• RTB Staff

Want To Build An ADU? Here Are Some Questions To Get You Started.

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Questions about ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units)

Want to build an ADU? Great!

But first, put down the hammer and slam on the brakes, because undertaking this kind of project requires copious amounts of research and forethought. 

There’s no mistaking the benefits of investing in an ADU -- these spaces can do everything from increase your property value, provide a cost-reduced primary living space, and create accessible housing for renters. But before you get started building your new ADU home, here are some things to think about.

Why Do You Want It?

Understanding why you want to invest in an ADU structure will shape every single decision you make in the construction process, from design to size to functionality. 

Do you want to rent the space to tenants? Are you building an office or recreational space? Do you want to create living spaces for mobility-impaired family members? Will your ADU function as a seasonal dwelling, or a permanent home for you and/or your family?

Deciding on the purpose of your ADU dwelling is an essential first step in this process. It will also help you evaluate and make decisions on your budget.

Where Do You Want It?

Here’s the thing about ADU’s -- things like pesky permitting laws and HOAs can mess with the process, whether that means lengthening construction time, or impeding it all together. Before you start building, or really even conceptualizing your ADU space, check with your local building department and HOA for codes, laws, and regulations that you will have to abide by to make your new unit possible. 

How Fast Do You Want It?

Ever heard of a prefab home? They are the difference between an ADU construction dragging on for months, and the new unit being installed on your property within 6 weeks. No, really -- utilizing pre-made homes can have your project off the ground and to completion in literally less than two months. And because of the latest innovative technologies that go into creating these homes, you don’t skimp out on design aesthetics or quality. You just cut down on time. 

What Type Do You Want It?

There are as many ADU types as there are clouds in the sky. Okay, not really-- but there are still a lot of options you’ll end up having to choose from when you start your ADU construction. And not just in the way of design (though those options are endless too); ADU’s come in different forms and structures, and you’ll have to make some foundational decisions on exactly what ‘type’ of ADU structure you want to build. This can include:

  • Detached ADUs

  • Above-garage ADUs

  • Detached-bedroom ADUs

  • Detached ADUs

  • Upper-level ADUs

  • Lower-level ADUs

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