Choosing the Right ADU Contractor in San Diego

Are you thinking about building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in San Diego? There are several reasons to be selective about the contractor you work with.

ADUs are unique structures, meaning contractors must abide by a specific set of regulations, obtain the proper permits, and have the design expertise to bring your vision to life.

When it comes to ADUs, experience shows us that not just any contractor will do!

To streamline the selection process, thoroughly interview your prospective contractor and keep these questions in your back pocket. Believe us, they will come in handy.  

Do You Specialize in ADUs? 

ADUs occupy a unique niche in the construction industry.

Unlike traditional homes, ADUs are typically compact, detached from the main dwelling, and serve several purposes. They are usually secondary spaces, often used as art studios, offices, and guest suites.


ADUs also have different zoning requirements and require unique construction permits. And because of their size, ADUs must maximize efficiency and include space-saving features that make the most of limited square footage.


Not all contractors have the experience or legal expertise to build these small spaces and maintain compliance. Ask your prospective contractor about their experience with ADUs. It will pay off in the long run. 

Do You Have a Portfolio? 

Your contractor may tell you they have experience with ADUs, but can they show you that experience? The famous phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies here.

A showcase of previous work will give you insight into the contractor’s design aesthetics and level of expertise, speak to their quality of work, and may even help you refine your vision.

Experienced contractors typically have digital portfolios on their websites. Some even offer virtual tours. Look for those contractors who can show you their work—not just talk about it. 

Do You Work Within My Municipality? 

Every city has its own set of building regulations. San Diego is particularly complicated, as it is made up of many different cities and municipalities, each with their specific construction requirements. Ask your prospective contractor about the local building regulations and zoning laws in your city, and clarify whether they (or you) are responsible for obtaining permits and what their expertise is in obtaining permits for your specific locale.

Don’t hesitate to ask if they have previous experience with similar projects in your area of San Diego or areas with similar regulations and zoning laws. 

What’s the Project Timeline? 

Have you ever hired a contractor who made promises but failed to deliver? Or, just as bad, have they suddenly disappeared for hours or even days without notice?

This is incredibly frustrating, especially when working on a strict timeline.

To ensure a smooth and timely construction process, work with a contractor who sets milestones, meets deadlines, and sticks to your agreed-upon schedule. Your contractor should be open and communicative throughout the project. This transparency will give you peace of mind and ensure the project is completed on time. 

One of the ways you can do this is by asking your contractor for references. A reputable contractor should be able to provide current references to you without compromising the privacy of his previous clients.

Why Specialty Home Improvement? 

Dependability. Integrity. Reliability. That’s our promise, and that hasn’t changed since 1993. We have the experience to bring your ADU project to life, just like we have for 

thousands of satisfied clients. If you have any questions or are ready to get started on your San Diego ADU design, contact us today. We’d love to help bring your project to life!