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3 Cost Estimations Of ADU Conversions In Los Angeles



|Last Updated: 08 Dec 2022

Here are some average costs of ADUs around the Orange County region.

We'll go through different kinds of ADUs, and what brings the ADU costs up or down? This has been a very common topic in 2021, with the new law changes and we have until 2025 with these new regulations. So you're seeing a lot of people build these ADUs, it's becoming a lot more common. What people are doing, they're either moving their in-laws back, parents, have kids moving back. We've even seen people move into the ADU and rent the front house out. So we get a lot of questions on how much this costs. That way they can do a calculation and see what their return is by renting one of these things out. So, this is mainly L.A., Orange County area, we can go over some of the main costs of that. 



The first one we have here would be a garage conversion. This is going to be your most common ADU here in L.A. and Orange County. It's going to be the most cost-effective and it's going to be the easiest to do. These are running anywhere from $85,000 all in, give or take. It could be more, it could be less. I would say the average is about $85,000. And what goes into that cost as far as what is that square footage or footprint? We're talking about a two-car garage, which is 400 square feet. This estimation is based on 300-square-foot print averages. This could be again a detached or an attached garage.



If you have enough property on your lot, you just have to meet the setbacks, which are four feet from the rear and four feet from the side within ten feet from the main. That again, if we're looking at a 400-square-foot print, single bedroom, or studio, you're looking at $140,000 give or take. Again, these are averages, your project could be more, could be less. Afterward, we’ll kind of go through what could bring that cost up or down.



One of the most common ADUs is an above garage. If you're looking to build this converted ADU, your cost range starts at $135,000 give or take. When you do that, you have to restructure that garage, that's why it costs more. You can add that second story. This is common if you want to keep your parking and you do have space to go above it again, you're looking at $135,000. Remember, each project’s very different, these estimations aim to give everybody an idea.



There are also some important things to look for costs:


Electrical  - Electrical is electrical,. Common questions would be: is it above ground, is it below ground? How far do we have to pull that electrical? That's going to determine a big portion of the cost. Also, the thing to look for is do we have to move an electrical panel? If it is coming from above, that will bring your cost up substantially. So the electrical is big. 


Sewer - We have to locate where that sewer comes in. If we have to dig through a bunch of concrete to access that sewer and run that line to the detached garage or the detached ADU, obviously that cost is going to go up. The farther we have to pull it, the higher the cost is. Again, the more concrete there is, the higher that cost is as well. 

Raised foundation or slab? Also, the house or foundation or slab raised foundations a little bit easier to deal with, more cost-effective. 


Condition of surrounding area - Is there is a lot of concrete? Is there a lot of grass? How far is the distance between the detached garage or where you want that freestanding ADU to go? The farther, the higher that cost is going to be. 


Condition of the garage - So if you're doing a two-car garage conversion, whether it's attached or detached, we have to look at a few things. The first thing is the slab. What kind of condition is that slab and is there a lot of cracking? Is there fire damage? Termite damage? What type of condition is that? Detached garage roof? And these are all factors that we kind of look at when we go out and provide a quote. Again, these are just kind of average of what we're seeing here in Orange County, L.A. If you have any questions, just feel free to send us a message.

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