What 10 Things Should I Consider Before Building An ADU?

People construct accessory dwelling units for a variety of purposes (ADU). Some construct them to shelter family members, while others construct them to generate additional revenue through rent. Regardless of the reason, an ADU is a fantastic investment. However, there are a few things you need to do before you start building an ADU.

1. Refer To The Property Development Standards For More Information.

You’ll need to look up your area’s property development regulations. You’ll need to know if the unit meets the requirements in your area. For example, you’ll need to know how many density units are permitted for a specific land. Your ADU unit must adhere to those density restrictions. In some places, the height of your unit is limited, and you must adhere to those restrictions. A unit may also be required to be set back from the property line or have access to two utility services limited. It’s critical to consult with your local government officials to determine the unit’s requirements.

2. Make A Plan.

When constructing an ADU, careful planning is essential. Before you begin the construction process, make sure you have everything planned out. A proper plan will not only make the construction process easier for you and your contractor, but it will also save you money.

3. Make A Financial Plan.

Before you begin the construction process, be sure your funds are in order. You don’t want to start construction and then run out of money before finishing. The majority of ADU projects fail due to poor budgeting. As a result, having a budget in place before you begin construction on the ADU is critical.

4. Privacy Concerns.

If it’s your parents, less privacy in the design can be okay. Their front door or porch can face your backyard entrance, creating a sense of inclusion and harmony in the living arrangement. Plants, trees, and window curtains could all be used as unobtrusive privacy screens. Privacy can be a deal breaker if you plan to rent the unit. Consider the possibility of a stranger residing in your backyard. Would you like to spend your free time in their company? Probably not, and there’s a chance the discomfort is reciprocal. Consider placing the ADU’s entrance on the side or back of the house, with plenty of vegetation for added privacy. These extra actions can go a long way toward making your living situation more pleasant for both you and your tenant.

5. Design Guidelines.

The unit’s design will differ between counties and cities. The way you construct the construction will be determined by the local codes and regulations. Bathrooms and kitchens will almost certainly be required in the majority of apartments. You won’t be able to utilize plug-in space heaters in most circumstances, therefore you’ll need to install a full heating system. If you don’t know what your area’s building design standards are, you’ll need to talk to structural and MEP design specialists or your local building authority to make sure everything is up to code.

6. Think About Saving Space.

ADU residents must deal with a lack of space. Things can get crowded when a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area, and living space are all crammed into 1,200 square feet or fewer. Furniture, appliances, and storage options can all help to make these compact homes feel more spacious and comfortable.

7. Find Out If You Need More Additional Parking.

You may be required to provide off-street parking for your ADU unit in some counties. If your property is close to public transportation or in a historically or architecturally significant district, you may not have to bother about parking. Because the rules in your area will change, you should consult with officials to decide whether you should offer a parking space for the new unit.

8. Consider Contractor Experience And Professionalism.

The contractor you choose to build your ADU will decide whether or not your project is a success. You will almost certainly be dissatisfied if you hire someone who has no expertise building ADUs. Select a contractor with extensive expertise and a high level of professionalism. The contractor should also be registered and knowledgeable about the most recent ADU construction technology.

9. Utility Connections.

For connection fee and capacity charge calculations, ADUs are not considered “new residential uses.” They also don’t usually require separate service meters. Without the use of additional meters, water can be pulled from the pipes that serve your home. You can tap into your home’s gas pipes and connect a new private meter “upstream” of the existing one if you’re installing a gas furnace, water heater, or stove.

10. Fire Regulations.

Make sure you’re familiar with your area’s fire rules. For example, you may be required to have a sprinkler system put in the unit since it is required in the region. Consult with your local fire department and building officials to learn about the fire codes that must be followed when constructing the unit. Even if not having a sprinkler system saves you money, it’s a good idea to have one in the unit, especially if it’s difficult to reach during an emergency. You can also contact your insurance company to see if you can save money by installing a system.

Are You Looking for a Company to Build a Foundation for Your ADU or Building? 

If you’ve been researching building a foundation for your ADU or home, then chances are that you already know about the different types of foundations available. Depending on your goals and budget, there may be several solutions available to you. Spaulding Concrete has been the SF Bay Area’s top foundation builder for over 30 years.  We’re here to fix your home’s foundation, no matter what problem may exist. We have the specialized equipment, services and professional experience that you need to make permanent improvements to your building’s foundation.  If you have an ADU and want a new one built, then take care in finding someone who understands what is involved and who can get it done right! The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control. To schedule your free quote, contact us today! We are proud to serve Alameda and Contra Costa County, including projects in Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Brentwood.