If you’re a homeowner in Los Angeles, you might have heard the term “ADU” or “accessory dwelling unit” lately. An accessory dwelling unit, usually just called an ADU, is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. When you’re considering on taking on an ADU project, it’s important to learn about the different types, benefits, commonalities of adding an of ADU’s, and

Types of ADUs

  1. Detached new construction ADUs, also sometimes called in-laws suite, granny flats or guest house.
  2. Garage conversion ADUs
  3. ADUs above a garage or workshop or attached to it. In some areas, these may be called garage apartments.
  4. Addition ADUs or “attached ADUs”
  5. Basement conversion ADUs, also commonly called basement apartments.
  6. Internal ADUs (or attached ADU), where part of the primary house besides the basement is converted to an ADU.

What are the benefits of ADUs?

  • ADUs are an affordable type of home to construct in California because they do not require paying for land, major new infrastructure, structured parking, or elevators.
  • ADUs can provide a source of income for homeowners.
  • ADUs are built with cost-effective wood frame construction, which is significantly less costly than homes in new multifamily infill buildings.
  • ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy.
  • ADUs can provide as much living space as many newly-built apartments and condominiums, and they’re suited well for couples, small families, friends, young people, and seniors.
  • ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care.

What ADUs have in common

While their structural forms vary, ADUs share some common traits and face common design and development challenges. For one thing, the fact that they’re secondary housing units on single family residentially zoned lots places ADUs into a unique category of housing. And ADUs also have some other distinguishing characteristics that help further define, differentiate, and distinguish them from other housing types:

  • ADUs are accessory and adjacent to a primary housing unit.
  • ADUs are significantly smaller than the average US house.
  • ADUs tend to be one of two units owned by one owner on a single-family residential lot.
  • ADUs tend to be primarily developed by homeowner developers.
  • A large range of municipal land use and zoning regulations differentiate ADU types and styles, and dramatically affect their allowed uses
  • Vast numbers of informal ADUs exist compared to permitted ADUs.

These differentiating characteristics make ADUs a distinct type of housing. Till now, there has been a lack of common understanding around the language and best practices of ADU development.

How Levi Constriction comes in play

During our first free consultation meeting we will cover the pragmatic steps to developing a permitted ADU on a property, what the common stumbling blocks are, and strategies to overcome those stumbling blocks. We’ll talk about how much they cost to build, how to pay for them, and the return on investment.

When you hire us to develop your ADU We’ll cover all design and build aspects including issuing plans, city approval and permits, financing, construction and tenant placements (if desired).

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