Are you looking to build an ADU in San Diego or Los Angeles?

Building an ADU is complex. From financing to permits, it’s a full-time job. Our ADU FAQs blog offers information for informed decisions before starting your project.

Are you looking to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

Fernanda Castillo

If you're considering building an ADU, this blog addresses the most frequently asked questions homeowners have about these units. Read on to make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to turn your plan of adding an ADU into an investment for maximizing your property's value and generating rental income into reality.

Multitaskr can help you with 100% ADU financing, architectural design, city permits, and zoning feasibility all the way to construction.


ADU 101 - The Basics


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ADU 101 - The Basics

What is an ADU, and how does it differ from a traditional home?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a secondary living space that can be either attached or detached from the primary residence. They are usually used to provide housing to family members or guests and even for long-term or short-term rental purposes.

ADUs differ from traditional homes in several ways:

  • They are smaller in size ranging from 300 to 1200 sqft.
  • Have fewer or reduced amenities.
  • ADUs have to comply with different city building and zoning regulations.
  • All units must operate with Solar Energy.
  • They have other tax rules implications.
  • Require extra maintenance and management if used as rental units.

Can ADUs in San Diego and Los Angeles be used as rental units to generate extra income, or are they primarily for guests and family members?

Depending on the homeowner’s preferences or goals, they can be used for both purposes.

Most of the time, ADUs are considered as an option to provide additional living space for family members or guests. Another popular option is to use ADUs as multi-purpose rooms, study rooms, or home offices. Although in recent times, many property owners have opted to use their Accessory Dwelling Units to create a second source of income by renting traditionally or as Airbnb units.

Whether an ADU can be used for long-term or short-term rental depends on your local zoning regulations, which can vary from area to area. Remember that some cities and communities may have specific rules regarding the usage of ADUs for rental purposes, such as limits on the number of renters or who can occupy the unit.

What are the maintenance and repair responsibilities of ADU owners?

Like any other property, owners of ADUs are responsible for ensuring that the unit is maintained and habitable for its occupants. Some of the most common maintenance and repairs needed include:

  • Structural maintenance
  • Electrical and plumbing systems maintenance
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Exterior maintenance
  • Landscape and hardscape
  • Safety features
  • Solar Energy and storage batteries

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Can anyone in San Diego or Los Angeles build an ADU on their property?

It all depends on city zoning laws, neighborhood restrictions, and building codes. These regulations can also vary according to the city or county, including:

  • Size limitations
  • Setbacks
  • Parking requirements
  • Limitations on rental purposes
  • Historical districts
  • Fire hazard zones
  • Geological zones

Another important thing to note is that some neighborhoods may have homeowner association (HOA) rules that prohibit ADUs, and regulate their design and usage. In these cases, property owners need to obtain approval from the HOA before proceeding with their project.

What are the zoning and building codes for ADUs?

Zoning codes typically regulate the size, location, and use of ADUs, including minimum lot size, maximum unit size, and restrictions on the use of ADUs for rental purposes. Some jurisdictions may also require a certain number of parking spaces to be provided on the property.

Building codes regulate the design and construction of ADUs, like requirements for electrical and plumbing systems, fire safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency. These codes also specify minimum standards for ventilation, insulation, soundproofing, windows, doors, and other fixtures.

How long does it take to build an ADU, and what is the permitting process like?

The time it takes to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit can vary depending on several factors. Still, on average, it can take anywhere from six to eight months to complete the construction of an ADU. However, some projects may take longer or shorter depending on the specific circumstances.

The permitting process can be divided into three main stages.

  • City intake: In this phase of the permitting process, it’s required to fill out the city portal application, hand over the necessary documents, upload paid invoices and do the city submittal.
  • City response: The city will send out its comments, and all changes must be applied to the project drawings before re-submitting them.
  • Approval process: Permits can be approved or rejected. If approved, construction of your ADU can proceed. If rejected, the cycle restarts.

Want to know about how we make ADUs simple for you at Multitaskr? Read this blog to find out our process! Continue Reading.

ADUs are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective solution for many homeowners across San Diego, Los Angeles and California in general, so whether you are interested in generating extra income or maximizing your home space, ADUs are an excellent investment choice.

While the process might be complex and overwhelming, the many regulations and restrictions can be easily navigated with the help of our ADU experts.

Multitaskr’s doors are always open if you’re interested in discovering more about ADUs (or any other type of home improvements). Our Home Solutions Experts are always ready and available to guide you and provide clear and concise information upfront.

We hope this guide has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). If you have more questions not covered in this blog, feel free to get in touch.

Book a Free Consultation to see how you could benefit!

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