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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Everything You Need to Know about ADUs

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ADUs are gaining momentum as they offer several benefits that regular housing cannot match. Not only are they incredibly convenient for people who frequently travel or work from home, but they can also help homeowners save money by providing extra living space.

Are you looking to build an ADU on your property in Los Angeles? If so, look no further than ADU Builders. We are a licensed and insured contractor that can create a functional Los Angeles accessory dwelling unit that meets all of your needs and exceeds your expectations.

There are a few things homeowners need to know about ADUs to maximize their potential for success. Here are some essential facts about this growing trend in Los Angeles housing:

What is an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an additional, separate living space on a property that has one primary residence. ADUs can be built on a single-family home lot, detached from the primary home, or attached to the primary home. ADUs are sometimes referred to as “mother-in-law” apartments, in-law apartments, granny flats, or detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs).

ADUs provide homeowners with the flexibility to utilize their existing property in a way that is beneficial to them and their living situation. Whether you are an empty nester looking for a place for your aging parents or intending to rent out the additional space to make extra money, or simply need extra space for family members, an ADU can provide the perfect solution.

Types of ADUs

ADUs can be built in the form of an attic, a basement, a garage, an independent accessory structure, or a detached structure. Regardless of the size, shape, or type of ADU, it will count as a separate living unit from the primary residence, which needs to be considered when determining the need for building permits, zoning requirements, and other legal requirements.

The most common types of ADUs are garages and basements, and the most expensive types tend to be attached dwellings. When planning to build an ADU, it is necessary to understand the needs for permits, fees, size and placement restrictions, and other requirements that may apply to the proposed ADU.

Building an ADU in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, property owners have several options when it comes to constructing a new ADU, remodeling an existing ADU, or converting a garage-based ADU into a living space. Depending on the proposed project, property owners may be required to obtain building permits and adhere to specific design requirements.

ADUs can also be managed as rental units, which mean it is important to learn about the local laws. Los Angeles city laws regulate the occupancy, rental policies, and income limitations based on the number of occupants.

If the ADU does not match the existing dwelling, the city may require you to complete a building permit. It is important to note that depending on the size of the ADU, your project may need additional permits or approvals from the local planning department.

Parking and Accessibility Requirements

Los Angeles has particular parking requirements, depending on the location and size of the ADU. Generally, any ADU that is built in an area with a parking minimum will require some parking space, which will either be on‐site or off‐site.

ADUs also need to follow the accessibility standards that are set for the primary residence. If any part of the ADU gets remodeled, it should meet the current California accessibility standards. Any buildings or structures that are attached to the primary residence, such as an ADU, are subject to similar building division requirements as the primary residence.

Other Considerations

When considering an ADU in Los Angeles, many other important factors include the cost of construction, the time it will take to complete the project, the need for insurance coverage, and the tax implications of having an additional living space on the property.

The construction cost may vary depending on the type of ADU you are building, as well as the size and complexity of the project. These costs can range from a few thousand dollars for an attic conversion to tens of thousands of dollars for a larger independent structure.

In addition, any new construction will likely increase the value of your property. It is always crucial to consult with an experienced real estate agent to determine the value of an ADU and the potential implications for monthly property taxes.

Finally, it is important to consider insurance coverage for the ADU in the event of a natural disaster or an unrelated incident that could result in lost income or damages.


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) offer an excellent opportunity for Los Angeles homeowners to utilize their existing property profitably and flexibly. Building an ADU comes with a few sets of regulations and requirements. Therefore, it is essential to understand the zoning requirements, needs for permits, parking requirements, accessibility requirements, construction costs, potential tax implications, and insurance needs before beginning the project. With careful planning, an ADU can be a great addition to any residential property.

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