Can I Build an ADU?

“Can I build an ADU?” is a common question that is becoming more and more popular today.  Many states are beginning to pass ADU, or accessory dwelling unit, laws that allow homeowners to build secondary dwellings on their property.  These secondary, or accessory dwellings can then be rented out long-term, or they can be used by you or your family.  There are many different types of ADUs, and it’s important to know that not all types are allowed in all cities.  Some different types of ADUs include:

  • Attached to the main home
  • Detached from the main home
  • Within an existing structure (Junior ADU)
  • Over an existing structure
  • In a basement

Before you get too involved with which type you want, it’s important to first find out, “Can I build an ADU?” 

In certain states and places around the world, ADUs are not allowed in any form.  It is important to research your individual state’s ADU laws to see if building an accessory dwelling unit is even a possibility. 

If it looks like ADUs are allowed to be built in your state, that doesn’t necessarily mean that an ADU can be built on your property.  The next place you will need to turn to is your local city’s building and planning department.  You can find the planning department’s contact information on your local city’s website. 

It is best to call and speak with a planner directly.  Ask them, “Can I build an ADU?” and tell them the specific property address that you’re inquiring about.  Oftentimes, they are able to quickly look up your address and tell you if there are any restrictions that would prevent you from building an ADU.  Some unforeseen restrictions include public sewer limitations and other public utility easements.

If you are told that an ADU can be built on your property, it is then a smart idea to ask the planner for the ADU building requirements for your specific city.  Each city has slightly different regulations, and it’s important to find out exactly what you can and cannot build. 

Sometimes, cities will have their ADU building requirements and codes online or available electronically.  While this can be very helpful, it’s important to check with the city to confirm that everything is up to date.  If the codes are not online, ask a planner if they are able to send them to you.

After speaking with your local city’s building and planning department, you should have a clear answer as to, “Can I build an ADU?”  If the answer is yes, it is then time to find an ADU company to begin planning, designing, and building your ADU.  If you are located in the Southern California area, Superior ADUs would be happy to plan, design, and build your ADU in a fast, efficient, and cost-effective manner. 

Superior ADUs is comprised of an experienced team of real estate experts and brokers, architects, draftsmen, engineers, designers, contractors, and project managers who work together to build ADUs for our clients.  We take care of the whole process, from calling your city to find out what’s allowed to planning and designing your ADU.  Our licensed and vetted contractors then begin building your ADU, while our project manager oversees the entire process.

To schedule a personal, ADU consultation, please reach out to us by phone, email or web form:

Phone: 949 – 216 – 0686


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