What to Know About Building an ADU for Your Home
Are you a homeowner in Los Angeles looking to maximize the potential of your property? Have you considered building an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, on your property? ADUs have become increasingly popular in Los Angeles, offering homeowners the opportunity to increase rental income and provide housing for family members.
If you’re interested in ADUs, we’re here to help. Here’s everything you need to know about building an ADU in LA, the types of ADUs you can build, and the feasibility of your project. Whether you're considering a detached accessory dwelling unit, a garage conversion, or a junior accessory dwelling unit, this article will provide you with the information you need to get started on your project.
New Laws Regarding ADUs
In recent years, state and local laws regarding ADUs have undergone significant changes, making it easier for homeowners to build these additional dwelling units. California has recognized the potential of ADUs to address the housing crisis, and they have taken steps to promote their development.
These new laws have streamlined the permitting process, reduced parking requirements, and eliminated impact fees for ADUs under 750 square feet. This makes it more financially feasible for homeowners to build ADUs.Homeowners can now take advantage of resources provided by the city of Los Angeles to navigate the permitting process and ensure compliance with local government regulations.
The Advantages of Building an ADU
Building an ADU offers numerous advantages. First and foremost, an ADU can provide additional rental income, allowing homeowners to offset the costs of homeownership and generate extra income. Additionally, ADUs can provide housing options for family members, such as elderly parents or adult children. They can even be used as a home office space.
Building an ADU can also boost the property value of your home, increasing equity and potential resale value. There may also be potential tax benefits associated with building an ADU, such as property tax reassessment exclusions. ADUs can also help with the housing crisis in Los Angeles, providing additional housing options for the city's growing population.
Detached Accessory Dwelling Units
Detached accessory dwelling units, or DADUs, are standalone structures located on the same property as the main house. These units offer maximum flexibility in design and use, and they can be customized to fit the owner's specific needs and preferences.
When designing a detached ADU, homeowners should consider the floor plan, layout, and potential impact fees associated with construction. Detached ADUs are a good way for homeowners to add more space to their homes without having to build onto their main house.
Garage Conversion ADUs
If you have an existing garage on your property that is not being fully utilized, consider converting it into an accessory dwelling unit. Garage conversion ADUs involve transforming the existing garage space into a livable unit. Some may choose to make the garage an extension of the main house, while others will make it a self-contained house complete with a kitchen and bathroom.
Homeowners should know the steps and requirements involved in the conversion process, including permits, parking requirements, and setback regulations. It’s also very important to find and hire a reputable Los Angeles garage conversion contractor.
Junior Accessory Dwelling Units
Junior accessory dwelling units, or JADUs, are smaller living units attached to the main house, typically sharing a wall, floor, or ceiling with the primary residence.
These units are often more compact and may have additional design requirements and regulations compared to detached ADUs. Even though they’re smaller, a JADU can still provide homeowners with additional rental income or housing options for family members. It's important to consider square footage, design options, and the potential uses of the unit when building a JADU.
Budgeting for Your ADU
Building an ADU can be expensive, and homeowners should create a realistic budget to manage the expenses of the project. Factors that impact the overall budget of an ADU project include permits, design, construction, and materials. Homeowners can explore financing options, such as home equity lines of credit, to fund their ADU project. It's important to carefully consider costs and plan accordingly to ensure the project stays on track financially.
Financing Options for Your ADU
When it comes to financing an ADU project, homeowners have various options to consider. Home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, can be a potential funding source, allowing homeowners to tap into the equity they have built up in their property.
Other financing options, such as construction loans or personal loans, may also be available, depending on the homeowner's financial situation and creditworthiness. Homeowners should evaluate the costs of permits, design, and construction when considering the financing of their ADU project, and they should seek professional guidance if needed.
The Process of Building an ADU
Before construction can begin, homeowners should assess the space available on their property for the ADU and design the floor plan accordingly. Maximizing living space, considering the needs of potential occupants, and ensuring compliance with local government regulations are important factors to consider during the design phase.
Acquiring Permits for Your ADU
Obtaining the necessary permits is a critical step in the process of building an ADU. Homeowners should understand the permitting process, gather the required documents, and submit the permit application to their local government office. Homeowners will need to pay the fees associated with the permit application process and follow up with their local government office to track the progress of the application. It's crucial to stay informed and ensure compliance with local building codes throughout the construction process.
Constructing and Decorating Your ADU
Once the permits are acquired, construction of the ADU can begin. Homeowners should collaborate with the contractor to plan the construction timeline, allocate time for permits, construction, and inspections, and account for potential delays, such as weather or contractor availability.
Homeowners should monitor the construction progress to ensure that the project stays on schedule, complies with local building codes, and meets their design requirements. After it’s finished, they can begin decorating the interior of the ADU to create a comfortable living space. They can also consider adding additional features, such as landscaping or outdoor living areas, to add value to the property.
Are You Ready to Start Your ADU Project in LA?
Adding an ADU to a property has many benefits. Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the process of building an ADU, the types you can build, the advantages of building an ADU, and the feasibility of your project, it's time to assess if you’re ready to undertake an ADU project.