Most Important Questions to Ask Before Starting Your ADU Project in 2024

When considering the purchase of an ADU, there are several important questions that you should ask to ensure that you make an informed decision:

  1. What Type of ADU is Suitable? Understand the different types of ADUs available, such as prefab ADUs, garage conversions, or stick built ADUs. Each type has its own set of advantages, timelines, and costs. For example, prefab ADUs are constructed in a factory and installed on your lot, offering a fast installation rate. Garage conversions utilize existing structures and might be more cost-effective, while stick-built ADUs are customized but might take longer to build.
  2. Permitting Requirements: Investigate the specific permitting requirements for building an ADU in your area. Rules and regulations can vary greatly, and it’s crucial to understand what applies to your specific location. For instance, some areas might have restrictions related to proximity to public transportation or homeowners’ association rules.
  3. Owner Occupancy Requirements: Check if there are any owner occupancy requirements for your ADU. Some regions may require the main home to be owner-occupied, although this is subject to change and varies by location.
  4. Property Compatibility: Determine if your property is suitable for an ADU. This involves assessing your lot or garage against local regulations and guidelines to ensure it’s a viable space for ADU construction. We can do this analysis for you. Just request it on our website below.
  5. Design Considerations: Think about how you want to design your ADU. Designing for smaller spaces can be challenging, so consider aspects like maximizing vertical space, natural light, and multi-functional furniture.
  6. Benefits and Returns on Investment: Consider the benefits of building an ADU, such as providing housing for family members, generating rental income, or increasing your property’s value. Understand the potential return on investment and how it aligns with your financial goals.
  7. Impact on Property Taxes: Be aware that adding an ADU can increase your property taxes, although it typically won’t trigger a reassessment of your entire property. Understanding how your property tax will be affected is important for long-term financial planning.
  8. Construction and Maintenance Costs: Evaluate the costs associated with building and maintaining an ADU. These costs can vary widely based on the type of ADU, location, and the quality of construction materials and labor. Having a clear budget and understanding of ongoing maintenance requirements is essential.
  9. Potential Zoning and Community Issues: Research any zoning restrictions or community concerns that might arise with ADU construction. Zoning laws can impact the size, location, and style of your ADU. Additionally, consider how neighbors might perceive the addition of an ADU in your community.
  10. Insurance Coverage: Explore how adding an ADU will affect your home insurance coverage. It’s important to ensure that both the main house and ADU are adequately covered to protect against potential risks.
  11. Long-term Impact on Property Value: Understand how an ADU might affect the resale value of your property. While ADUs can increase property value, the actual impact depends on various factors, including market trends and the quality of the ADU.

Before proceeding with an ADU, it’s advisable to consult with local building authorities, a knowledgeable real estate agent, or a legal advisor to navigate the specific requirements and regulations in your area. As a builder that specializes in ADUs, we can help you through the entire process. Give us a call or register for one of our upcoming free educational webinars here: or You can also request an analysis of your property to see if it qualifies for an ADU. Fill out this form or call 206-203-0479.