ADU requirements vary significantly based on your location. In some states, the ADU requirements are vary lenient, making it easy for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units. In other states, ADUs are not yet allowed. Because of this variation in ADU requirements, it is always going to be best to start by contacting your local jurisdiction’s building and/or planning department.
While your state may have specific ADU requirements, your local city or jurisdiction will often also have their own specific set of ADU requirements. Sometimes the state’s ADU requirements will actually be different than a city’s ADU requirements. So, who’s ADU requirements do you follow?
Your local city’s ADU requirements will be the ones you must follow. While states often put laws in place that regulate accessory dwelling units, local cities can sometimes override certain regulations. For instance, just because the state’s ADU requirements say that you’re allowed to build an ADU on your property doesn’t mean the city will.
Due to certain factors, such as easements, public utility limitations, or being located in a Historical District or fire zone, the ADU requirements could change. Therefore, it’s always best to contact your local city, give them the specific property address where you’d like to build an ADU, and tell them what you’d like to build. Ask for all of the ADU requirements for your specific property and request the information in writing.
Your local planner or building department should be able to provide you with specific ADU requirements, such as size restrictions, setbacks, and other important information. Ask whether solar is one of the ADU requirements. In California, new builds, which are what detached ADUs are classified as, require solar to be installed. Some cities also restrict whether gas is allowed to the accessory dwelling unit, so be sure to check on that if you’d like to run gas to the ADU.
It’s also important to ask if there are any specific ADU requirements for the exterior style or design. Often, cities and HOAs will require that an ADU’s exterior match that of the primary residence. Some HOAs also require that you have your neighbors approve of your ADU prior to submittal. If you live in an HOA, you’ll want to reach out to them also to find out their specific ADU requirements.
Superior ADUs, located in Orange County, CA, is a company that specializes in planning, designing, and building accessory dwelling units. We are a one-stop shop made up of a team of real estate professionals, architects, designers, engineers, contractors, and project managers who work together to streamline the ADU building process.
Our team will contact your local jurisdiction’s planning and building department for you in order to determine your exact ADU requirements. Based on that, we discuss with you the different options you have. You can either choose to build one of our ADU Models or have our team custom design an ADU just for you. From there, we handle the plans, engineering, design, permitting process, construction, and project management throughout.
Contact us to set up a free ADU consultation: