An ADU, or accessory dwelling unit, is a small, separate living space on a property that can be used as a rental unit, a home office, or a space for family members or guests. While ADUs can be a great way to add value to your property and provide additional income, there are several things to avoid when planning your ADU to ensure that the process goes smoothly and the end result meets your needs and expectations. So, here are the ten important things to avoid when planning your ADU:
1. Skipping the permitting process
It’s important to research and follow the permitting requirements in your area before beginning any construction on your ADU. Failing to obtain the necessary permits can lead to delays, fines, and even the need to tear down the unit.
2. Neglecting to consider zoning laws
Different areas have different rules about what types of ADUs are allowed and where they can be located on a property. Make sure to research and follow the zoning laws in your area to avoid any issues.
3. Underestimating the cost of construction
ADUs can be a cost-effective way to add living space to your property, but it’s important to budget for all the expenses involved, including materials, labor, and any necessary permits or inspections.
4. Choosing the wrong size of an ADU
It’s important to consider the size of your property and the needs of the people who will be using the ADU when determining the size of the unit. A unit that is too small may not be functional, while one that is too large may be unnecessarily expensive to build and maintain.
5. Ignoring the needs of future tenants or guests
If you plan on renting out your ADU, it’s important to consider the amenities and features that potential tenants or guests may be looking for, such as a kitchen, a bathroom, and separate entrances.
6. Failing to address accessibility issues
If you or someone who will be using the ADU has mobility issues, it’s important to consider accessibility features such as ramps, wide door ways, and lever handles on doors and faucets.
7. Skipping the design process
It’s important to carefully consider the design of your ADU to ensure that it fits in with the style of your home and the surrounding neighborhood. Skipping the design process or rushing through it can result in an ADU that doesn’t meet your needs or look cohesive with your home.
8. Neglecting to consider energy efficiency of an ADU
Adding an ADU can increase your energy consumption, so it’s important to consider energy-efficient features such as insulation, windows, and appliances to keep your energy bills in check.
9. Failing to research contractors
It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable and experienced contractor to build your ADU. Failing to do so can result in poor quality work and costly repairs.
10. Not having a clear plan in place for your ADU
Before beginning construction on your ADU, it’s important to have a clear plan in place, including the design, budget, and timeline. Neglecting to do so can result in delays and unexpected costs.
By avoiding these ten mistakes when planning your ADU, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly and the end result meets your needs and expectations. So, always be careful and have a clear plan in place before starting the ADU construction.