With housing prices increasing across the nation, many homeowners look for a way that their home can make money for them. Likewise, people who are looking for a place to live often have trouble finding an affordable housing option. Fortunately, there is a solution that can satisfy both needs and it is called an ADU. An ADU (accessory dwelling unit) is an addition to the home that is built on the same property as the extant home.

They go by many different names, such as Granny Flats, Laneway Houses, Mother-in-Law Units, and other questionably affectionate names. They are an inexpensive way to add more space to a home and can serve as an affordable form of housing for renters. They have experienced a surge in popularity because they are a relatively simple addition to the home. In fact, California has seen a meteoric rise in ADU applications after regulatory reforms that make building an ADU in Woodland Hills, and all over California, much easier.

ADU Requirements

Before you start making plans for your ADU, you should know that there are rules and regulations regarding their permits and requirements. In order to learn what those permits and requirements are, you should first contact the Department of Building and Safety that serves Woodland Hills, or your area of California. You will then speak with the code official working there about your plans for your ADU. They will guide you through the process and make sure that your ADU is completely legal and up to the city’s building codes when it is complete.

The Ins and Outs of ADUs

There are several different kinds of ADUs that can be added to the home, here are some of the more common types:

  • ADU above the garage – This type of ADU is a small apartment built on top of a detached garage. This is a good alternative to converting the actual garage because the functionality and storage of the garage is retained. However, sometimes the only way to access this kind of ADU is from inside the house, which could be overly disruptive for some people.
  • Basement conversion ADUs – The basement is always a good candidate for conversion because the space may already have power, water, and other important utilities, which would make conversion easier, cheaper, and faster. Additionally, basement ADUs are quite discreet because they do not take up any additional space on the property, so neighbors may not even know that it is there.
  • Internal ADUs – These are similar to basement ADUs, the main difference being that a part of the home other than the basement is converted. This is usually the attic, and it has the advantage that no exterior construction is necessary. A lot of interior construction may be necessary because an attic does not typically have the wiring, plumbing, or insulation needed to make it into a viable living area.
  • Detached ADUs – These are separate from the main dwelling and must be built on a foundation, so small houses on wheels or RVs do not count. They provide the occupants with more privacy and independence than the other types of ADU. However, their construction is more expensive since an entirely new unit has to be built, and utilities, like electricity and plumbing, need to be added to it.
  • Attached ADUs – Also called Addition ADUs or Bump-out ADUs, these types share a wall with the main house but are technically separate from it. It has its own entrance and its own utility hookups. Construction is generally less expensive than a completely detached unit since there is one less wall to be built and the foundation already exists.

Try an ADU or Garage Conversion For Your Home

An ADU is a smart and affordable way to expand the home, it can generate money by being rented out, or it can serve as a nice way to keep loved ones close, while they maintain their independence. Before an ADU is attempted, the municipal land use and zoning regulations of the city should be thoroughly examined to find out if such an addition is permitted.

Fortunately more and more cities are loosening the regulations required for an ADU. Considering all the benefits they provide to homeowners and renters, it would not be surprising if more people started taking advantage of those regulations to add an ADU to their home. When you are ready to take advantage of those new regulations, contact Amerbuild to get the job done right.

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