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The right size

Looking to downsize and get income from the main house. Makes a lot of sense. No need for a marathon between a kitchen and a bathroom.

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Independence for her

Your adult kid lives with you. You love her to bits but your schedules and habits do not match. Sleep patterns suffer.

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Home office

You want to keep some borderline between your business and your personal life. Legitimate.

We are here to help you consider your options in the most thoughtful way possible.

You might have a different goal. We will show possible options, that will help you make better decisions and keep the costs at bay.

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The low utility bill

You are interested in the technology that could help you control the monthly bills as well as improve quality of living: keeping you warm in winter, cool in summer.

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Independence for you

You live with your son’s family.  And make no mistake, you adore your grandkids. But sometimes all this activity is a little bit too much. How about some piece and quiet?

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Helping your community

You want to keep teachers and nurses in your community, not out. The additional dwelling unit gives you a chance to do that, and get some extra income.

Whatever your scenario is, look at the possible floor plans,  quality and budget of your secondary unit.

Be aware of all known and unknown costs.  Know what to look for in a bid.

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Always start with your Wish List

Enough space for how many people? Kitchen requirements? Number of bedrooms or bathrooms? Costs? Recycled materials? Solar power?  Maximum self-sufficiency? Fire resistance? Write it down. Compare the options to your wish list to know which one fits the best.

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Yard Space vs. Square Footage

How much of your current yard space are you willing to give up?  When thinking of ADU, there is an economy of scale that kicks in when you add square footage. So in a sense, it might cost you almost (not quite, but almost) the same to build a 600 sq.ft. ADU and a 900 sq.ft. ADU. Remember that the set up costs are the same. Not all costs depend on square footage.

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ADU, addition or move?

It might make sense to talk to your financial advisor and a trusted real estate agent before you make a final decision. Does it make sense to build on this lot? Will the costs be covered in case of a later sale? Are you improving the property?

How to build an ADU? What is the process?

The same as for any new construction.

  1. Site feasibility analysis, site survey review
  2. Needs and wish list
  3. Research of city rules and codes
  4. Financing
  5. Design
  6. Permitting
  7. Site Preparation
  8. Construction

Which ADU is right for you?

Not sure how to select the right ADU option? If you are looking for the most cost-efficient solution that meets all your needs and value your time,
take this shortcut.

Include all costs when comparing your options

Permits and Inspections

Your town is most probably charging the same fees, whether it is a new 4000 sq. ft. house or an 800 sq. ft. ADU. Thus the number that has to be included in your budget might be considerable. The budget for a new house can run up to $70,000. You have been warned.

Utilities

It might be something as simple as a distribution panel upgrade. But if your main house did not have any electrical upgrades in the last 20 years, it might trigger the whole main house electrical upgrade to match current building codes. Inquire in advance.

Foundation

Piers? Slab? Huge difference in costs. Driven by the site, soil, closeness to creeks, you name it. A structural engineer might ask for a report done by a geo engineer. This will trigger site visits from both. Contracts with both.

Materials

How are you making the decisions? Are you driven by costs alone? Or does ecology or lower utility bills matter? Would you be planning to use fire resistant materials? How about insulation? These little details matter when you consider your options.

Financing

Talk to your financial advisor and a trusted real estate agent. Challenge your assumptions that adding a unit on this property makes financial sense.

Transportation costs

When thinking of pre-fab units, consider if your driveway will be able to let the huge truck pass. Does the site have enough space for a crane? Can we even use a crane? Are there utility lines in the way that might make the delivery impossible?

And where that container is coming from, so that you include your transportation costs into the budget.

Before you start calling contractors, look at various options that exist:

 

 

Why ADU? Why Now?

Recent California state legislation , effective January 1, 2018, clarifies  the law to promote the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), including allowing ADUs to be built concurrently with a single-family home, opening areas where ADUs can be built to include all zoning districts that allow single-family uses, modifying fees from utilities, such as special districts and water corporations, and reducing parking requirements.

What is ADU?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more.

It is an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California, offering an opportunity to maximize housing choices within existing neighborhoods.

ADUs are a unique opportunity to address a variety of housing needs  for family members, friends, students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, the disabled, and others.

 Totally confused about where to start?

Let’s start talking about your project and find out how we can help you.

 

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