An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) might be the best way to add extra space without additional cost, or it might be a complete waste of time and money. It all depends on your situation. With so many ADUs on the market in Northern California, there are plenty of reasons to look into this type of home addition, but you need to make sure that an ADU fits your needs before making any big decisions. Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right type of ADU and finding the right contractor to build your own home addition.
The difference between a primary home and accessory dwelling unit
A primary home is typically the home you live in every day, while an accessory dwelling unit is a second or third house on your property. You can rent out the accessory dwelling unit to help with your mortgage or use it for family and friends to come to visit. Plus, if you are elderly or have a medical condition that limits mobility, then this may be the best option for you as well.
A kitchenette (or full kitchen) and bathroom are required by law to be part of an accessory dwelling unit.
Since people will be living there year-round, adequate storage space is also necessary so that the occupants can stay comfortably without feeling cramped. Some homeowners install closets in the bedroom area, which provide more than enough storage. There are many benefits to adding an accessory dwelling unit to your property; not only does it increase the value of your home, but you’ll have additional income to offset the cost of keeping up two houses! With so many benefits and no drawbacks, maybe it’s time for you to consider building an ADU on your Northern California property!
Is it right for you?
If you’re a property owner in Northern California, you may be thinking about adding an accessory dwelling unit to your home. But is it right for you? The answer depends on many factors, including the size and layout of your lot, zoning ordinances in your area, and what type of zoning you have. It also depends on how much square footage you already have available inside your home, as well as if there’s enough room outside to provide parking or storage space.
If none of these things apply to you, or if you don’t know where to start looking for answers – talk with a trusted contractor who has experience building ADUs. They can help make sure that any additional living space that’s added fits seamlessly into your Northern California landscape.
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Rules and regulations by the city
In order to build an ADU, you’ll need to live in a city that permits these units. The zoning in your city will determine what type of unit you can create.
The zoning in your city may also determine whether or not you can rent out your unit, as some cities only allow owner-occupied ADUs. Before you build, it’s worth calling your city hall to find out more about any rules and regulations surrounding ADUs in your area. Once you’re up-to-date on the specifics, contact an architect to help design your new addition. After they’ve got all the details they need from you, they’ll work with a contractor to turn your ideas into reality. Remember, building an ADU is not just for people who want their own space – many families use their ADUs for long-term guests or renters.
For example, check out the ADU ordinance and updates in the city of San Jose.
Some examples of how it can be done
An accessory dwelling unit, also known as an ADU, is a detached living space that’s usually less than 1,000 square feet and found on the same lot as the main house. ADUs are often built to create rental income or to accommodate a grown child who can’t afford to buy their own home yet. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to build this type of space in their backyard, garage or even in the basement of their current home if they have room. But before you go any further, ask yourself these questions Do I want to live there? Does my city allow them? And what are the zoning regulations like where I live? Once you’ve done your homework, talk to a contractor about whether building an ADU is right for your situation.
Questions to ask when planning your Accessory Dwelling Unit in Northern California
-What are the zoning restrictions in your area? -How much square footage is required to build an ADU on your property? -Do you live within a flood zone or earthquake zone that would limit building an ADU on your property? -Are there any other necessary permits and inspections that may need to be obtained before building an ADU on your property? -Can you afford the costs associated with building an ADU on your property or is financing needed to complete the construction of the project?
After you’ve determined if an ADU is a good fit for your home, it’s time to advise with a local contractor on permitting and construction in your area.
Find the best ADU contractors in Northern California! Start with The ADU Guide free Property Report!