How to Begin Budgeting for an ADU


The best place to begin planning your ADU budget and costs is to determine your initial goals for your ADU.

Keep in mind that after you begin doing a more thorough cost analysis your goals may shift and change based on what you discover.

The biggest hurdle for homeowners seeking to build an ADU is indecision.

At the initial stages of the process, it’s important not to worry too much about what you select for your initial goals.

If you try to make a “perfect” decision right out of the gate, it’s very likely you’ll get stuck in analysis paralysis.

At this point, you simply need a place to begin. Make the best quick decisions that you can about the options below, knowing that your ADU goals are flexible and not set in stone.

Begin by selecting one option for each of the following categories.


4 Basic ADU Goal Options


1. What is the primary purpose for your ADU?

Will it be a rental unit? If so, do you plan to rent it on a short or long term...

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Tips for Determing ADU Electricity Needs and Budget

When budgeting for a new ADU, one key area to consider are the utility requirements.

Because, while construction costs can be fairly predictable, utility system needs can be an area where costs can vary greatly, depending on your specific situation.

In this post, we’ll cover tips for determining what your ADU electrical system needs will be so that you can more accurately predict what kinds of costs this will add to your ADU budget.

Electrical system capacity requirements are based on the total electrical needs of the various types of appliances, devices, and fixtures installed.

These requirements are usually referred to as “loads.”

Electrical service requirements are based on a number of factors that tend to vary depending on the specific situation at a particular property.

One thing that can be said about electrical systems in general is that many older homes were equipped with electrical service that would be considered very sub-standard for current uses by the...

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How to Select the Best Location for Your ADU

The placement of your ADU is a key decision that impacts many aspects of your project, including its costs and the time it takes to complete.

There are three basic options for the placement of your ADU:

1. Remodel an existing space in your house. The most common locations for an ADU remodel are:

(a.) attic
(b.) basement
(c.) garage


2. Create an addition to your main house. The most common locations for an ADU addition are above a freestanding garage or in the rear of the house. (d.)

3. Build your ADU as a freestanding building in the backyard or side yard. (e.)

Now that we’ve covered the 3 basic placement options, let’s talk about how to determine which one is right for you. 

ADU additions and remodels are similar in many ways, so we’ll cover them together.

An addition or remodel can be a good option if the purpose for your ADU is housing for a returning family member because of the proximity of the ADU to the main house. If your ADU is intended to be a...

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6 Exciting Benefits of Building an ADU

ADUs (also known as accessory dwelling units, granny flats, backyard cottages, or any number of other similar names) have been gaining popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why.

This form of housing offers so many benefits!

Read on below for 6 exciting benefits of building an ADU...

1. Permanent housing for a family member. ADUs can provide housing for returning family members. This helps families can live closer together, share resources, and strengthen their bond.

2. Temporary housing for family and friends. ADUs provide a place to stay for visiting family and friends.

3. Extra Income. ADUs provide extra rental income for homeowners, allowing them to make investments such as paying off their mortgage sooner, saving for retirement, or paying for their kids’ college tuition.

4. Housing for homeowner. ADUs provide housing flexibility for homeowners ready to downsize by living in the ADU and renting out their main house.

5. Positive social impact. ADUs can help...

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