ADU Information every California property owner must know
California changed the law on January 1, 2020, to allow homeowners easier ways to create an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and Junior ADU (JADU). ADU can earn homeowners’ monthly income, create housing for aging parents or adult children, or add a private home office or a guest house.
ADUs are an excellent investment, as the cost of adding the ADU is almost always lower than the additional value you will create. They are now allowed for owner-occupied and investment properties.
One of the essential ADU rules changes for 2020 permits adding two additional units on the same property with a single-family dwelling.
Detached ADUs should have the following key features:
- Size-1200 sq.ft. max in most places around California, although some communities like Malibu limit them to 900 sq.ft.
- Parking – No parking required for ADU or JADU
- Setbacks- side and rear setbacks to be just 4 feet. The Accessory Dwelling Unit must either be attached to the existing home/garage or be separated by 10 feet.
- Power Lines-many properties have power lines running across the back yard. Power lines may provide clearance issues if you consider a two-story ADU or a second story addition above the garage.
The following are the rules for how to add JADU to your property:
- Size – 500 sq. ft. maximum
- Location – Must be within an existing single-family dwelling or accessory structure.
- Expansion – May include an expansion of up to 150 sq. ft. beyond the existing accessory structure’s footprint, but this expansion is limited to accommodating ingress and egress.
- Separate Entry – A separate exterior entrance for the JADU is required from the single-family dwelling.
- Bathroom – Should have a separate bathroom or can be shared with a single-family dwelling.
- Kitchen – Must meet “Efficiency Kitchen” requirements.
- Garage Condition. It should be in decent condition. What can make your conversion cost-effective is to build a new apartment inside the existing walls. Some minor repairs are OK. Or you can demolish your old garage and replace it with a JADU in the same location, even if your existing garage has little to no setbacks.
Cost and Timeline:
INITIAL FEASIBILITY STUDY – Free: 24 hours
DESIGN & PERMITTING – $5,000 – $30,000: 3-5 months
CONSTRUCTION -$75,000-475,000: 2-6 months. Azure can help you select prefab, pre-panelized, or stick-built options, depending on your budget and timeline.
Contact Azure to walk through all of your options. The first consultation is free, and you will get a detailed design proposal within 24 hours of the initial meeting. If you already have the plans, Azure will give you a firm price and schedule for how much it will cost, and how long it will take.