How to Start an ADU Project

Hi Everyone, Kamal The Builder here with another important subject – building your ADU. We do meetups and present about ADUs in multiple cities, so we thought we’d cover some of the questions people are asking:

Who do I need to hire? Do I need to hire an architect, a soils engineer, a civil engineer, a Title24 processor? We sort through all this, and provide a clear answer. We have a wide network of reliable professionals we work with, and we connect our customers to people we have worked with on other projects. This reduces risk for our clients.

Do I need to hire a structural engineer? When a Customer comes to us and wants to build an ADU, we make sure the project complies with the cities rules. With follow conventional designs, so we don’t need a structural engineer for most projects. With our consultation service, we take care of this process for you.

What is the maximum square footage I can build? It depends on your city’s requirements. Certain cities have a minimum and maximum square footage for the ADU, and it may depend on the size of the lot, or the size of the primary dwelling, or the size of the back yard. Contact us and we will help you determine the right size for your ADU, to meet with your city’s rules. 

How do I get Permits? First you would have to go your planning department and have a preliminary planning discussion. Then you would submit a set of drawings to the city, and then your project would move to the building department, and you’d need to submit more drawings to the city. We’ve been doing this for some time – contact us and we can streamline the process for you.  

How would I bring utilities to the ADU? You need four types of utility connections: sewer, gas, water, and electrical. Contact us and we will help you figure out the best way to bring utilities to the ADU.

Should we have separate gas and electric meters? It depends on what you are doing with the property. If you are renting, you may consider doing that. We’d advise you to have a separate cable and internet connection as well.

Do I need to upgrade my Electric panel? Most likely yes. While 100 amps would often suffice for the primary dwelling, you will likely need to upgrade the main panel to 200 amps, when adding an ADU.  

How do I make decisions on how to build my ADU? What type of HVAC? Which appliances? How to size the water heater? What type of water heater? What types and colors for finishes? There’s a lot of detail here, and we’d love to help you! We have built many ADU’s throughout the Bay Area and we can help you get through all of these questions, and discuss a thorough plan on getting your ADU built just the way you want it. We also do walk-throughs of our ADUs with customers – contact us to meet us at one of our ADUs under construction.

I’ll have more videos coming up – make sure you subscribe to my channel so you can get the notification right away.

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