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Builder working on wooden framing of a garage conversion ADU in North Hollywood, CA.

Constructing an ADU: The Dos and Don’ts

If you’re thinking about building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), you may be surprised at how easy it can be to build your own home expansion. Of course, as with any construction project, there are best practices and things to avoid, which we’ll explore in this article. This will help you make sure your ADU construction project moves along smoothly, making the process both fun and profitable!

Choosing a Plumbing System
An ADU is a great way to add extra living space to your home. But before you start construction, you need to choose the right plumbing system. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you make the best decision for your new space. A don’t is using PVC because it doesn’t require soldering and is more expensive than copper.
An ADU can have different layouts that allow for varying needs and spaces.
Do put in more fixtures than required so there’s enough room to expand in the future if needed.
Another do would be looking into ways to save water, like low-flow shower heads or dual-flush toilets.

Building Out the Interior
Once the exterior of your unit is complete, it’s time to start working on the interior. If you’re hiring a contractor, be sure to get references and do your research before making a decision. You want to be sure that you’re working with someone who is reputable and will do a good job. Once you’ve found a contractor you trust, it’s time to start building out the interior of your unit. This is where you can really make it your own. The contractor will likely give you some recommendations for flooring, paint colors, fixtures, and appliances but this is your home so take charge! It’s also important to decide what you want in terms of amenities like bathrooms or kitchens. If this space won’t have its own kitchen or bathroom (and may not even have its own bedroom), think about what type of cooking equipment or bathroom fixtures you need before deciding which contractor to hire.

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Deciding between finishes and design elements
When it comes to construction, there are a lot of choices to make. What kind of finishes do you want? What design elements will make your space feel complete? Here are a few things to consider when making your selections. -Do you prefer modern or traditional looks? -What colors would best match the exterior paint on your home? -Are you considering adding solar panels or a rooftop deck for extra living space? -What kind of interior design features are you interested in?
-Is there any wood trim or moldings that need to be used in order to tie in with the existing décor? -How much time and energy do you have for DIY projects? -Do you plan on hiring contractors to handle most of the work, or tackling some tasks yourself?
-Will you be using environmentally friendly building materials like straw bales or natural plaster?
-Lastly, what budget do you have set aside for this project? Your decisions should reflect not only your own personal taste but also your financial capacity. Sometimes creating a budget can help focus decision-making because once you know how much money is available, other aspects become more clear. There are many factors to take into consideration before beginning the process of constructing an ADU; knowing which ones apply to you can help simplify the decision-making process!

Hiring Professionals
Hiring a professional to help with the construction of your ADU is important. They will be able to help with the design, permits, and construction itself. Make sure to do your research when hiring someone, and get recommendations from friends or family if possible. Check reviews and any licenses they may have. Also, make sure you understand what their scope of work includes before signing anything. If it does not include everything that you need, ask for clarification. You want to hire people who are going to take care of all aspects of the project, not just some. Remember that there are many types of professionals out there and it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart. Be wary about any contracts or paperwork that ask for money up front or allow for payment plans that stretch over long periods.

Architectural Details
When constructing an ADU, it is important to pay attention to the details of the architecture. The style of the unit should match the style of the primary dwelling on the property. The size of the unit should be in proportion to the size of the primary dwelling and the lot. And finally, all construction should meet local building codes and regulations. It can be challenging to construct an ADU that meets all of these requirements while still being affordable. However, with the right architect and builder, it can be done!


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