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!