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7 Steps To Building An ADU



|Last Updated: 26 Jul 2022

Have you wondered how will the process be when building or having an ADU in your lot?

Here are 7 basic steps you're going to take to develop your own ADU.


1. Set out a budget

Like any other project, you would want to start by setting a budget, a very detailed budget of how much money you would allot for your ADU. You should know all the different elements of that project from start to finish because you are going to have different professionals and fees that you want me to pay. Starting with design planning, moving to city fees, and of course construction. Within the construction flow, you should determine the costs of the finish materials and labor fees, those are the things you would want to know first.


2. Conduct a feasibility study

You would like to start by the second phase and it's going to be conducting a feasibility study on your project. This is something that is going to require between par with the city—what can be done how it can be done—it's going to determine the size of your ADU, the shape of the ADU, and the location of your ADU on your property.


3. Go through your floor plan design

You might want to go through the design of your floor plans and 3D renderings of your ADU. This is going to help you understand how the finished unit is going to look like once it's done and built and ready to be moved into.


4. Create construction documents

Creating construction documents include architectural and structural drawings. You're going to need Title 24, in some cases, you will also need additional engineering or surveys, it really depends on your property type location. These are just some of the things you will gather while doing your feasibility study.


5. Submit your plans to the city

This step involves submitting your plans to the city and getting it through plan check clearances by different utility departments including the fire department. This process basically a prerequisite of building your ADU, getting your project approved by the city first before proceeding to the actual construction process.


6. Hire a contractor

This is the part where you get to hire a contractor you can trust or a team of home remodelers who would gather estimates, create a detailed scope of work, and so on. At this phase, you can now see what to expect and your contractor's job would be based on your preferred design, the plans that you have done so far. Your contractors should provide you detailed estimates—that should be apple to apple—and they'll deliver the work based on the scope of work that you and your contractor have agreed upon.


7. Start the construction of your ADU

This is the time you'll let your contractors start breaking ground. During the construction, you're going to have different inspections done by the city. City inspectors are going to come by and clear different steps along the way from start to finish and the last step is basically getting your certificate of occupancy at the end of the process. Once you've gone through the construction and inspections, the city will issue a certificate of occupancy which means that the unit is completed and is ready to be occupied and you can rent it out or have your family live in it.

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