An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a small, additional living space on your property. Many homeowners are increasingly interested in building ADUs to generate rental income or provide housing for aging family members. Before you jump into the permitting process, there are several important factors to consider that will affect the feasibility and cost of your project. Before building an ADU, you should consider the followings:

The location of the ADU on your property

Before you decide to build an ADU, it’s important to consider the unit’s location on your property. You’ll want to make sure the ADU unit can maximize privacy for you and your tenant. Additionally, you’ll want to consider sunlight exposure and proximity to amenities when choosing a location for your ADU.

Zoning regulations in your area

Before building an ADU, it is important to be aware of the zoning regulations in your area. These regulations can vary greatly from one location to another, so it is essential to do your research before proceeding with any construction project. You may need to obtain a special permit or variance from the local authorities to build an ADU on your property in some areas. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in costly fines or even the demolition of your new unit.

Setbacks and other construction limitations

Before you start construction on your ADU, you must keep a few important things in mind. One is setbacks – how close your ADU can be to the property line. Setbacks vary depending on the city, so it’s important to check with your local planning department. Another thing to consider is height restrictions – most towns have a maximum height for buildings, and going over that could result in costly fines. Finally, make sure you know about any HOA construction requirements – some HOAs require prior approval before any work can begin.

Utilities (water, sewer, electricity)

Before you break ground on your new construction project, you need to ensure that all the necessary hookups are in place. These include water lines, sewer lines, and, most importantly- power. You need to make sure that these services are available to your property (check with your local utility provider) and ensure they are up to code. Failing to do so could result in expensive delays or even have legal implications down the road.

Whether you will need to expand your driveway or add parking spaces

If you’re thinking about adding an ADU to your property, you’ll need to consider whether or not you’ll need to expand your driveway or add parking spaces. The decision will depend on several factors, including the size and location of your property, local zoning regulations, and how you plan to use the ADU. Suppose you’re unsure whether you’ll need to make changes to your driveway or add additional parking spaces. In that case, it’s a good idea to talk with a local contractor or planning expert who can help assess your situation.

Accessibility requirements

When planning to build an ADU, it is important to consider the accessibility requirements of elderly or disabled family members or tenants living in the space. There are a variety of legal requirements to meet to make sure that the living space is safe and accessible for all occupants. However, even if you are not legally required to do so, it is still important to consider accessibility features when planning your ADU. By making sure that your ADU is accessible from the start, you can avoid costly renovations down the road.

The size of the unit

An additional living unit, or ADU, can be a great way to add extra space and value to your home. But there are a few things you should consider before you build one – like the size of the unit. How much additional living space do you need? Will a small guest house suffice, or do you want something larger to accommodate extended family or friends? The answer to this question will help determine the size of ADU you should build.

Building materials – what type of materials will fit best with your home

If you’re considering building an ADU, you need to think about what type of materials will fit best with your home. You want to make sure the materials you choose are durable and low maintenance. Some good options include fiber cement siding or metal siding. Another thing to consider is the roofing material. Asphalt shingles are a popular choice because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to install. However, metal roofs are also a great option because they’re long-lasting and low maintenance.


In case you have any architectural, structural, and MEP design including fire sprinkler design requirements, or need to design your home renovation project including structure, and HVAC design, feel free to contact us.  We provide you with the full permit set design + T24 for your request.