If you’re planning to extend the dwelling space on your property by building an ADU, you have to take a lot of necessary precautions and consider numerous possibilities to avoid costly mistakes. Starting from neighbor considerations to construction requisites, you should go step by step with the planning and implementation to build a well-equipped accommodation that’s fit for living.
The process may seem quite complicated at first, but if you plan right, you can easily overcome the designing and construction hassles. The success of the project depends on several factors. Each of those should be carefully analyzed while planning and shared with the contractor, whose team is going to work on it.
The best way to do that is to make a list of the probable mistakes in the process, which will help you avoid them in the easiest way possible. Are you now wondering about those mistakes? No worries, as we have you covered regarding the same. Scroll on!
Mistake 1: Not being aware of local regulations
The ADU building code requirements can get quite confusing at times, as they tend to change frequently. These codes are important to determine the size of the unit, its height, parking spaces, utility connections, and a lot of other things. Not being aware of the same can lead to costly mistakes, like stalling the construction midway or permit renewals, even fines.
You should pick a licensed and experienced contractor with a good reputation in the market to update you regarding these regulations and help you plan your project accordingly. For example, companies like Acton ADU are updated with the current ADU building requirements in California and can take away your entire headache regarding the same. You can then concentrate on other areas of development.
Mistake 2: Not ensuring proper space utilization
You should optimize the space properly to ensure maximum comfort. An ADU is a small unit but need not be any less comfortable because of its size. On the contrary, living in a small space offers a series of advantages if it’s properly optimized. This requires to be done in the design process itself to prevent hassles later.
You may increase the number of bedrooms to accommodate a bigger family. You may also install more windows and skylights to help sufficient natural light enter the space. All in all, you should invest more time and seek expert suggestions while designing the unit to make it more spacious, comfortable, and convenient for living.
Mistake 3: Not creating a budget estimate
Costs can vary widely while constructing an ADU. You have to create a budget estimate to prevent spending more than you should and inform the contractor about the same. A reliable contractor will help you plan the construction according to your budgetary limitations and also make you aware of additional costs if any. So don’t skip this part.
Mistake 4: Not installing windows in the right places
Poor placement of windows is another big mistake that you should avoid, as it may lead to inconveniences for the occupant later. Once you have decided on the number of windows you should install, talk to the experts about the right places to put them to reduce stuffiness in the unit, and create cross-breezes. Proper installation of windows can also make a small space look way bigger.
Mistake 5: Not deciding on the size of the kitchen and bathroom
While building an ADU, or any house for that matter, people tend to focus more on the living room and bedrooms, thus neglecting the minimum size requirements for kitchen and bathrooms. This may lead to faulty designs, where you aren’t left with enough space for the kitchen or washroom.
To avoid this, you should imagine what your kitchen should be like and keep enough space for the appliances to function properly and the cabinet doors to open without any obstacle. While estimating the measurements for the bathroom, you should consider a separate shower, bathtub, and space to install cabinets. Everything should be included in the design, which the contractors will create.
Mistake 6: Installing a small HVAC system
Homeowners may think that a smaller unit will save upfront costs, but they aren’t aware of the losses that they are going to incur in the form of energy bills. Hence, you should install an HVAC system of the right size to cut down the costs of energy in the long run.
Wrapping it up
An accessory dwelling unit can be quite profitable to you if you plan and construct it properly. Besides increasing the overall value of your property, it helps you save on repair and maintenance, utility bills, as well as increase the rental value of the unit. Hence, make sure you avoid the aforementioned mistakes and discuss every design idea with the experts before finalizing it.
Build a unit that’s not only fit to live in but also provides huge returns on your initial investment.