If you have been considering adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit or ADU to your property, there is a lot of information you need before you start construction. Some may think that you can just build anything on your property that you want and how you want, but that is not the case. There are not only costs involved, but also zoning laws. There are many different types of ADU’s and you should know exactly what you need and what can benefit your property before committing. Adding an ADU can be very beneficial and can also lead to a rise in the value of your property. If you do it correctly, you’ll be able to enjoy it years to come with no headache involved.

Types of ADU’s

There are five different types of Accessory Dwelling Units, detached, attached, above garage, garage conversion and basement conversion. Each has its own challenges and benefits and you’ll have to decide on what works best for you. The detached unit is the most popular as it can act as a shed or storage. An attached, as it says in the name, extends off of the main residence in order to add space and volume to the house. The above garage version and garage conversion are different because while both are add-ons, the garage conversion completely changes the use of the space. Converting your basement is also an option with the availability of adding an additional entrance.

Important State Laws

California has many different laws regarding building and zoning and it is key to understand what they are before you begin the building process. You’ll need to make sure that everything is up to code because otherwise you won’t be able to get it built. Here are a few of the laws you should keep in mind:

Senate Bill (SB) 1069—Significantly reduces, and in some cases eliminates, ADU parking requirements and utility hook-up fees. This bill also accelerates the approval process for ADUs attached to the primary home.

Assembly Bill 2299—Requires local ADU ordinances to include non-discretionary and ministerial approval for second-unit construction that meets city building requirements.

Assembly Bill 2406—Speeds up the permitting process for homeowners who want to turn an existing room in their home into an attached ADU, such as a studio apartment.

Associated ADU Costs

This primarily depends on the type of Accessory Dwelling Unit you are building and the added costs associated with each specific unit. Some ADU’s will be built with plumbing which will add an additional cost. This is not only to have the plumbing set up but it will also need to be waterproofed to avoid a water leak, this could cause damage to the house as a whole. Also the size will obviously affect the cost. Oddly enough, when building an ADU you’ll realize how much more square footage costs when it’s a smaller space.

The best part of the experience is going through it all. Deciding on which type of Accessory Dwelling Unit you’d like to add and then designing it all to your liking. You’ll obviously have to follow all the regulations and laws surrounding your ADU, but once you jump through all those holes you’ll begin the building process. When it’s all finished you’ll be able to look back to when you started thinking about the addition, and how much it has improved your home. Don’t forget to think of WICR Inc., when you are waterproofing your new ADU, we’ll make sure to prevent any water leaks from ever causing you any trouble.