Ten Seventy Architecture helps people who love modern + minimalist architecture overcome the challenges of building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in San Diego by offering an integrated design, build, and permitting process to elevate their life to new heights with incredible architecture.
Ten Seventy Architecture offers a full suite of ADU design and construction services to make the process as simple as possible for our clients. We have a team of experienced ADU builders who will help you every step of the way, from designing your ADU to getting the necessary permits to finishing construction.
Whether your project goals are for rental property investing, adding extra living space to your lot, or something else, our team of ADU builders in San Diego has the experience + expertise to help you design an incredible ADU. We have over a decade of experience designing, building, and permitting ADUs throughout San Diego county.
Thanks to our signature architecture process, we will help you efficiently design + build your ADU to ensure the project gets done as quickly as possible while staying within your budget.
Our ADU builders in San Diego make use of the latest 3D design + rendering software to help our clients visualize their ADU before any construction begins. This means that you can see exactly what your ADU will look like and request any design chances before we ever break ground.
This technology will allow you to view both the exterior + interior of your ADU. Plus, it's interactive - so you will be able to navigate through it for an interactive experience that will give you confidence in the final design.
Our team will present you with these 3D renderings in our San Diego office. So you will be able to understand our design decisions and have a conversation with us to ensure the final design turns out exactly how you want.
Last year, we designed, built, and permitted our own self-funded ADU for personal reasons. The universal design we created can fit on any lot in San Diego that qualifies for an ADU (and potentially other municipalities throughout California as well).
So if you're on a tight budget or just don't need a completely custom design, these pre-approved plans will be right up your alley. You will be able to save time + money, and not have to worry about getting approval from the city on your project.
With these pre-designed plans, anyone who wants to build an ADU can do so quickly + easily without any stress or hassle. If you're interested, feel free to contact us to get on our waiting list and be the first to know when they are released.
At Ten Seventy Architecture, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver ADUs for our clients that are both stylish + functional. When you work with our modern architecture studio, you get a team of professionals eager to forge a great relationship with you and ensure a successful project outcome.
Sean is a graduate of NJIT, where he studied architecture + industrial design. He relocated to San Diego in 2009 to open the boutique architecture studio, Ten Seventy Architecture, focussing predominantly on modern, minimalist, + creative architecture. Sean has also won various awards for modern furniture he has designed.
California Registered Architect
LEED Accredited Professional
Bachelor of Architecture (NJIT)
Certification in Project Management (SDSU)
Margaret is also a graduate of NJIT, where she studied architecture + civil engineering. She relocated to San Diego in 2010 working at a LEED consulting firm before taking a job as a project manager in San Diego’s permit office for 5 years. Later she brought her skillset to Ten Seventy Architecture where she manages projects + permitting.
LEED Accredited Professional
Bachelor of Architecture (NJIT)
Masters of Civil Engineering (NJIT)
Certification in Project Management (SDSU)
Jen-Ni is our Architectural Designer who works on projects which require greater graphic illustration. She works on our aesthetic commercial projects as well as small modern ADU projects that require tight planning and out-of-the-box thinking. Jen-Ni is a talented designer who can develop good ideas into beautiful architecture.
Nolan is the team’s Architectural Designer who works on custom residential projects which require the highest level of attention to detail. He has worked to refine our 3D printed study models as well as build templated architectural processes. Nolan brings a modernists rational to our projects.
"Sean is the guy if you are looking for a San Diego architect. I was referred to him via a mutual business connection, and couldn't be happier with his work...The final product was phenomenal. I could not be happier. His work was not only exactly what I was looking for, but he did it in a timely fashion. "
"An element we loved about Sean was his ability to see creatively from the very beginning. And I can tell you that when we walked out of the meeting with Sean, we both looked at each other and said: “That’s the guy we want” And we’ve had no regrets ever since."
“5.000 stars. The recent opening of our ophthalmology practice has been a year in the making, and Sean Canning from Ten Seventy Architecture was integral to the successful design and execution of our space.”
“Highly recommend working with Sean, he is a licensed Architect who puts the customer's best interests first. I have worked with Sean on several projects, his thoroughness streamlines the project helping save money and time.”
Looking to save time, money, and hours of frustration? Then you need to check out our San Diego ADU project guide that will clearly explain everything you need to know to build a high-end, modern accessory dwelling unit.
Recently updated for 2022 to reflect the City's most up-to-date ADU building regulations, this free resource features the full ADU municipal code, along with helpful explanations + visual diagrams. This way you can view the technical code, while getting professional insight into how certain regulations will effect your project.
By downloading our resource, you will be able to easily evaluate your project's feasibility and map out a general plan for your ADU. And once you're ready, you will have the confidence to begin reaching out to ADU builders in San Diego 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.
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.