Multitaskr Blog

Here’s Why You Should Understand ADU Pricing

Discover how Multitaskr Construction estimates ADU projects.
January 20, 2021 12:00am

Have you ever wondered what makes up the price of an Accessory Dwelling Unit? Junior Accessory Dwelling Units and Accessory Dwelling Units, commonly perceived as overpriced sheds, are the most functional and practical units to build as a homeowner. The two types of ADUs, Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), differ in size. A JADU ranges between 150 and 500 Sq Ft, where an ADU can build up to 1,200 Sq Ft. The unit's size will pinpoint the starting price of any ADU.

What Is The Starting Price For An ADU?

Depending on the unit you are interested in building, the initial price will vary. Homeowners are building various ADUs to create extra income, additional living space, with all of them increasing property value.

The following ADUs support the above reasons to build and include individual unit starting pricing: 

$264 per Sq Ft

A stand-alone ADU is a detached unit gone by various names, accessory apartment, casita, and granny flat.

Garage Conversion
$162 per Sq Ft

A garage conversion transforms existing garage space to add additional living. It is also one of the most affordable ways to develop an ADU at your property. 

Over The Garage
$264 per Sq Ft

Plus $5,000 for reinforcing footings and $2,000 for engineering

An over the garage ADU adds a unit above the garage structure, building up to maximize additional living space.

What The ADU Price Includes  

The breakdown of the ADU expense includes two factors, the construction of the unit and the project budget. Before building the ADU, each client will receive a project development package (PDP) fee, part of the project budget. The $2,500 PDP fee covers the design expenses, which enables our clients to envision their ADU in 2D and 3D before construction begins. We also include a Xatimate in the PDP fee providing initial pricing for your customized ADU project. Depending on your property, your PDP may involve a home inspection.

The project budget also includes architectural plans. These plans include the runners, all inquiries, an inspection, and the labor within the planning department. This process's starting price averages $5,200 for ADUs within 150-600 Sq Ft. Any ADU larger than 600 Sq Ft will experience an increase in pricing. One more factor that may add to this process's expense is a soils report. Depending on the ADU location, the City of Chula Vista asks that a soil report be completed totaling $1,600. Suppose you are building an ADU with two stories or in need of structural support. In that case, your unit will need to process engineering to ensure structural safety. The starting price for engineering begins at $2,000.

There are a few other measures to consider when building an ADU. If the designated area to build is on an extreme slope, the unit will require hillside support. The additional support will average around $200 per Sq Ft. Another measure to consider is whether your current space will need a demo. Most familiar with garage conversions, demolish can vary depending on the type of material knocked down.

How To Get The Best Price

Building an ADU is about constructing an investment that will give back a greater return than the input. There are a few ways to uncover the most affordable pricing for ADUs. Between city permit waiver fees and a turf replacement program. In San Diego County, homeowners are eligible to receive rebates as high as $3.50 per Sq Ft for replacing their landscape with options that preserve water, such as Xeriscape or "desertscape". This water-saving program could save you from the upscale landscape surrounding your ADU. The county has claimed $500,000 in grants through the WaterSmart Turf Replacement Program, which will enable you to improve your curb appeal at almost no-cost.

In 2019, San Diego County passed a fee waiver for all permits required to build an ADU. This fee waiver set to be available until 2024 can save homeowners as much as $14,000. Constructing an ADU involves a handful of fees, building permit fees, onsite wastewater fees, development impact fees, park fees, and traffic impact fees. To take full advantage of the current waiver, click here to learn more. 

Request A Free Estimate

It’s time to evaluate your property and current financial situation. If you’re interested in building an ADU but not sure if you can fund the project completely our team of financial experts can find customized financial solutions. Right now, decide which ADU would benefit your property the most. Both JADUs and ADUs provide long-term benefits and an immediate return on investment. Suppose you begin ADU development for an $80,000 stand-alone unit in February 2021. By mid-August, you could put your ADU on the market for rent, and in one year (depending on the price of rent), you could make over $16,000.

Our team of ADU experts scan the interior and exterior areas of your property to measure every inch. Our goal for you as a homeowner is to maximize each Sq Ft. Are you doing that now? To learn more about the benefits of building an ADUs and their pricing click here.

Nicole Buddie