Are you interested in adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to your property but don't know where to start? Building an ADU is a fantastic way to add extra living space to your property, increase your property value, and provide a rental income. But before building a new ADU, there are several things you need to consider. In this comprehensive ADU development guide, we will take you through each step to make the process a breeze.
1. Know Your Zoning Regulations
Before beginning your ADU development, you need to understand the ADU zoning regulations in your area. Start by visiting your local zoning and planning department to identify specific rules and regulations regarding ADU building codes, setbacks, height restrictions, and parking requirements. Take note of the zoning laws enforced in your neighborhood as it affects the type of ADU design you can build. Familiarize yourself with the zoning codes, and don't forget to apply for any necessary permits before starting construction.
2. Determine the Size of Your ADU
The size of your ADU will depend on your needs, budget, and available space. The average size of an ADU ranges from 300 square feet to 1,200 square feet. If you plan to rent out the ADU, a one-bedroom design is suitable for a single tenant, while a two-bedroom configuration is ideal for a small family.
3. Design the ADU
The design process is a crucial step in building your ADU. Whether you opt for a prefabricated unit or a custom-built design, you'll need to work with an architect or design professional to create a plan for the ADU. If you're using prefabrication, you'll choose a floor plan from a catalog. Still, suppose you decide to go with custom-built plans. In that case, you will work closely with an architect or a CAD specialist to create a plan and see how it will fit into your existing property design.
4. Choose the Material
When building your ADU, it's essential to consider the type of materials that will suit your needs and budget. Wood is a common building material with a beautiful natural appearance and is relatively easy to work with. However, it's also susceptible to weather and insect damage and requires regular maintenance. On the other hand, metal and composite materials deliver excellent durability, require low maintenance, and have an extended lifespan.