A Guide For Homeowners Looking To Construct An ADU

Get to know about certain essential elements of ADU construction and how you can have the best work on your plot.


An ADU constructed within the plot is common for most homes and if you are sitting on a pile of cash, this is the best investment theme. The construction allows you to create more space and it helps to achieve multiple purposes. It should help a growing family to stay together and there is also the scope to derive rental income from this space. An ADU construction enhances the home resale value because you are now offering more space to the buyer. The home value enhancement is much more than the money, which you may have spent on the construction. There are plenty of reasons why you should have a granny flat within your plot. This construction is important and here we have looked to offer a guide for a homeowner, who intends to build an ADU.

What Is The Definition Of An ADU?

It is a secondary dwelling unit within your plot and ADU is the technical term for this construction. They are referred to by different names and you get to hear such terms a lot. The other terms for an ADU are as follows.

  • Attic apartments
  • Mother-in-law suite
  • Mother-in-law unit
  • Garage conversion
  • Granny flat

This dwelling unit is known by plenty of names, but the basic factor does not change. The construction offers more space within the plot and can be utilized in multiple ways. It will have everything from water to other utility hookups. It could have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom living room.

What Are The Various Types Of ADU’s To Construct?

There are four types of ADU’s that you can construct and one will have to make a choice. The ADU builders will surely do the core construction activity, but they are here to execute your plans. You will have to make a decision and here are the types, which you can construct.

A detached ADU

This is a detached structure and it could be anything from a cottage to a little apartment in the backyard. This form of ADU is freestanding and fully functional. It should have everything from privacy, separate utilities, and direct access to the street. This is the best structure to rent out to tenants.

An attached ADU

This ADU is attached to the main building and it shares a common wall with the home. However, they have separate entrances and this unit can also be allocated to tenants. There will be no internal doors from the primary residence, which leads to the ADU. If someone has to enter the ADU space he/she will have to exit the main building and enter the ADU separately. It should have a fully functional living space and direct access to the street. It could have separate utility hookups or even share it with the main building.

A garage conversion

Americans today prefer to park the vehicle in the driveway and that opens up the idea of converting the garage into an ADU. it can be both attached & detached and should depend upon the specific location of the garage. The parking rules have eased today in California and there is no need to make up for this conversion. Your garage should now transform into a fully functional apartment and it can have a separate entrance to the street.

An interior conversion

You can also do an interior conversion and that should not be visible from the outside. It could be your attic space fully converted into a cozy living space. It will not have a separate entrance and it lacks privacy. These sorts of constructions are appropriate to handle space crunch issues, which a growing family has to face. A teenager can always shift to the attic space. It should be a fully functional apartment.

Some Aspects To Consider Before The Construction

The ADU can be multi-functional but the key factor is that you have now got more space. It is up to you to rent it out or operate an office from the ADU. Here are the details for readers.

Why are you constructing this space?

You will first have to seek an answer to this question. Are there plans to allocate this space to elderly parents? Then one must plan for an ADU, which has limited mobility. You can plan for an attached ADU, which means one can quickly respond to emergencies. However, if you are searching for privacy and perhaps eager to derive rental income, then the detached ADU should be better.

You must also take a look at the property

The type of ADU, which you can construct, will depend upon your property. If you have a single-family home, there is the scope to construct only one ADU and a junior ADU with plenty of restrictions. However, if you reside in a multi-family home or even a duplex, then it is possible to construct two different detached ADUs. You will also need proper space to meet zoning or internal conversion requirements.

Are there any special requirements?

There could always be some special requirements for this construction. You need to adhere to the basics such as the ADU must have direct access to the street. Is there any public utility running underneath the ground? The construction should take place at some distance from this spot and this is an issue, which you must discuss with a professional.

Understand The Costs Of ADU Construction

There is a cost to incur for the construction and you will have to arrange for the finances. You could discuss it with the contractor and there are a few factors, which can impact the pricing. Here are some of the details.

What are the factors impacting ADU construction costs?

It is only possible to assess the exact cost of the ADU build if you communicate to the contractor on certain aspects. Let us know about factors, which can impact the construction costs.

  • The type of dwelling space which you intend to build will impact pricing. Is it an attached, detached ADU or a conversion? If you are building from scratch then surely the costs are more than a conversion.
  • Do you need new utility hookups? In this case, the costs are more, but if one can use the existing utilities, the costs are less.
  • The area which you plan to construct and the materials used with impact pricing.
  • The designs which you plan to incorporate here will impact the pricing.
  • You might have to bear impact fees.
  • One may have to purchase the furniture separately and everything will impact the end budget.

Hire Only A Specialist ADU Contractor

Once you have decided on the specific ADU type and are ready with the cash one can start the construction. One of the priorities will be to seek the permits and get your plan approved. It is from this stage to the construction, one must avail of the services of a specialist ADU contractor. You need to hire a licensed, insured ADU contractor for the professional execution of your plans. He will help out with the permits and will construct the ADU for you.


Here is all you must do to have an ADU within the plot. It is however not a DIY job and your role is only up to communicating the idea. You can trust Done Right Home Remodeling to do a smooth efficient job.


    Houzz Review Done Right Home Remodeling
    Yelp Review Done Right Home Remodeling

    More Information About ADU