We get hundreds of calls a year from property owners in San Diego that are considering building an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit), casita, or granny flat.  Many of them have heard that building ADU’s is the “thing to do” for a variety of reasons from additional income derived through rentals to improving property value.  But, most of the owners we talk to don’t really have an idea of where to start or even what questions to ask.

Here are some things to consider when planning your ADU build in San Diego:

  1. What will you be using the ADU for? Our clients are using the ADU’s we’ve built them for office space, craft/hobby rooms, family quarters, personal living space, storage, and rentals.
  2. What size ADU do you need? Bigger is not always better.  The average-sized ADU’s we are building range between 500-800 s.f. depending on the intended usage.
  3. What kind of space do you have to build an ADU? Things like setbacks, easements, existing buildings, and improvements will all impact the space you have to build on.
  4. What is your budget? This can affect anything from the size of the ADU you build to the amenities included.  A good ADU builder can guide you through the processing of ensuring that your ADU is designed and specified as close to your budget as possible.
  5. What are some of the features you would like in your ADU? ADU’s can be designed with anything a full home has, within space limitations.  Some of the designs we’ve created include en-suite bathrooms, walk-in closets, laundry facilities, art walls, craft rooms, roof decks, panoramic folding doors, walk-out decks, custom outdoor living spaces, and more.
  6. Utilities: ADU’s must run off the existing utilities that feed the main residence.  New or separate meters or utility laterals are not authorized.  This means anything from your electrical panel, water and drain lines, gas lines, and even sewer/septic situation will need to be assessed for capacity, accessibility and suitability before you start building an ADU in San Diego.

While a good ADU builder or contractor can help you determine these things, being able to start the conversation with your prospective contractor armed with some or all of the information addressed here, will put you in a much better position to determine if your contractor is able to meet your needs.  Additionally, your contractor will know that he’s dealing with a serious client who’s taken the time to gather as much information as possible regarding their upcoming ADU project.

Specialty Home Improvement is a Design/Build remodeling contractor that has been improving homes, building ADU’s and developing property in San Diego County for almost 30 years. If you’re ready to start the process of building your personally designed ADU, give us a call now at 760-738-6270 or reach out through our website www.specialtyhomeimprovement.com