In recent years, building secondary housing units has been at the forefront for many property owners across the country. ADUs can expand a living area, provide freedom and privacy for young-adult or aged family members, act as an supportive income source if offered for rent, and upsize the total property value.
What Is an ADU?
As the name implies, ADU (deciphered as ‘accessory dwelling unit’) represents an additional housing space on the same building site as a main house. In fact, ADUs have several common names, including so-called “in-law unit”, “carriage house”, “granny house”, etc.
It can be a 2-story detached garage with a second floor used for an apartment or a guest house that you can use for family needs or renting. Sometimes ADUs are even used as a standalone home cinema, home office, entertainment center, or home gym. This secondary unit can’t be sold separately – only together with the primary residence; however, owners can rent it out.
ADU design varies depending on your ideas, style, financial capacity, and available square area. Usually, ADUs feature a separate walk-in, living areas, and a kitchen. Plumbing and electrical systems are generally connected to the primary house, while the unit itself can be attached to a house/garage or planned as standalone housing.
Note: Construction of an ADU unit and its use are regulated by local zoning laws and require permits that set restrictions on the unit size, style, or requirement for a property owner to stay on the property.
How Much Does an ADU Cost in San Diego?
Obviously, ADU-associated costs depend on multiple factors, including:
- Attached/detached unit
- Square area and the number of stories
- Complexity of plumbing and electrical connections
- Quality of materials
In San Diego, making an ADU unit costs somewhere from $200,000 to $450,000. The overall expenses depend on footage and the complexity of a project. Besides costs of materials and construction work, expenses include so-called soft costs, such as permit acquisition and architectural costs
At present, you can find turnkey (or prefabricated) solutions for ADUs that require only plumbing and electrical connections. Ready solutions represent a faster and cheaper way to build an ADU; however, they should be compliant with local regulations.
Note: A homeowner should also be ready for financial implications:
- Besides construction costs, you will face higher utility bills.
- A property owner should be ready for an increased tax bill.
If you are considering building an ADU, invest time to find a reputable contractor you can trust. Then, share your ideas on how you see your future ADU. Experienced contractors will advise on the right materials and share their insights on the best solution for the functionality of an ADU home.
Does an ADU Really Add-Up to Your Property Value?
Undoubtedly, ADUs upvalue a property; the actual value might vary greatly as it depends on the state of the housing unit, ADU’s size, condition, and property location. On average, a well-built ADU can add up to 25-30 % to the value of a property. Experts agree that an extra housing space upscales home value, particularly in California. The sale price is typically based on square footage; hence, adding a 500-700 sq. ft. unit increases the footage and, consequently, the overall price of the property.
Note that an ADU’s value-add potential isn’t the same: for instance, detached units are usually valued higher than attached ones. A converted garage and basement do not add as much value as a standalone secondary house.
In dense urban areas, ADUs are often offered for rent and act as an additional income source for property owners. This is especially relevant for popular tourism destinations and areas densely packed with high-scale employers.
Additionally, ADUs are of great help to families with elderly or younger members who can live in the comfort and privacy of a separate place. Quite often secondary housing is used for frequent or long-term guests too.
San Diego residents searching for an ADU contractor should look no further — Groysman Construction, a remodel company, has served its customers for over 20 years. With many successful ADU housing projects completed across the county, we approach every project individually and strive to bring your ideas to life.
Request a free quote, and soon you will enjoy a custom-tailored additional dwelling unit you’ve been dreaming about.