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Getting Started

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An ADU (also referred to as a backyard home, granny flat, in-law suite, guest house, back house, etc.) is a separate living unit complete with its own entrance, living space, kitchen, and sleeping areas.

An ADU is the most convenient way to increase the living space on your property. In addition, it is the most cost-effective way to increase the value of your home. An ADU can be rented out for monthly rental income or a house for a family member. There are a lot fewer restrictions (lower permit fees, more precise parking requirements, fewer building restrictions, etc.) for building ADUs than conventional additions.

Among others, the main categories are: Attached, detached, junior and garage conversions.

A JADU is like an ADU. However, it has a smaller maximum size and utilizes existing structures. Junior ADUs are allowed to be up to 500 sq ft. and are exempt from parking requirements.

Yes! Your garage can be legally converted into an ADU. Other options include keeping your garage and adding a second-story ADU to your garage, or leaving your garage as is and building a new detached ADU, and several other options.

There are many factors to consider for the cost of an ADU. A typical garage conversion will be cheaper than new construction. Homes requiring high-end finishes can be significantly more expensive than homes with a simple design and basic features. Two-story structures will also be more expensive. The cost can vary anywhere from $175-$400 per sq ft.

The permitting process can take 2-3 months. Construction on an easy garage conversion can take as little as 2 to 3 months, and a more complicated larger project can take up to 5 months.

Yes, multi-family properties are allowed to get ADUs. Of course, it must be checked with local officers to know about any local regulations.

We begin with a free in-person consultation and home evaluation. This will help us see your vision, weigh your options, and plan your project. Next, we will discuss possible financing options. Once you have decided to move forward with your project, we will design and put together architecture and engineering plans. The plans will be submitted to the city, and permits will be obtained. We will begin construction as soon as permits are obtained. After construction is complete, we will have a final inspection, and your ADU will be ready to enjoy! Either move in yourself or rent it out to tenants! We can even help with that!

Yes, you can rent it out! Starting in 2020, there are no owner-occupancy requirements anymore. The ADU, as well as the main house, can be rented out.

Call (310) 974-3174 or email to set up a free in-person consultation and home evaluation.

Permits & Regulations

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An ADU must comply with all zoning code provisions for the primary residence, including height, setbacks, and open space. Applicants need to know if the unit is eligible according to the local standards. These should be checked with your local government officials to determine the standards you should follow for the unit construction.

In the past, many local regulations prohibited ADUs. Recently, however, many of these barriers have come down due to ADU-friendly state legislation. Nonetheless, the building codes that pertain to human habitation are still in place and many regulations where an ADU may be placed on the property.

Most single-family homeowners can build ADUs. State law allows homeowners in single-family neighborhoods to build an accessory dwelling unit as long as there’s room for it on their property. How much room? A detached ADU will need to be at least 10 feet from the main residence and 4 feet from any property lines.

“Title 24” is a set of standards for energy efficiency. “Green Building” refers to standards to protect the environment. Both sets of standards apply to the construction of an ADU project.

As per permitted development permissions, extensions must be built with similar materials to the existing property to maintain the neighborhood’s integrated image by the local community regulations.

First step is to measure the property. Once the we have the dimensions, we will prepare a site plan and a floor plan for the homeowner to review. Once they sign approves the design, an architectural set will be prepared. We will then be send this to engineer and title 24. After this part is finsihed we will submit this to the city with any additional information the city might require. ADU Resource Center will manage all communication with the city until the plans are approved. This process is lengthy and complicated, which is why we will manage it for you. The only thing you as the homeowner will help with is picking the floorpans and design of the ADU. 

Utilities & Site Conditions

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As long as we keep a 4 foot distance from your property line and 10 foot distance for any other existing structure we are allowed to build on whatever space is left over. Attached ADUs and extensions to garage conversion also have to meet the same setbacks.

ADUs must comply with all requirements for water, sewer, gas, electrical, plumbing, health, and life safety standards outlined in the Municipal Code for Accessory Dwelling Units.

Parking for a newly constructed ADU is not required when it is located within one-half mile walking distance of a public transit. Replacement parking is not required when covered parking is removed in conjunction with the construction of the ADU. 

You need to ensure easy and safe access for the people that will occupy the ADU. It should also be clutter-free between your home and the property line, and you have to consider direct access to a street via a lighted pedestrian path.

It will all depend upon who is staying there. In renting to strangers, you may have to install privacy screens such as plants, trees, fencing, and fit window blinds for the living arrangement to be as comfortable as possible for the tenants staying there.

In general, you shouldn’t have to install any new utilities. You can usually tap into the water from piping, and you probably won’t have to own other service meters. If you choose to separate the water and power, then you can at an additional cost. 

The existing service to typical single-family residences is usually sufficient to support a Backyard ADU. On the contrary, ADU Resource Center will work with you to upgrade the necessary services to support the ADU.

You can have separate meters for water and electric service, but it will cost more to install. You can also install ”sub-meters” as a lower-cost alternative.

The most important thing you should do is to refer to the fire regulations of your area. It might be helpful to speak with local fire officials and building officials so you know the fire regulations that you should follow when building the unit.

Economic & Financing

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Yes! According to your current situation, there are plenty of programs that will help you get the right conditions to get your ADU. We offer 100% financing among other loan programs. 

Among others, we mention the 9 more common (Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), Home Equity Loan, Cash-Out Refinance, Renovation Loan, Construction Loan, FHA & Fannie Mae Loans, Family and Friends loan, Credit Card or Personal Loan, Retirement Accounts. 

Yes, but not much. When you build an ADU, the city will do a blended assessment, which does not affect the value of your existing property, but instead, assess the cost of the construction and adds that to your original property value. Your taxes will only increase by 1.1% of the total cost of the improvements.

If you want to build an ADU and later sell your house, we have good news for you! Adding an ADU can increase the value of your property by $150,000 or even more. This is one of the benefits of building an ADU. From the moment you have one, you can only win.

Homeowners cannot sell the ADU separately from the main property. 

There are fees associated with the construction of your ADU. Some fees you may expect are: an ADU application fee, a transportation impact fee, a park impact fee, and construction permit fees (building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, etc.), but some of these may not apply to existing permitted, finished, and habitable structures.

General Guidelines

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Any property in a residential zone. It can be single-family or multifamily.

No, there is no minimum lot size as long as you meet the required setbacks 

The ADU typically goes in the backyard. It must be located at least 4 feet from the rear and side property lines (unless garage conversion). It can be fully detached or attached to the main house or garage.

Minimum Size: An ADU must have a minimum living area of 150 square feet. Maximum Size: City is required to approve any attached or detached ADU under 1200 square feet unless the city adopts a new ADU ordinance setting local government standards.

You should consult with an experienced ADU source. With ADU Resource Center, you get a free consultation with an in-person evaluation. We are here to simplify your life.

Yes, however, if your existing garage wasn’t built to support a second floor, it might require additional structural and or foundational support to be constructed before adding the second story.

Yes, We an issue a separate address for your ADU.

Not officially because the zoning of your property doesn’t change, but for all intents and purposes, you will have a duplex-like property with two units that you can rent.

ADUs not only generate monthly income, but they also increase the resale value of your property! When done right, detached ADUs, in particular, have the potential to increase your property value by a whopping 20-30%

You still have a question ?

If you cannot find answer to your question in our FAQ, you can always contact us.We will answer to you shortly!

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