5 Things to Know Before Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit to Your Property

Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to your property can be a great investment. It can not only increase your property's value but also provide additional living space or rental income. In this article, we discuss the essential things you need to know before embarking on this project. 

What is Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a secondary living area that shares the same lot as a primary residence. ADUs can be detached from the main house, attached to it, or even integrated within its structure. They typically include a separate entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and living space. Some common types of ADUs are garage conversions, basement apartments, and backyard cottages.

What is Required for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)?

There are various requirements that homeowners need to meet before they can build an ADU on their property. These include adhering to local zoning laws, checking development standards, calculating potential ROI, planning design and construction, budgeting and financing, providing necessary infrastructure and utilities, and hiring experienced ADU contractors.

Things to Know Before Adding an ADU

Local Regulations and Zoning

Before starting any ADU project, it's crucial to be familiar with your local regulations and zoning laws. These laws dictate whether you can build an ADU on your property, its size, and other requirements. Consult with your local planning department or a professional ADU contractor to ensure that your project meets all necessary guidelines.

Check the Development Standards Before Building ADU

Development standards are specific requirements that apply to the design and construction of an ADU. These may vary depending on your location but typically include minimum lot size, maximum building height, setbacks from property lines, parking requirements, and more. It's essential to review these standards before starting any construction work to avoid potential issues or delays.

Calculate Potential ROI

Before investing in an ADU, it's essential to calculate the potential return on investment (ROI). Factors affecting ROI include construction costs, potential rental income, increased property value, tax benefits, and more. By evaluating these factors carefully, you can determine if adding an ADU is a sound financial decision for you.

Design and Construction

To maximize the value of your ADU, it's crucial to plan the design and construction carefully. Consider factors such as space utilization, energy efficiency, accessibility for potential tenants or family members with disabilities, and compatibility with the existing structure. Hiring experienced architects and contractors will help ensure a successful outcome.

Financing and Budgeting

Adding an ADU requires a significant financial investment. It's essential to evaluate the costs associated with construction materials, permits, labor fees, and other expenses accurately. Explore different financing options like home equity loans or personal loans to fund your project while keeping a close eye on your budget throughout the process.

Infrastructure and Utilities

An ADU requires access to utilities like water, sewer, electricity, and heating/cooling systems. Plan the integration of these utilities into your ADU design and construction process carefully to avoid problems down the road. This may involve upgrading your existing infrastructure or installing separate utility connections for the ADU.

Hire ADU Contractors

Working with experienced ADU contractors is crucial for a successful project. These professionals can help navigate local regulations, create a custom design that fits your needs, and ensure high-quality construction. Make sure to research and interview potential contractors before hiring one to handle your project.


Adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit to your property can be an excellent investment if executed correctly. Familiarize yourself with local regulations and development standards, calculate your potential ROI, plan the design and construction carefully, evaluate financing options, and invest in proper infrastructure and utilities. Most importantly, partner with experienced ADU contractors like 360 Builders to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. Located in Los Angeles, 360 Builders provides safe and cost-effective solutions for all your construction needs. Give us a call at 1-818-275-9026 or visit our website at to learn more about how we can help you achieve your dream ADU project. 

360Builders is a Los Angeles based construction company specializing in new construction and multi-family ADUs. We pride ourselves on providing safe, cost-effective solutions to all our customers’ construction needs.


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