ADUs are becoming very popular in San Diego and represent incredible opportunities for homeowners + rental property investors. Our architecture studio has spent 10+ years studying in detail the city’s notoriously complicated code - ensuring we have the expertise + experience necessary to help you achieve your project goals.
If you're looking to build a high-end modern ADU in San Diego, then you're in the right place. We know that building an ADU can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help.
Our team of architects + designers will work with you every step of the way to ensure your ADU will achieve your project goals. From designing a custom layout, selecting finishes + materials, or navigating San Diego’s complex permitting process – our ten years of experience in residential architecture has resulted in a proprietary process that simplifies the entire ADU building process.
Watch this video to discover the benefits ADUs offer homeowners in San Diego. If you're currently researching your project, check out our ADU Resource Center which will get you up to speed on everything you need to know to build an incredible ADU in San Diego. And when you're ready to get in touch, hit the button below to book a complimentary consultation with us.
We utilize a classic architecture process supplemented with contemporary design tools - It's the best of both worlds.
Having a well defined creative process creates a level of comfort in an otherwise unknown environment. Through this process we are able to collect + apply your design input though our scheduled design meetings. We can't design custom modern ADUs without you!
As part of our design process we will produce realistic architectural renderings of your project.
These images will help you better understand the spaces + materials we are proposing. Architectural renderings are a newer tool we can use to design the perfect modern home for you.
Looking to save time + money on your upcoming ADU project in San Diego, but still want high-end modern or minimalist design? Then you need to check out our custom, pre-designed ADU plans which we've just released.
In 2021 we designed, permitted, + built our own ADU called the Prince House ADU. This universal design can fit on any lot within the City of San Diego + potentially in other municipalities too.
Click here to learn more about our Pre-Approved San Diego ADU plans and discover the key features & benefits that make it one of the best entry points into ADUs in the City.
Looking to save time, money, and hours of frustration? Then you need to check out our ADU project guide that will clearly explain everything you need to know to build an ADU in San Diego.
Recently updated for 2022 to reflect the city's latest ADU regulations, this resource features the entire ADU municipal code, along with helpful explanations + visual diagrams. This way you can view the technical code, while getting expert insight into how certain regulations will effect your project.
By downloading this resource, you will be able to easily evaluate your project's feasibility and map out a rough plan for your ADU. And once you're ready, you will have the confidence to begin reaching out to firms to get a quote on your project.
With this guide, you will have everything you need to get a jump start planning your San Diego ADU project.
Brookside Lanscape Design
Brookside Lanscape Design
A.D.U. stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. These are legal structures that always serve as an accessory to a primary Dwelling Unit.
You may have heard the term being used more frequently in the last few years because the newer allowance of ADUs has been the primary strategy to alleviate California’s housing crisis. Typically the municipal fees for ADUs are significantly less than they would be for a primary Dwelling Unit of the same size.
Every municipality has different regulations for ADUs. In general, they can range in size from 150sf to 1,200sf. Some cities restricted the maximum height to16-feet while other cities allow them to be taller. Sometimes certain setbacks are reduced. Some zones/municipalities allow multiple ADUs on a single lot.
The first few weeks of a new ADU project are spent requesting record drawings, measuring/documenting the existing conditions, researching relevant codes, + meeting with municipal staff to get clarification on development options.
More complicated projects may require a formal preliminary submittal to obtain the needed clarification to move forward with the design.
Once we’re able to begin design we will go through a predetermined amount of meetings, progressing the design forward in each. The goal of this process is to move from more vague ideas to more detailed specifications.
Smaller ADU projects can take as little as 2 months to design while larger ADUs will take longer.
When the design is completed we are ready to produce our architectural construction drawings + begin any engineering needed. This phase can take one or two months depending on the complexity of the ADU + site conditions.
Now we’re ready for permitting! Although the State of California requires ADU projects to be permitted within a 60 day period, real-world permitting timelines are highly variable, ranging from as little as 3 months for more straightforward projects to well over a year to achieve the more difficult permit types required for certain projects.
Construction is also highly variable + will depend mostly on your general contractor. Even smaller construction projects will take at least 6 months. Larger projects can take a year or more to complete.
Custom ADUs can be more expensive than expected so it’s important to have an understanding of the costs before you begin your project. To answer this question let's break the project into a few categories below.
Soft Costs include design, engineering, consultants, + permitting. Every ADU is different + will require different professionals. Most projects we work on include an architect (obviously), a structural engineer, + an energy consultant (who produces the “Title-24 Report”). In California, the submittal package for an ADU permit can be pretty intensive so we have set a minimum fee of $20k for our architectural design package.
Permitting is also a type of soft cost. Permitting will vary greatly in price depending on the municipality + the type of permit. A Coastal Development Permit or Site Development Permit will be considerably more expensive than a more simple permit. Municipal fees for ADUs are usually reduced in comparison to a standard home of the same size.
Hard Costs are directly related to construction including materials and labor. Since the beginning of the global pandemic construction prices has increased. Currently in Southern California minimum construction costs are around $250-300 per square foot. A custom ADU will increase in the cost depending on the features + finishes. It’s also important to understand that a smaller ADU may cost more per square foot than a larger ADU.
A JADU or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit is a specific type of accessory structure. JADUs come with specific restrictions + cannot be permitted on every lot. JADUs are generally limited to 500sf + need to be attached to another structure.
Some zones/municipalities allow multiple ADUs on a single lot. Typically multi-family zones or transit priority zones are where multiple ADUs are permutable. Each municipality regulates ADUs slightly differently. Most single family zones allow an ADU + a JADU.