Accessory Dwelling Units or ADU is a common term if you own a home in California. Here, Accessory Dwelling Units refer to the independent homes sharing one lot with the main dwelling.

Also identified as ADUs, backyard cottages, granny flats, or in-law units, these tiny houses are highly known because of their ability to do many things. Besides generating rental income, the Accessory Dwelling Units can also house lower-income families, aging parents, and grow-up children.

These units boosted California’s dwindling housing stock, which opened the path for Section 65852.2 of the Government Code, promoting Accessory Dwelling Units construction.

Note that today is the perfect time for you to construct an ADU because Section 65852.2 of the Government Code relaxed many formerly strict conditions and outlawed local authorities from inflicting specific new ones.

However, you need in-depth planning to succeed in constructing the tiny home. This informative article will take you through the crucial paces you need to before making ADU.

Let’s get started!

1. Go Through The Local ADU Standards And Regulations

Don’t get surprised to realize your municipality does not support detached ADUs in any way. It may require you to construct a basement Accessory Dwelling Unit, retrofit the house to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit on a specific floor, or create a garage Accessory Dwelling Unit.

Confirm with your local authority to ensure if it allows a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit on the building before you proceed with the planning process. Besides this, take note of all building codes and zoning restrictions. The local authority may restrict your ADU by property setbacks, fire regulations, or in terms of height and design.

Therefore, it’s indispensable to visit the local authority and a professional ADU contractor to confirm if your Accessory Dwelling Unit meets each standard and regulation.

2. Check Parking Requirements

California requires you to offer extra off-street parking, unless the property is located within a half miles of a communal transport system, has a vehicle share care situated within a sole block, is positioned in a documented district, or has the required on-sideroad parking licenses, but not provided to the individual staying the ADU.

3. Check the Privacy Level

A family member ADU doesn’t need to be in a private place and in total isolation from the main house. However, you can take extra steps like planting trees, adding back/side entrances, and building a privacy fence if you want to rent it to a strange individual. Taking this additional step is indispensable to boost your privacy from the strangers and the stranger’s privacy from you.

4. Confirm The Needed Utility Connections

Most cases can require you to expand the house’s utility connections to the Accessory Dwelling Unit, such as electricity, water, and gas. By taking this step, it means you don’t have to fix new utility meter reading devices. However, you must visit the local authority for approval before taking this step.

5. ADU Site Access

Your Accessory Dwelling Unit deserves an unobstructed and clear footpath that connects to the road. Note that it’s not a must to break the bank because of this step. Natural stone tiles or precast pavers are the most preferred options to take in this case.

Also, remember the individual staying in that Accessory Dwelling Unit too. You can consider investing in smooth concrete paths with access ramps if you plan to host an aged relative in that house. Taking this step is indispensable because it offers safe and easy access to the Accessory Dwelling Unit.

Final Thoughts

Not that constructing an Accessory Dwelling Unit is not the same as building a full-size home. However, you’re likely to encounter a daunting task when building this tiny property. Hesitate no more! The above steps can help you a lot in making the process clear and easier.


Let the experts plan your ADU design

When looking to renovate or create a plan for your ADU from scratch, be sure to contact a team of experts that can design the best possible Architectural, Structural, and MEP Design