Santa Clarita, CA ADU Construction
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are known by many names: granny flats, garage conversions, in-law units, backyard garages, secondary units, and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing. As the space for new construction continues to dwindle, ADUs become increasingly more popular in Southern California. So, whether you want to add a new ADU or you need to bring one into compliance, we are here to help.
The State of California passed laws that make building an ADU fairly simple. Where allowed, homeowners can decide to build either a detached ADU on their property, an attached ADU that is part of a home addition, or an ADU conversion which converts part of your existing property into an ADU (including the conversion of an existing garage into an ADU).
The first step when deciding to build an ADU is to determine what type of ADU best fits your needs, and the physical characteristics of your property. Are you building an ADU as extended family housing or as a rental? We can help you determine the size and type of ADU you need.
BENEFITS OF ADUS
- ADUs are an affordable type of home to construct in California because they do not require paying for land or major new infrastructure.
- ADUs can provide a source of income for homeowners. An ADU has its own kitchen, living area, and a separate entrance. An ADU may be attached to a house or garage, or it can also be built as a stand-alone unit.
- ADUs are built with cost-effective wood frame construction. ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy.
- ADUs can provide as much living space as many newly-built apartments and condominiums, and they are suited well for couples, small families, friends, young people, and seniors.
- ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care.
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New Law Effective January 1, 2019
As of January 1, 2019, homeowners who created accessory dwelling units (ADUs) without the required building permits may have the opportunity to bring their ADUs into compliance. For ADUs that were constructed without building permits, local building officials now have the option to inspect an ADU and apply the building standards that were in effect at the time the unit was constructed.
This Bill: SB 1226 (Bates), adds Section 17958.12 to the California Health and Safety Code, and with the application of appropriate building codes, may allow issuance of a building permit for the residential unit.
NOTE: Changes to ADU laws effective January 1, 2021, further reduce barriers, better streamline approval processes, and expand capacity to accommodate the development of ADUs and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs).
How big can I make my ADU?There are some limits on the size of an ADU, based on the size of your lot and existing house. First, an attached ADU cannot be bigger than 50% of the existing house. For example, if your existing house in 2,000 sq. ft., the attached ADU cannot exceed 1,000 sq. ft. in size. Second, there is a “baseline mansionization ordinance” that usually restricts the total square footage of all structures on a lot to 45% of the total lot size. For example, if your lot is 10,000 sq. ft., the total built area (existing house, ADU, garage, etc.) cannot exceed 4,500 sq. ft. In addition, most ADUs cannot exceed 1200 sq. ft. The Dept. of City Planning will need to verify the specifics related to your project.
My lot seems too small or unusual. Can I still build an ADU?Almost every lot in LA is unique, so this guidebook addresses the most common conditions. There are various types of ADUs that work on different lots. For example, if a detached ADU will not fit in your backyard, you might attach a new unit to your current house. If the garage behind your house is inconveniently located, you could demolish and rebuild it with an ADU above. Sketch your ideas as suggested in the guidebook, and talk them over with the Dept. of Building and Safety.
Is an ADU subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance?If you add an ADU to your home, you can rent one or both of the units. If your home was built before 1979, one or both of the units may become subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). To determine if an ADU triggers the RSO on your property, call (866) 557-7368. For more information about the RSO, visit homeforrenters.org.
How do I pay for my ADU?There are a number of ways to pay for the construction of an ADU. A common way is to borrow from a home equity line of credit if you have equity in your existing house. Other ways can be more complicated: 1. You could refinance your existing mortgage to take out a larger loan to provide cash for ADU construction (this will require equity in the home); 2. You may be able to obtain a private construction loan to build the ADU and refinance the loan with a new mortgage when construction is complete. You should start by talking to the bank that holds your current mortgage.
Can I add an ADU to my Home?
Laws regarding ADUs are meant to widen the range of housing types to increase the housing supply for low-income Californians. The intent is to allow as many ADUs as possible with community safety and standards in mind. So, many residential properties will qualify. Because every lot is unique, you should work with a professional to determine if, and what type of ADU will work for your property.
FREE INSTANT ADU CHECK
- Check if your California property is eligible for an accessory dwelling unit on our partner’s site – Symbium Build – using the button below.
- Explore designs from ADU pros or sketch your own for inspiration. Ready to get started? Schedule a Free Consultation with Cervus at (661) 690-5956.
- Our team will provide you with a quote and the next steps for getting your ADU designed, approved, and built.