Building an additional dwelling unit is getting easier and easier as time goes on with new laws that encourage development and professionals gaining more experience on how to do it. Here is a quick guide on how to build an ADU.
Start With Gathering Costs
Knowing where to start your ADU is half the battle. Some people want to dive right in, but you should always start by gathering your costs. The four major cost factors of ADU development are:
- Design and planning
- City fees
- Construction labor and materials
- Finish materials
Knowing your costs will allow you to budget out your project properly to ensure you will be able to attain enough money to complete it and secure financing for it.
Next, you will need to complete a feasibility study to understand your county’s zoning and planning requirements. This step will let you know what is possible to build on your property, and where on your property it can be built.
Design, Plan, Permit
After you know what you can build, you can begin designing your unit from the outside in. Doing so will ensure you don’t go over your size limitations.
With a design in place, you can begin planning the unit with things like architecture drawings, energy calculations, structural drawings, etc. Once this is all complete, you can submit it to the city to receive your necessary permits.
Find Contractor And Materials
Secure a contractor who is fully licensed and insured. Make sure they have experience with building ADUs and are communicative with you. They might be able to help you secure your materials and give you options for more affordable replacements if you start to go over budget.
Construct And Decorate
Finally, you can begin the construction of your ADU. Make sure to check in regularly with your contractor to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Once fully built, add the ADU furniture and appliances and then you are done! You can rent it out, enjoy it yourself, or have family stay with you now that your ADU is fully built.