Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Construction

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The 4 Benefits of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

What Are ADUs?

They are small, fully functional homes that you can rent out to tenants or live in. These units can add significant value to your property and are available to households with low to moderate incomes.

If you're considering creating one, here are a few questions to ask before you start the project. 

Read on to learn more about the process and the benefits of creating your own.

ADUs Are Small But Fully Functional Homes

ADU kitchen in Long Beach, CA

Fully functional ADU kitchen

As the cost of living rises every year, many people are looking for affordable housing options, including accessory dwelling units.

These tiny homes are designed to serve different purposes. Depending on the owners' needs, they can serve as a guesthouse or family home, or they can be rented out as a secondary residence.

Accessory dwelling units are often referred to as granny flats or mother-in-law suites. In reality, they are fully-functional modern homes designed to cater to the needs of the younger generations.

An ADU can be built on the top of a three-car garage or on an adjacent piece of property. It can offer additional living space or serve as a guesthouse.

The size and legal dimensions of an ADU are important to ensure that the unit is legal and meets the property's building codes. T

he ADU cannot be sold separately, but it can be rented out and can be used as an income-producing property for a homeowner or renter.

interior image of an accessory dwelling unit

Interior living space of an ADU

They Can Be Rented Out

The primary residence is still occupied. The owner can rent out the accessory unit if they would like additional income. ADUs are a great way to provide housing supply in a neighborhood without affecting the character of the neighborhood. It can be the perfect solution for seniors who want to age in place.

They Increase Property Value

If you're looking for a passive income investment that can add to your property's value, consider adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). An ADU is the perfect option for multi-generational living, as they provide independence, privacy, and security for elderly family members.

Additionally, they can be built on the same land as your primary residence, which means that you don't need to build on new land or invest in additional infrastructure.

ADU living space in Long Beach, CA

Another view of the interior living space of an ADU

There are two types of ADUs. Attached ADUs are generally less valuable than detached units. An attached ADU is only permitted to add fifty percent of the total square footage of the main house.

Detached ADUs, on the other hand, can add nearly three times that amount of space. In addition to increasing the property value, they can increase a home's resale value by quite a bit.

They Are Available For Low-To-Moderate-Income Households To Rent

The issue of ADUs and their use for affordable housing continues to loom large. State officials are trying to address the problem by overruling "exclusionary zoning" rules, which prohibit the rental of basements, top floors, carriage houses, and other accessory dwelling units.

The development of accessory dwelling units has become an increasingly popular option for affordable housing, enabling many low to moderate-income families to rent space that would otherwise be wasted. Several cities have adopted new regulations to make accessory dwelling units more affordable. Often, these units do not blight the surrounding neighborhood and are considered a great way to build affordable rental units.

interior image of an accessory dwelling unit

Yet another angle of the living space in a custom ADU

Hiring an ADU Contractor

image of Michael A. Baum of Baum Construction & Development in Long Beach CA

Veteran Long Beach ADU builder & best selling author Michael A. Baum

Do-it-yourself ADU construction is not a good idea. Although it is possible, many things can go wrong.

Building codes can be overlooked, best practices may likely be missed, and costly mistakes can be made.

Choosing a reputable custom Accessory Dwelling Unit contractor is much preferable over the less qualified ones who offer this service.

You, the homeowner, will retain complete control over the contractor you hire to build your ADU.

And, in the process, you get someone working for you who's skilled at the ins & outs of building ADUs to code.

What To Do Now

By now, you realize the benefits of having an ADU built on your property. What you may not know is that Michael Baum is a highly-regarded Long Beach CA-based ADU contractor and is a multi-year Angie’s List “Super Service Award” winner. Read about Michael Baum here.

Call Michael Baum now at (562) 424-2286

Accessory Dwelling Unit FAQ

Q: What is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU)?

A: An ADU is a smaller, secondary living space built on the same property as a primary residence. It is often referred to as a granny flat, in-law suite, or backyard cottage, and can be a detached or attached structure.

Q: What are the benefits of having an ADU?

A: ADUs can provide additional housing options for family members, generate rental income, increase property value, and potentially help alleviate housing shortages in certain areas.

Q: Are ADUs allowed in all residential areas?

A: Zoning regulations for ADUs vary by city and state. Some areas have restrictions on size, location, and occupancy. It's essential to check local regulations before planning an ADU project.

Q: How much does it cost to build an ADU?

A: Costs vary depending on factors such as size, location, materials, and labor. On average, ADUs can range from $100,000 to $200,000. It's essential to create a budget and get quotes from contractors for a more accurate estimate.

Q: Do I need a permit to build an ADU?

A: Yes, most areas require permits for ADU construction. You'll need to submit plans, pay fees, and potentially undergo inspections during the building process. Contact your local planning department for specific requirements.

Q: Can I rent out my ADU?

A: In most cases, you can rent out an ADU, but some local regulations may have restrictions on short-term rentals or require the property owner to live on-site. Be sure to review local ordinances before renting your ADU.

Q: How do ADUs affect property taxes?

A: Constructing an ADU may increase your property's assessed value, leading to higher property taxes. The exact impact will depend on your local tax assessor's valuation method and any potential exemptions.

Q: What are the typical utility requirements for an ADU?

A: ADUs require basic utilities like water, electricity, and sewer connections. You may need to upgrade your existing systems or install new connections, depending on your property's current infrastructure.

Q: Can I build an ADU myself or do I need a contractor?

A: While DIY construction is possible for experienced individuals, most homeowners will benefit from hiring a contractor. Contractors can help navigate permitting, zoning, and building code requirements and ensure the project is completed safely and efficiently.

Q: How long does it take to build an ADU?

A: The timeline for ADU construction varies depending on factors like permitting, design, and contractor availability. On average, the process can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

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