What Is An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

Accessory Dwelling Unit

Are you considering building an ADU? If so, there are several things to consider. First, learn about the permits’ requirements, costs, and safety aspects. Once you have a basic understanding of an ADU, you can proceed with the design and construction. Besides that, learn about the financing options, which can vary greatly depending on the unique features of your project. Below, we have listed some of the most common financial options for building an ADU.

Cost of building an accessory dwelling unit

If you asked yourself, what is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU)? What to consider? you will want to keep several factors in mind. First, the size of the ADU will affect the overall cost of construction and maintenance. Building a large attached ADU may require more money than constructing a small detached one. While some builders claim that a detached ADU is more expensive than an attached unit, this is not true for every scenario. A separate unit requires less permitting and engineering, so it is easier to construct than an attached unit. Many homeowners choose a detached unit for their investment properties.

Considering an ADU as a rental unit, the initial cost may be high, but the added value from rents can offset this investment. An ADU is a viable option, but keep in mind that it will require maintenance and add to the house’s value. Building a designed ADU may be worth the cost, but remember that you’ll also be paying property taxes and monthly expenses for it.

Permit requirements for building an accessory dwelling unit

If you’re in the market to build an accessory dwelling unit, you need to know the permit requirements first. 

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Once you have your permit, you can get started on your project. First, it would help if you started by consulting the city’s website. Next, you can get more information on building permits by consulting the City’s Building Permit Guide. Finally, look over the Accessory Dwelling Unit Handbook for additional information. 

Parking requirements for an ADU may vary depending on the location of the ADU. ADUs should be located within a block of the primary dwelling unit, which the law requires. If you don’t have a garage, you must provide parking for your primary dwelling unit outside the front yard setback. Alternatively, you can convert an existing accessory structure into an ADU and have on-site parking.

Safety requirements for building an accessory dwelling unit

An accessory dwelling unit is a separate dwelling constructed on a property with a separate entrance and exterior access from the principal residence. An additional dwelling unit can be built as a standalone unit or as a part of a larger structure. The new team must be at least eight hundred square feet and set back at least 50% from the primary dwelling. The principal residence must be eight hundred square feet larger than the new accessory dwelling unit.

To build an ADU, an applicant must have a building permit and follow all City regulations for building and zoning. The applicant must also obtain all necessary permits and pay the required fees. ADUs are not permitted on properties with building violations or unpaid property taxes. Additionally, an accessory dwelling unit may not be allowed on properties with non-conforming uses or structures. Also, floor plans, architectural elevations, and calculations may be required for building an accessory dwelling unit.

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While ADUs are allowed in residential zoning districts, they are not permitted in zones other than A-1 and A-5. Floating zones only apply to accessory dwelling units in conforming single-family dwellings. The approved ADU must meet the requirements of the underlying zone, including fire and life safety regulations. One ADU is allowed per lot; ADUs are not permitted with attached housing units, mobile homes, or multifamily dwellings.

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