Did you know that there are more than 1.4 million ADUs in the U.S.?
You might think that this is a big number. Yet, it seems like the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) rates are increasing as we speak. Sure, you might think that if you already own your land, you can build whatever ADU you want. However, the truth is a bit more complicated and bureaucratic.
In addition, this isn’t the type of project that you can DIY. You’ll have to start choosing ADU builders as soon as you’ve decided to build. If this is the first time your hearing about that, no worries. You’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the key seven factors you’ll want to consider before signing on the dotted line. Also, we’ll cover the basics of what an ADU entails.
What Is an ADU?
Before we start our deep dive into how to choose the best ADU builder for your project, let’s explore what ADUs are all about.
In the simplest terms, a supplementary housing unit on a single-family residential property is known as an auxiliary dwelling unit or ADU.
Although the phrase “accessory dwelling unit” has an academic ring, it is the most widely used term to describe this kind of housing throughout the nation. While the entire name is long, the abbreviation “ADU” is easier to remember.
An ADU is defined by the fact that it is a supplementary dwelling unit rather than a specific structural type.
When we’re learning about ideas, though, it’s natural to want to see what they appear like in real life. We want to mentally reference the design idea as a real thing that we can see in our heads.
However, since ADUs come in various physical forms, allow me to expand your mental model by introducing you to a variety of typical ADU kinds so that you may better grasp what they are.
1. Choosing ADU Builders 101: Understand the Different ADU Types
You can’t really choose the right ADU builder without knowing exactly what type of ADU you want. It’s similar to wanting to build a garage, and instead, you contract a person who specializes in patios. It simply won’t do.
There are detached new construction ADUs, which are known as backyard cottages, or even laneway houses. Besides, you can go for a garage ADU, or an ADU above your garage or workshop, and even a basement conversion ADU.
2. Check Your Contractor’s Responsiveness
Many individuals, particularly in large cities, complain about the builders’ lack of response. As a result, this is something you should be aware of right immediately. It’s a red signal if you call a builder for an assessment and don’t reply for a week.
Keep in mind that responsiveness is a feature of their service. As a result, check to see whether they reply to emails on time. What about their landline? Do they have one? And if so, do they actually respond to your inquiries?
3. Flawless References
Consult with past customers before hiring an ADU builder in Los Angeles. Even if you choose a reputable contractor, it’s still a good idea to find out what their past customers have to say about their work.
A trustworthy contractor would never hesitate to provide their customers’ addresses. But if they don’t, you should keep looking. You may also look at their work online.
For instance, you can check out the beautiful work that Actonadu.com has built for its clients.
4. Confirm Their License and Insurance Details
Make certain you choose a licensed and insured ADU constructor, especially in the Bay area and similar locations.
ADU contractors in cities should have these two essentials. This indicates that they are trustworthy. A license indicates that the contractor is familiar with the local construction regulations. It implies that your project will run smoothly and following all applicable laws and regulations.
In short, you’ll want a licensed ADU builder.
They will pay the costs of covering the damages during the work if they have insurance. In this case, Yelp will be the most useful resource for locating an ADU contractor.
5. Setting a Concrete Timeline
People can have widely different timelines. For instance, prefab is definitely the way to go if you need a backyard house quickly. Villa can construct and install an ADU in as little as six to eight months because of well-honed manufacturing and process efficiency.
Other prefab ADU builders often take seven to ten months to complete, and stick-built construction is the slowest of all, requiring at least a year to a year and a half to complete.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re signing with a contractor that can work as fast as you need them.
6. Review the Initial Plan
It may be tough to anticipate what you will need if this is your first time constructing an ADU. As a result, the contractor’s plan should offer you a comprehensive knowledge of the project’s deliverables. The plan should specify what is and is not covered.
A professional ADU builder will pay attention to your preferences. They should talk to you about the idea and agree. They should also be familiar with the most recent ADU architectural concepts. Choose a builder, however, who will offer you a comprehensive plan.
7. Is There a 3D Model Available?
In a home renovation project, a 3D model is essential. And constructing an ADU is no exception. As a result, make sure you choose a contractor that will give you a 3D model before they begin working on your project.
It’s a great option that will assist you in visualizing the result. With a 3D model, you can quickly identify whether anything is incorrect with the plan. Many ADU builders that offer a 3D design may be found online.
Ready to Start Your ADU Construction Experience?
As with any extensive home-building project, you’ll find yourself drowning in both excitement and nerves. We hope that our guide on choosing ADU builders has helped with the latter.
Remember always to read online reviews and see what other people recommend. And, if you liked our article, you’ll want to check out our additional tips and tricks. All of those will be available in our real estate and home renovation sections.