New ADU Restrictions in Force in California

Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, recently have become very popular among homeowners, again. These constructions are loved by many because of their high functionality and simplicity of construction. Whether you want to have a home office on your existing lot, or you need a guest house for your visitors to stay in, building an ADU is a great option.
Did you know that ADUs are also called in-law units? Such a name is often used for these additional constructions because every homeowner must get approval from the officials in their area before starting the building process. Accessory dwelling units have some limitations in size, height, and placement on the lot, depending on your place of residence. If your ADU plan does not follow all the local requirements, construction might be prohibited.

Luckily, the rules and restrictions have been eased off in recent years. As of 2023, it has become less complicated to get an ADU approved, hence why more and more homeowners started adding it to their houses. Lately, the number of new ADUs in California has grown by more than a third, meaning that the authorities have made the process of ADU registration much easier.

If you want to learn in more detail what regulations have been changed, read further. We are going to discuss all the updated requirements and ADU restrictions in California. But firstly, let us remind you what ADUs are and what kinds of additional constructions are there.


Types of Accessory Dwelling Units

ADUs come in different forms, and depending on their purpose, a homeowner can decide what exact type of accessory building to have put up. One might create a brand-new construction and add it anywhere on the property. Such ADUs are very common among those who move into new houses and have some extra space in their yards.
Another type of accessory dwelling unit is a converted one. Whether you have a shed that is out of use or a garage that does not serve its purpose, you can convert them into a more functional space. Such conversions are cheaper than building a brand-new construction, and they also allow you to get rid of something unappealing on your property.

ADUs also vary by connection with the primary housing unit. When you decide how to place an ADU on your lot properly, you can choose one of these options:

  • A detached ADU;
  • An attached ADU;
  • A junior ADU (also called JADU).

A detached ADU is a construction that is separated from your main dwelling unit. It has its own entrance and it is not connected to your house in any way. An attached ADU, on the other hand, is an annex of the main home unit, and it can share a bathroom with the rest of the house. Such an extension cannot be taller or larger in any way than the primary housing.

Junior ADUs are basically one of the other mentioned types of constructions, but they are smaller in size. JADUs have their own restrictions on the interior and exterior, and they are regulated by separate rules.

Now that we have refreshed the knowledge about accessory dwelling units, let’s move on to the actual changes in restrictions of ADU construction in California.


New ADU Regulations in California

All Californians who want to add an ADU to their property can give out a sigh of relief, because now, it is easier than ever to get your construction plan approved by the officials. All thanks to the regulations that were simplified and changed to meet the interests of homeowners in California.
Starting off with a number of ADUs allowed on one property lot, you can now add both an ADU and a JADU at the same time. No matter the size of your lot, both of these constructions can be placed together to create a complex of three buildings, including the primary housing lot. And no extra parking is needed either if your house is within a half a mile distance from public transport stops.

The major part of changes in ADU regulations touches the powers of local authorities that usually approve or deny construction plans. According to the changes in the state law, local officials now cannot impose their own restrictions or charge fees for buildings that do not meet all the requirements.

Here are some of the main changes in ADU plan approval that all Californian homeowners should know:

  • If you already have a main housing unit on the lot, a plan for an ADU must get approved within 60 days;
  • All the limitations on the minimum sizes of lots and lot coverage have been removed;
  • If a construction that was used for car storage has been removed or converted to build an ADU, no extra parking space is needed;
  • Side and rear yard setbacks cannot be more than four feet;
  • Restrictions of minimum ADU size have been removed;
  • You do not need to follow all the zoning standards to get the plan approved anymore;
  • For ADUs that are less than 750 square feet in size, no additional fees can be applied;
  • You are not required to live in the main housing unit to get the ADU approved.

Considering how many rules were imposed for ADU construction before, these changes are truly life-saving. Now, you do not have to worry about all the small points to get your plan quickly approved and begin the building process. Homeowners all over California can start their planning and have a brand-new ADU on their lot within several months.

To ensure that your ADU project considers all the existing regulations, it is better to hire professionals to deal with it. A+ Construction & Remodeling is ready to help you with creating the ADU of your dreams. By trusting your plans to experienced specialists, you can save much time and effort trying to do it all yourself.


Benefits of Owning an ADU

So why should one even consider building an ADU on their property lot? If you are not sure how to answer this question, we have got some good news for you, because ADUs might bring plenty of benefits to homeowners.

  1. To start with, ADUs are great for your personal working space. If you work from home or you are a crafty person who needs a studio or a workshop, an ADU can be the perfect solution. This way, you separate your personal and working space without sacrificing any rooms in your own house. A professional environment can motivate you to work better, without even leaving your lot.
  2. Another fantastic advantage of having an accessory dwelling unit is that it can be turned into a guest house. It is a good option for those who always have some friends and relatives visiting because you do not need to be all tight up in one house. Giving your guests some personal space to relax after a fun night can be beneficial both to you and to them.
  3. What is more, your ADU can be a place of permanent residence for your elderly parents or other relatives who need constant care. You do not have to worry about traveling back and forth and worrying about your loved ones if they are always by your side. Such use of ADUs has given them a cute nickname “granny flats”.
  4. Last but not least, you can always rent out your accessory unit and have some additional income. With an ADU right next to your house, you can constantly check up on the conditions of the secondary housing to make sure that no irresponsible tenant has tried to destroy it.


Building an ADU in California with a help of A+ Construction & Remodeling

If you want to have an ADU on your property, but do not know where to start and how to handle all the planning and construction, there is an effective solution to that problem. A+ Construction & Remodeling offers ADU building services in Sacramento area – read more about here –
Skilled professionals will help you plan all the project steps in detail and make your ADU look just as you want. What is more, experienced builders will start the construction process as soon as the plan gets approved, so you can get the quality result back in just several months.

While trying to figure out all the specificities and requirements for accessory dwelling unit construction, you might accidentally drag out the whole process for months and even years. With the help of specialists at A+ Construction & Remodeling, the creation of your ADU will not take much time, and you will not spend any extra dollars on making accidental mistakes during the process.

A+ team is ready to build the accessory dwelling unit of your dreams according to all the new law regulations in California. Save your time, money, and effort, and get the perfect result within the agreed time period. As soon as your ADU is ready, you will be able to enjoy all its benefits to the full!