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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?
    An ADU is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. It can be detached, attached, or a converted space, such as a garage. ADUs offer additional living space for family, rental income, or a home office.
  • What are the benefits of building an ADU?
    ADUs increase property value, provide additional rental income, and offer flexible living options for multi-generational families or as a home office.
  • How does Senate Bill 9 (SB-9) impact ADU construction?
    SB-9 allows homeowners to build multiple units on a single-family lot, making it easier to add ADUs and maximize property potential.
  • What types of ADUs can I build?
    You can build various types of ADUs to suit your needs, including: Detached ADUs: Separate structure from the main house. Attached ADUs: Built as an extension to the main house. Garage Conversions: Transform existing garages into livable spaces. Junior ADUs (JADUs): Smaller units, typically under 500 square feet, often converted from existing spaces within the home. Two-Story ADUs: Multi-level units that provide additional living space while maximizing your property’s footprint.
  • What is the typical cost of constructing an ADU?
    Estimating the cost of building an ADU can be challenging as it varies widely based on several factors. In California, the average cost typically ranges from $100.000 to $300,000. Key factors that impact the cost of building an ADU include: Size: The size of the ADU significantly impacts the cost. Generally, larger ADUs are more expensive to construct than smaller ones. Materials: The type and quality of building materials, such as lumber, concrete, and roofing, can influence the overall cost. Opting for higher-quality or specialty materials will increase the project's expenses. Finishes: The cost can also be affected by the finishes and fixtures chosen for the ADU, including flooring, cabinetry, and appliances. Premium finishes and fixtures tend to be more costly than standard options. Professional Fees: Engaging a designer or architect for the design and planning stages and a contractor to manage the construction will add to the total cost. Permits and Fees: Various permits and fees, such as building, plumbing, and electrical permits, are required and can vary based on location and project specifics. TIP: Use our ADU construction cost calculator to get an estimate of your ADU's cost in California.
  • What is the process for building an ADU with EG Modern Construction?
    Our process includes consultation, feasibility study, design, permitting, construction, and completion. We handle every step to ensure a smooth experience.
  • What are the requirements for building an ADU?
    Building an ADU involves meeting several requirements and regulations, which can vary depending on your location. Here are the general requirements for constructing an ADU in California: Zoning: Your property must be in a zone that permits ADUs. Check with your local zoning office to confirm if ADUs are allowed in your area. Lot Size: There are minimum lot size requirements for building an ADU. These requirements vary by city and county. Setbacks: ADUs must comply with setback requirements, which dictate the distance from the property lines to the ADU. This typically includes front, side, and rear yard setbacks. Parking: Some jurisdictions require additional parking spaces for ADUs. However, certain conditions, such as proximity to public transit, may waive this requirement. Size Limits: There are maximum and minimum size limits for ADUs. These limits can depend on the size of your primary residence and the overall lot size. Utilities: Your ADU must have separate utility connections for water, sewer, and electricity. Some areas may allow shared utilities with the main house. Permits: You will need to obtain various permits, including building, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical permits. These permits ensure that your ADU complies with local building codes and safety standards. Occupancy: ADUs may have occupancy limits and restrictions on who can reside in them. For example, some areas require that the property owner lives in either the main house or the ADU. Design Standards: ADUs must meet certain design standards to ensure they blend with the neighborhood. This can include architectural style, materials, and landscaping. Contact your local planning and building department for specific requirements and regulations in your area. At EG Modern Construction, we handle all the necessary permits and ensure your ADU project complies with local regulations.
  • Do you offer financing options?
    Yes, we offer flexible financing options through various lenders to help make your project a reality.
  • How long does it take to build an ADU?
    The timeline varies based on project scope and permitting, but typically, an ADU project can take 6-12 months from start to finish.
  • Can I legalize an existing unpermitted structure?
    Yes, you can legalize an existing unpermitted structure. This process typically involves bringing the structure up to current building codes and obtaining the necessary permits from your local building department. Our team at EG Modern Construction can assist you in navigating this process, ensuring that everything is done correctly and efficiently. We handle all aspects of the legalization process, from initial assessment to final approval, making it possible for you to have a fully compliant and legal structure. Contact us to get started.
  • What is the ADU process?
    At EG Modern Construction, we start with a free in-person consultation and home evaluation. This allows us to understand your vision, explore your options, and plan your project. We then discuss possible financing options to suit your needs. Once you decide to proceed, we create detailed architectural and engineering plans. These plans are submitted to the city to obtain the necessary permits. Construction begins as soon as the permits are secured. After construction is complete, a final inspection ensures everything is in order
  • How can I get started with my project?
    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. You can reach us by phone at (818) 823-1512 or by email at
  • Can My ADU Have a Separate Address and Mailbox?
    Yes, your ADU can have a separate address and mailbox. This helps distinguish it from the main house and is often needed for utility services. Apply through your local planning department. EG Modern Construction can assist with this process.
  • Can I Build an ADU Above My Existing Garage?
    Yes, you can build an ADU above your existing garage. However, if the garage wasn't originally designed to support a second floor, you may need to add structural or foundational reinforcements before construction can begin.
  • What permits do I need to build an ADU?
    To build an ADU, you typically need a building permit, zoning permit, and possibly additional permits depending on your local regulations, such as electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits. It's crucial to check with your local city or county planning department for specific requirements.
  • How long does it take to get a permit for an ADU?
    The timeline for obtaining permits can vary widely based on your location and the complexity of your project. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Factors influencing this include the efficiency of your local permitting office and whether your plans need revisions.
  • What are the zoning regulations for ADUs?
    Zoning regulations for ADUs vary by jurisdiction but commonly include requirements regarding lot size, setbacks, height limits, and parking. Some areas may have specific rules about the maximum size of an ADU in relation to the main dwelling. Always check your local zoning code for precise regulations.
  • Can I build an ADU on any property?
    Not all properties qualify for ADU construction. Eligibility depends on local zoning laws, the size of your lot, and whether your property meets specific requirements such as setback distances from property lines and other structures.
  • Are there any restrictions on the size of an ADU?
    Yes, most jurisdictions impose size limits on ADUs. These limits can be a percentage of the main house's size, a fixed square footage, or both. Common limits range from 600 to 1,200 square feet, but it's essential to verify the specifics with your local planning department.
  • Do I need a separate utility connection for my ADU?
    This depends on local regulations. Some areas require separate utility connections for water, sewer, and electricity, while others allow shared connections with the main house. Check with your local utility providers and building department for guidelines.
  • What are the parking requirements for an ADU?
    Parking requirements for ADUs vary by location. Some jurisdictions mandate a specific number of off-street parking spaces, while others may waive parking requirements, especially in areas with good access to public transportation. Always verify the requirements with your local planning office.
  • How does building an ADU affect my property taxes?
    Building an ADU typically increases your property’s assessed value, which can result in higher property taxes. The exact impact depends on local assessment practices and the value added by the ADU. Consult with your local tax assessor’s office for detailed information.
  • Can my ADU be different from the main house?
    According to permitted development rules, extensions must be constructed using materials that match those of the existing property to ensure the neighborhood's cohesive appearance in accordance with local community regulations.
  • What do Title 24 and Green Building Standards refer to?
    "Title 24" encompasses a set of energy efficiency standards, while "Green Building" pertains to environmental protection standards. Both of these standards are applicable to the construction of an ADU project.
  • Who handles the permit application process?
    At EG Modern Construction, we manage the entire permit application process for you. Our team prepares and submits all necessary documentation to the local authorities and follows up to ensure a smooth and timely approval process.
  • What utilities are required for an ADU?
    An ADU typically requires connections for water, sewer, electricity, and sometimes gas. These utilities ensure the ADU is fully functional and independent from the main house, providing all necessary services for occupants.
  • Do I need separate utility meters for my ADU?
    Whether separate utility meters are required depends on local regulations. Some jurisdictions mandate separate meters for utilities like water, electricity, and gas, while others allow shared connections with the main house. Check with your local utility providers for specific requirements.
  • How do I connect my ADU to existing utilities?
    Connecting an ADU to existing utilities involves planning and coordination with local utility companies. It typically requires trenching for new lines, ensuring proper hookups, and possibly upgrading existing systems to handle additional load. A professional contractor can manage this process to ensure compliance with local codes.
  • Are there specific site conditions required for building an ADU?
    Yes, site conditions such as soil stability, drainage, and topography are crucial for ADU construction. The site must support the foundation and structure of the ADU, and proper drainage must be ensured to prevent water-related issues.
  • Can I build an ADU on a sloped lot?
    Building an ADU on a sloped lot is possible but may require additional engineering and design considerations. Retaining walls, specialized foundations, and drainage solutions might be necessary to ensure stability and compliance with building codes.
  • What are the setback requirements for an ADU?
    Setback requirements vary by jurisdiction and specify the minimum distance an ADU must be from property lines, other structures, and sometimes streets. Common setbacks include rear, side, and front yard distances. Check with your local planning department for specific requirements in your area.
  • Do I need to consider easements when planning my ADU?
    Yes, it is essential to consider any existing easements on your property, such as utility, drainage, or access easements, as these can affect where you can legally build your ADU. Reviewing property records and consulting with your local planning office will help identify any restrictions.
  • What type of foundation is best for an ADU?
    The type of foundation best suited for an ADU depends on site conditions, local building codes, and the design of the ADU. Common options include slab-on-grade, crawl space, and pier-and-beam foundations. Each has its advantages, and a professional contractor can recommend the best choice for your situation.
  • Can I use existing septic systems for my ADU?
    In some cases, you can connect an ADU to an existing septic system, but this depends on the capacity of the system and local health department regulations. An evaluation by a septic system professional will determine if the current system can accommodate the additional load or if an upgrade is necessary.
  • Do I need to upgrade my electrical panel for an ADU?
    An electrical panel upgrade may be required if your current system cannot handle the additional load from the ADU. This ensures safe and reliable power supply to both the main house and the ADU. A licensed electrician can assess your current panel and determine if an upgrade is needed.
  • Who handles utility connections and site preparation for my ADU?
    At EG Modern Construction, we manage all aspects of utility connections and site preparation. Our team coordinates with local utility providers, handles necessary trenching and hookups, and ensures your site meets all conditions for a successful ADU build.
  • Can I Have Separate Utility Meters for the ADU?
    Yes, you can have separate water and electric meters for your ADU, though it costs more to install. A lower-cost alternative is installing sub-meters, which track usage without the high installation costs. Check with local utility providers for requirements. At EG Modern Construction, we can assist you with this process and coordinate with utility companies to ensure proper setup.
  • How Do Fire Regulations Apply?
    Fire regulations for ADUs include requirements for fire-resistant materials, smoke detectors, and egress windows. Some areas may also need fire sprinklers. Check with your local fire department to ensure compliance. At EG Modern Construction, we make sure your ADU meets all fire safety standards.
  • Is Parking for the ADU Shared with the Main Home?
    Parking arrangements depend on local regulations. If your ADU is within half a mile of public transit, additional parking isn't required. Also, no replacement parking is needed if covered parking is removed to build the ADU. Check local zoning rules. At EG Modern Construction, we can help you navigate these requirements and find the best parking solution for your ADU.
  • What are the typical costs associated with building an ADU?
    The cost of building an ADU can vary widely based on factors such as size, design, materials, and location. On average, costs can range from $100,000 to $300,000. This estimate includes design, permits, construction, and utility connections.
  • How can I finance the construction of an ADU?
    There are several financing options available for building an ADU, including home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), cash-out refinancing, personal loans, and renovation loans such as the FHA 203(k) or Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan. Each option has its advantages and considerations. We offer 100% financing among other loan programs.
  • Are there any government incentives or programs for building an ADU?
    Yes, many local and state governments offer incentives for building ADUs, including grants, low-interest loans, and tax credits. These programs aim to promote affordable housing and sustainable development. Check with your local housing authority for available programs.
  • How does building an ADU impact my property taxes?
    Building an ADU can increase your property’s assessed value, which may lead to higher property taxes. The exact impact varies depending on local assessment practices and the value added by the ADU. Consult with your local tax assessor’s office for detailed information.
  • Can rental income from an ADU help with financing?
    Yes, rental income from an ADU can be factored into your financing plan. Lenders may consider potential rental income when assessing your ability to repay a loan, making it easier to qualify for financing options.
  • What is the return on investment (ROI) for building an ADU?
    The ROI for building an ADU can be substantial, particularly in areas with high rental demand. ADUs can provide steady rental income and increase property value by 20% to 30%, depending on the location and quality of construction.
  • How do I budget for unexpected costs during ADU construction?
    It’s essential to set aside a contingency budget for unexpected costs, typically around 10% to 15% of the total project cost. This buffer can cover unforeseen expenses such as delays, design changes, or additional materials.
  • Can I use a construction loan to build an ADU?
    Yes, construction loans are specifically designed for building projects and can be used to finance ADU construction. These loans are typically short-term and convert to a mortgage once the construction is complete. They require detailed project plans and cost estimates.
  • Who can help me navigate the financing options for building an ADU?
    At EG Modern Construction, we provide comprehensive support for financing your ADU project. Our team can help you explore various financing options, connect you with reliable lenders, and guide you through the entire process to ensure you secure the best financing solution for your needs.
  • Will my property taxes increase?
    Yes, building an ADU can increase your property taxes, but not by much. The city will conduct a blended assessment, which adds the cost of the ADU construction to your original property value without affecting the existing value. Your taxes will only increase by 1.1% of the total cost of the improvements. At EG Modern Construction, we can help you understand the potential tax implications of adding an ADU to your property.
  • What If We Decide to Sell the House?
    If you want to build an ADU and later sell your house, we have good news! Adding an ADU can increase your property value by $150,000 or more. This is one of the key benefits of building an ADU. From the moment you have one, your property's value increases, making it a winning investment. At EG Modern Construction, we ensure your ADU adds significant value to your home.
  • What Permitting Fees Will I Need to Pay?
    When building an ADU, you typically need to pay several permitting fees, including: Building Permit Fee: Covers the review and approval of your construction plans to ensure they comply with local building codes. Zoning Permit Fee: Ensures your ADU meets local zoning regulations regarding property use, setbacks, and size. Plan Review Fee: For the assessment of your architectural and engineering plans. Utility Connection Fees: Charges for connecting your ADU to water, sewer, and electrical services. Inspection Fees: Costs for mandatory inspections during and after construction to ensure compliance with safety and building standards. Impact Fees: Sometimes charged to offset the additional demand on public services and infrastructure. The exact fees and amounts can vary by location and project specifics. At EG Modern Construction, we can provide a detailed estimate and help you navigate the permit fee process.

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