If you have the land, money, and motivation, building an ADU is a good idea. You may want a spot for extended family to stay while they visit, an extension of your home so you can have more privacy, or you like the passive income from renting it out.
An ADU is an intelligent addition to a single-family home, whatever your reasons. If you’re wondering, an ADU stands for “Accessory Dwelling Unit.”
This blog post will share five things you need to consider when building an ADU.
When planning an ADU, the first thing you should look at is the local ordinances and state laws. They will significantly impact what you can build, where, how big, and even when. In California, there are permit requirements that quite frankly change every year. Fortunately, they are becoming more friendly towards homeowners.
Laws and regulations may dictate the total number of units, maximum height, fire safety, parking, and entrances.
Laws will also require anywhere someone may live to be equipped with electricity, water, and plumbing. You’ll need to install new utilities in some cases, but sometimes a full-service remodeling company can tap into the existing water, electricity, and gas. If you have tenants, you’ll need to figure out how much you’ll charge them for utilities.
Kitchens separate ADUs from other types of housing that don’t have them. Because of this, you have to carefully consider if all of this is in the budget and how it will get done.
The costs of building an ADU vary depending on the size and materials used. In Los Angeles, you’ll have a hard time finding a contractor who can build an ADU for less than $100,000 because of materials, permits, and labor.
Be realistic about your budget and have a plan to spend 10-15% more than you originally planned because of unexpected expenses.
Your Area’s Development Standards
If you live in an HOA community, you’ll have to follow the third set of restrictions. Many HOA’s have restrictions on the size of an ADU and design.
Most cities in California have specific fire regulations for homeowners. Los Angeles is one of them. For example, the maximum living area for an ADU is 1,200 square feet and automatic sprinkler systems are required in all new homes.
If you’re thinking about building an ADU, contact the contractors at Bela Development to discuss your project.