Like many residents in California, you may be thinking about building an Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) on your property. If that’s the case, it’s important to understand that there are many things to know before you begin the planning process. This includes financing, permits, utility hookups and more. Although building an ADU can be a fun project and a great addition to your property, there are things to consider before you begin. Here are three simple steps for planning and building an ADU.
1. Make sure you’re in compliance with municipal code
Whenever you’re looking to add something to your property, the first thing you need to do is make sure you’re legally allowed. To do this, contact your local municipality and find out if adding an ADU is in compliance with your zoning regulations. If not, you may have to seek a variance from the government to continue. Find out the restrictions regarding size, parking, location and permitting. Once this step is finished, your project will move a lot more smoothly and you’ll avoid any unforeseen setbacks.
Aside from permits and zoning requirements, your budget is the most important aspect of building an ADU. Before you begin, sit down and write out a complete budget that covers every possible expense — from labor, service, installation, materials and parts to county and state fees, furnishing and future costs. In order to find out if this project is viable, you’ll need to know its complete cost. Also, because there are many different types of ADUs, including detached, attached, garage, etc., it’s important to run all the costs to find out which best fits your budget.
3. Design your entire space
The most enjoyable part of building an ADU is making it your own. This starts in the design phase. Look at the trending designs for ADUs, check online, check magazines, and keep searching until you find the perfect design. And you’ll have the say in every aspect from floors and walls to your electronic hookup and more.