How much does it cost to build an ADU in Los Angeles?

As of 2018, it's statistically proven that for every 10 homeowners in the city of Los Angeles at least 7 of them have either have ADU’s on their property or have strongly considered it.

An ADU is an Accessory Dwelling Unit, which pretty much means that there’s some added-on part of the property that wasn’t there when it was first built. 

People do it for an array of reasons, some being to raise the equity in their homes while others simply want to improve the square footage of their single family home with absolutely no future financial agenda. No matter what the case may be for ADU, the common question is, how much is this going to cost in Los Angeles?

The obvious issue for property owners who want to build an ADU is how much does it cost to build an ADU. 

Despite the fact that this is a reasonable inquiry, many sources provide inaccurate information about how much a complete cost of an ADU conversion and permit cost. Companies may provide a construction quote without seeing the floor drawings. When receiving estimates, this is a huge red signal that you should be aware of. 

A legal ADU of roughly 400-480 square feet with a kitchen, bathroom, living area, closet, one bedroom, and potentially space for a washer and dryer can cost anywhere from $70,000 to $80,000. (including plans & permits).

Types of ADU's

There’s 3 main different types of ADU’s, which are:

  • Detached ADU’s
  • Garage conversion ADU’s
  • Attached ADU 

Demolition, foundation, framing, roofing, plumbing, electrical work, and other elements of ADU construction are all included. If we're building a new structure, you'll save money on demolition but will have to factor in foundation costs. On the other hand, if this is a garage conversion with an existing foundation, you will be able to save money on foundation expenditures.

Even though they are the same premise just in different locations on the house, the permit and construction costs are different based on each of their types. You may be qualified for a second address with a separate meter and panel box that can be used to manage two distinct utility bills if you are separated from your home. Due to the architecture of the building, a stand-alone ADU can cost up to $120,000 or more in some cases. 

The floor plan designs are critical in deciding the construction expenses as well as the completed materials which all depend on the square feet you’re dealing with. These are two important elements that can affect the price of your ADU. To be honest, the entire cost of constructing an ADU is determined by a variety of factors.

Because the structure is already in place, a garage conversion is the cheapest of all ADU kinds, although it may still require some work. Given that 400-500 square feet is the average for this kind of operation helps keep the price down.  

When the garage is in the front of the lot with convenient access to the sewer system, the construction costs are the lowest. This makes everything a lot easier. Typically, in this situation, the garage ceiling will need to be reframed, wall insulation will need to be added, and an electrical upgrade would be required.

You should expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $18,500 in pre-construction costs if you're planning a garage conversion. Your local government will require all of these plans in order to approve and sanction your project.
You should expect to pay between $100,000 and $120,000 for a high-quality garage conversion. This will buy you a studio ADU with a tiny kitchen and bathroom, as well as high-quality materials and finishes.

Because it is connected to the main structure yet is a separate unit, an attached ADU is similar to a home addition, which has a square foot average from anywhere from 300-700 sq ft.

The unit will have its own entrance and, depending on the city, a separate address. Because they generally share the main sewer line and the electrical system, these ADUs can be a nuisance during construction. 

To manage the increasing demands, you'll need to upgrade your electrical service panel to at least a 200 Amp. A double-meter electrical panel is required in some localities. 

Pre-construction average costs for a connected ADU might range from $17,000 to $22,000. To have your project approved by the local zoning agency, you'll need all of these paperwork and plans. You'll need a complete set of plans to submit to the city for review and plan check, and if accepted, you'll be able to get a building permit.

You can go BIG by building a Detached ADU.  These types of ADUs operations are generally working with 300-1200 square feet. 

You'll be able to design your ADU from the ground up, which means you'll be able to build a larger ADU and possibly command higher rents (depending on your location). You can build a detached ADU up to 1,200 SF or 50% of the existing home's footprint if your lot is large enough, although this varies based on your municipality. 

A separate ADU provides all of the benefits of a new home. Tenants will have access to their own unit and will benefit from modern insulation, air conditioning, and noise-reducing double pane windows. You can even create a two-story ADU with garaged parking on the ground floor in several areas.

You should anticipate spending anywhere from $280,000 to $300,000+ total cost includes to develop a pleasant and beautiful ADU in a detached ADU. The modern conveniences of a spacious detached ADU will appeal to both your tenants and your family.

In closing,

building an ADU is a significant decision with even bigger financial implications. The cost of constructing an ADU in Los Angeles varies depending on the location and scope of your project. Your ADU will cost you less in the long term if you deal with the right experts, follow the proper methods, and make the necessary upfront investment. 

Choose the firm contractor that is ideal for you to ensure that your project is a success. Do your homework and ask for a free consultation to get a sense of how they work.

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Contact Us Today to Transform Your ADU
As a full-service remodeling company, Builders Elite Team offers various bathroom services. Our experienced staff has the ability to handle any task you may need us for in this area!

We offer numerous areas of service related to home ADU Conversions including:
  • Garage ADU Conversion
  • Internal ADU Conversion
  • Attached ADU Conversion
  • Detached ADU Conversion

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Call us today at 323-924-8833 and Builders Elite Team will give you a free estimate, discuss your plans for the upcoming ADU Conversion job with you, and help make your upgrades 100% successful.

We have decades of combined experience in every aspect from planning to installation—including work on ADU Conversion of all shapes, sizes, budgets or styles!