Building an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) can be a great way to add extra space to your property, and it also provides great financial benefits. However, it also needs adequate preparation. If you’re not careful, you can easily make mistakes that can end up costing you time and money. Together with our construction team in ADU.Works, we’ll take a look at five of the most common ADU construction mistakes, and discuss how to avoid them.

1. Being Unaware of Local Rules and Regulations

There are many regulations that affect how you can build an ADU. Each city and county has different zoning requirements and the contractor must be aware of these in order for them not to get stopped during construction or pay a high penalty. A qualified ADU contractor will take responsibility for obtaining all necessary paperwork so your project doesn’t come screeching to a halt.

That’s why we at ADU.Works make sure to provide an in-house permits technician in all of our projects, ensuring that we get an overview of all the regulations that apply to your property as early as when you book a site visit with us. The goal of ADU.Works with this methodology is to give clarity for any possible red flags, to know what to watch out for, and identify any unique regulations that need to be considered. We intend to give clear timelines and establish reliable expectations as early on in the process. The best part is, that we do this all for free.

2. Not Choosing the Right Team for Your ADU Project

One of the most common mistakes we see is people not appointing the right team for their ADU construction project. Many people try to take on the entire project themselves, or they’ll appoint someone who’s not properly qualified. This often leads to subpar results, and it can even be dangerous.

If you decide to add a detached ADU, make sure you entrust this responsibility to  a reputable ADU builder who has experience in this type of project or even specializes in it. Most importantly, your contractor should understand what you’re going through. They should be able to work with your budget, without any compromise on quality.

A sign of a good contractor is one that is willing to answer all your questions, attend to your concerns, and has the initiative to educate you with the industry’s best practices. There may be a lot of contractors out there that offer great packages, but you have to make sure that the products they’re offering are the right one for your property.

The process of ADU.Works ensures that all our clients are well-informed about every decision they make regarding their ADU investment. We make sure to answer all their queries and give them further information which can help them make an educated decision. From Day 1, our team already makes the effort to explain our product, our processes, target timelines, overall pricing, materials, and all inclusions. We pride ourselves in being transparent to our clients; making sure we deliver the product that best fits them.

After the initial call or demo, if you’re still unsure and still have doubts, our team can send our consultant to your location for a site visit to help you know all the variables from both construction and legal perspectives before you commit to an investment – without any cost.

3. Starting without a Budget

Building an ADU is a big decision, and starting without a clear budget or goal can make every other decision difficult. It’s important to think realistically about what you intend to build as well: research how much it would cost; and don’t get caught up in the idea of “more” just because there are alternatives available (you may end up spending more time fixing things).

Though our promise is to provide low-cost ADUs, our clients are well assured that we make no compromise in the quality, structural integrity, design, and safety of our models. To put it simply, despite the high-quality materials that we use, our low price points are due to the innovative construction practices that we utilize which allows us to build in a faster timeline, with fewer manpower, and thus, lower cost.

4. Underestimating the Value of Window Placement and Natural Light

Windows are a crucial part of any home design and can make all the difference in comfort, livability or even energy efficiency. The windows of a home are designed to let in as much cool breeze and natural light as possible. They also help keep the temperature down through cross ventilation.

The effects of natural light in your home are deep and wide-ranging. It can improve mood, alleviate pain or tension headaches as well help with sleep issues. The benefits don’t stop there either; the value of space is increased when natural lighting and vegetation are properly integrated into built-up areas. The spaces look larger, allowing the flow in greenery inside a building to be more evident than before without any obstructions from windows or doors closing out this element completely; while large openings let sunlight streamed through them which can also enhance interior decorating quality because it provides color inspiration for various types of decorations like artwork on walls (or even living plants).

One of the features of ADU.Works’ models is having an open space design across all their models which aims to lessen the limitation of your movement flow inside your ADU. It also includes windows on every side of the unit optimally placed to allow natural light to set in.

5. Misjudging the Right HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) Equipment

When you’re looking for a new heating and cooling system, it can be hard to know which kind of HVAC can your home actually benefit from. Many people assume that small HVAC units are better because they cost less than their larger counterparts. Though it is true at first glance, installing one of these smaller systems on the contrary, could end up costing more than you expected. When it comes to HVAC technology. You get what you pay for.

Your HVAC contractor or ADU Builder can tell you what size system is right for your unit. Some of the factors that they need to take into account are tree coverage, sun exposure, and insulation as well square footage of space that needs cooling or heating along with height levels on ceilings.

Each model in ADU.Works’ Maverick Series is equipped with an HVAC system that was meticulously configured to give the best indoor air quality in every area of the unit. All models come with a heating and cooling system without the need for ductwork. The outdoor heat pump condenser is efficient at regulating temperatures while the indoor air handlers ensure your home stays comfortable all year round without having to turn up or shut down any electronics. The equipment is inexpensive to own and operate, as well as being whisper quiet and also Wi-Fi enabled making the ADU all the more attractive from the inside out.


If you need help with building an ADU in your property, you reach out to ADU.Works. We have end-to-end services that can manage the entire building process for you from start to finish. We know that building an ADU is a big decision, and we want to make sure it’s the right one for you. That’s why our team of experts will take care of all aspects from design through construction.

ADU.Works specializes in building low-cost detached ADUs. We are one of the pioneers in adopting a hybrid construction process which enables them to get the job done with almost half the time and cost without any compromise with their equipment and materials. In addition, all their ADUs are equipped with solar panels and all their appliances included in their ADUs, especially the HVAC systems, are all ENERGY STAR rated ensuring that it meets the government mandated guidelines for energy efficiency.

We want to help you build your new ADU. If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation with us or give us a quick call through our number +1 (650) 227 4810. We’ll gladly discuss the specifications of the Maverick Models and accommodate any question you may have. Our team looks forward to hearing from you.

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