Your Guide to Granny Flat Regulations in California

If you’re running out of space at home, a quality home addition project is probably in order. While a single room addition or conversion of your existing space can bring many perks, full-blown ADU construction is sometimes the only viable option. For example, if there’s a chance of senior family members moving in with you in the near future, this home improvement project may be the best course of action for you.

Before you get the project underway, you’ll have to become acquainted with state laws regulating ADU construction. Read on to learn how to meet the necessary requirements for your ADU build. Then you’ll be ready to contact leading ADU builders in San Diego and get the ball rolling.

What qualifies as an ADU?

While ADU developments can take many different forms, there are certain features that they usually have in common:

  • An ADU is built in addition to a main dwelling unit.
  • ADUs are always smaller than the primary housing unit.
  • They are usually subsequently added to the main residence.
  • An ADU unit and the main residential building have the same owner.
  • ADUs have to meet a variety of state regulations. 

How big can an ADU be in California?

According to the San Diego County Planning & Development Services, an ADU construction that’s attached to the main house can be up to 50% of the size of your family home and no larger than 1,200 square feet. If the ADU is a separate structure, it can be 1,200 square feet in size no matter the square footage of the primary home structure.

What are other ADU regulations?

Every homeowner who wishes to build an ADU has to get a building permit. It is to make sure that the development follows all zoning, building, and safety regulations. If you’re planning to build an ADU addition on your property in Torrey Pines or elsewhere in San Diego, here are some of the state-wide rules that you will be expected to adhere to:

  • The ADU has to be on the same lot as your primary dwelling unit, either attached to or detached from it.
  • The owner can rent the ADU but is unable to sell it separate from the main house.
  • You are required to submit mathematical calculations of the floor plan for both the main and the accessory unit.
  • The garage is the only other secondary unit that can be connected to the ADU unless permitted by an approved Administrative Permit.
  • A detached ADU is restricted to 24’ in height with the exception of multifamily complexes.
  • The ADU should usually include a parking space (barring certain conditions).
  • New ADU construction, either detached or attached, has to follow required front and exterior side yard setbacks and a side and rear setback of at least 4’.

How do I get in touch with experienced ADU builders in San Diego?

What are other ADU regulations

With Lars Architecture, you shouldn’t have any worries about meeting the legal demands for your new construction. Our experts have a great track record in handling home addition projects across San Diego, including ADU construction, second-story additions, kitchen extensions, bathroom fitting, and many more. 

Lars Architecture will take you from the initial planning and drafting phase all the way through to the building stage and final granny flat interior design. Count on us for long-lasting quality, easy communication, comprehensive project management, and timeless design. Leave the particulars to us and start thinking about how to put your ADU to good use

Let’s breathe new life into your property and increase its value!

Accessory Dwelling Units: What You Need to Know

Are you interested in upgrading your property by building a brand new ADU addition? This convenient add-on can be an invaluable asset for every homeowner, whether you need a place for friends to stay over when they visit or a comfortable space for your aging parents.

After you learn some key facts about accessory dwelling units, it will be much easier for you to enter the planning stage of your project. Also, don’t forget to read up on ADU building regulations before you proceed. With the assistance of seasoned San Diego ADU contractors, you’ll soon have it all worked out and ready to take shape.

What is an ADU unit?

How many ADUs are there

The abbreviation ADU stands for accessory dwelling unit, which is an additional housing unit built on a residential property. ADUs are also known as laneway houses as well as granny flats or in-law suites, which reflects their most common use. Although they vary in size, structural form, and use, ADUs are always secondary housing units that homeowners add onto their existing home, either by converting an existing room or by building a new structure. 

How many ADUs are there? 

Generally, there are two main kinds of ADU builds recognized by the state of California: standard and junior. Their main difference is their square footage. Junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) can be up to 500 square feet in size while a standard ADU can cover up to 1,200 square feet or up to 50% of the main dwelling unit.

There are other distinctions, too. For example, even though both need to include a kitchen, only the full ADU needs to have a bathroom while the JADU can share sanitation facilities with the main house. The JADU requires a separate entrance whereas the ADU may be accessed from the main housing unit. Owner occupancy is necessary in the case of the JADU but it’s usually not if we’re talking about ADUs.

What are the types of ADU units?

According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, there are three basic kinds of ADU projects based on their placement on your property:

  • Detached units: Your ADU can be built from scratch in the yard, creating a useful, stylishly designed, and versatile space, such as a cozy in-law suite or functional guest space. 
  • Units attached to the main house: An ADU is often connected to the primary housing unit by bumping the existing structure out. This provides easy access to the secondary dwelling unit from the family’s main space.
  • Conversions: An ADU unit could be created by repurposing an existing space. For example, a garage, basement, or loft can be transformed into a convenient home office, workshop, etc.

Where you decide to build your ADU is entirely up to you. Assess your household’s needs and the potential constraints of your space. For example, if you wouldn’t like your new construction to take up precious yard space, you may opt for a conversion instead.

How do I contact the best San Diego ADU contractors?

What are the types of ADU units

Lars Architecture takes care of every step of your home improvement project, starting with our free on-site consultation. We’ll produce detailed architectural plans and render them in 3D, handle ongoing project management, and regularly fill you in on the progress of our work. 

Our team is made up of trusted home addition specialists who have the extensive know-how to pull off any project. Spend quality time with your family at the San Diego Zoo while our crew performs all construction work diligently and meticulously. Contact us and find out how much an ADU can increase your property’s value first hand!