any homeowner.

If you’re planning to construct your own ADU at your home, it’s crucial to be aware of what you should expect before making the initial costs and the long-term ones. The more you are aware, the more straightforward it will be for you to collaborate with the professionals you’ll require to construct an ADU cost.

What Exactly Is An ADU? 

ADU is an additional living space on a single home site that is separate from the main house. Certain regions also permit ADUs in multi-family dwellings.

A variety of names may refer to an ADU. 

The process of building ADU will require more than just adding extra space to your home. ADUs are more than just adding a room to your home. ADU cost needs a kitchen and bathroom. That means you have to think about:

  • Plumbing
  • Mechanical
  • Gas and Electric
  • Appliances

In reality, the kitchen separates ADUs from other forms of housing.

How To Build An ADU? What Do You Need To Know Before Starting?

There are various kinds of ADUs to think about in the planning phase. What you decide to choose depends on the current location of your home and land, your requirements and goals for your ADU, as well as your local laws, ordinances, and regulations of the area you live in.

These are some of the most common ADU choices and their applications:

New Construction Detached Or DADU (Detached Additional Living Unit)

The detached ADU is an independent, freestanding living space and is usually located within the back yard of a house.

Attached To A New Construction

An attached ADU has a wall shared with the main house; however, it has its entrance and separate living space. Utilities could be different or connected to the primary dwelling.

Garage ADU

Garage conversion ADU cost could be connected or detached, which transforms a garage already in use into an independent dwelling. This could be a re-modeling of an existing garage or a new construction above the garage.

Interior ADUs

Interior conversions may be done in an attic or basement and generally function similarly to an ADU. Attic conversions are often complicated and expensive; therefore, they are not as popular as basement conversions.

JAD (or junior accessory living unit)

The terms used to describe this kind of ADU differs according to the county and city. They are generally smaller than the standard ADU and require an efficient kitchen, not a complete kitchen. 


How Long will It take to construct an ADU?

A stick-built ADU will take anywhere from 9 to 14 months to build, and DIY ADU generally requires a few more months. Approval of the engineering and architectural plan documents typically takes around one month. If you’re planning to build your own ADU cost  in California, you’ll also have to consider Title 24, which administers the building energy efficiency requirements. Permits for construction took around two weeks as well the construction of an ADU generally takes between two and four months.

Construction of an already built ADU typically takes less time and is ready for renters or families in only six weeks.

State Regulations

Local laws and state laws influence the ADU cost you can build. In California the state, there are specific dimensions, heights, and permit specifications in the ADU outline of the ordinance. Regulations are updated for Seattle, Portland, and other cities with ADUs each year.

For instance, Foundation requirements for Orange County include testing soil and geotechnical analysis for residential developments in most regions. However, in California’s Department of Housing and Community Development Handbook, Accessory Dwelling Unit Handbook does not provide any specific ADU foundation requirements.

Regulations and laws could restrict ADUs about:

The total number of units

  • Maximum height
  • Fire safety
  • Utilities
  • Parking
  • Entrance

DIY or prefab?

Many homeowners desire an additional room yet prefer to stay clear of the expense and burden of working with architects, contractors, and engineers. Instead, those looking to construct an ADU at a low cost might consider doing this project on their own.

The people looking for a DIY ADU usually look for something custom-designed to be ordered. But creating and creating an ADU by yourself is likely to cost more because any error or mishap adds time and money.

Last words

If you’re planning to build a stick or DIY ADU cost and construction, you’ll need to submit your plans for approval to your city. They’ll have to go through your goals and accept them before construction begins. As you create your timetable, make sure to leave enough time for adjustments or corrections in response to their comments.

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