Updated: Nov 19, 2018
What is an ADU? An ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. You may also know them as casitas, granny-flats, mother-in-law-apartments, she-sheds, cottages, or tiny houses. ADUs exist on the lot of an existing property, and can either be detached or attached to the main home. ADUs are a great alternative to the rising housing market as they're more affordable than buying an existing structure, and also increase the value of your main property. Thanks to Governor Brown and his approval of three separate bills in 2016, it's now easier than ever for homeowners to add additional living space. Click here for information from California's Department of Housing and Community Development.
How much does an ADU cost? It depends! There are many factors in calculating the price. Will it be attached or detached? If detached, are you converting your garage or demolishing and starting fresh? Consider these questions as you navigate the issue of cost. Another factor to consider is location. We've found that building in the LA area can cost a bit more. We'd be happy to speak with you about your particular project; just send us an email!
Where do I start? Consider the space you have, and dream big. There are many phases to making your ADU a reality: working with an architect, planning and designing your project, getting the permits, and finding the best contractor for your needs. Contact us and we can definitely talk more about the best path for you to follow.
Do I need a permit? Yes, you will. Many. But don't worry, you won't need to spend your life at city hall as long as you have the right people working with you (we can definitely give you some referrals). Of course, if you're more of the DIY type, then yes, you'll spend many an afternoon at your local city hall.
How big can I go? In California, the square footage is dependent upon the size of the your existing structure. The ADU cannot exceed 50% of the existing home's living area (square footage), and cannot exceed 1,200 square feet.