Welcome to your ADU learning journey!

You will get the most out of this guide if your desire to create your accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is exceeded by your ability to (insert)

This guide is designed to describe all major aspects of ADUs, from design and construction to permits and fees you’ll incur.

The world of ADUs are complex, jurisdiction-specific and changing, but you can easily understand the basics, and even a small amount of ADU knowledge can make a big difference. Free ADU education is also widely available on the web, including this guide!

Combine this information with some experience and you are well on your way to becoming an ADU-er.

Explore the chapters:


Chapter 1: ADU 101
What is it, and why build one?

For true beginners. Learn what ADU’s are, why you should consider building one, and all the need-to-know basics to start yourself off right.


Chapter 2: ADU Property Checklist
First you need to know if an ADU is possible on your property.

If an ADU isn’t possible because of your zoning type, amount of space or geographical hurdles, none of the rest of this guide will matter. This chapter shows you how to confirm that your property is ADU ready.


Chapter 3: Design
Understand what type of design fits your preference and budget.

Learn all the types of housing choices you can choose from. This chapter will cover the type of ADU’s and how you can select the type that fits your needs.


Chapter 4: Permits
Learn how to acquire the proper permits for your ADU.

This chapter will cover all the permits + fees you’ll need to be aware of paying before you embark on your ADU adventure and start building.


Chapter 5: Construction
Choose a contractor and start building.

This extensive chapter will talk about how to build the exterior and interior of your ADU. We will cover: site prep, site utilities, foundation, rough framing, MEP systems, insulation, roofing, siding, floor panels, countertops and appliances.


Chapter 6: Cost Breakdown(link: adu.works/beginners-guide-to-adus/how-much-does-it-cost)
What will I have to pay to build an ADU?

Quotes can range from $75k to $350k in the ADU world. This chapter will cover fees, payments and everything you might have to pay for to build a new ADU. Comes with an example budget.


Chapter 7: Financing(link: adu.works/beginners-guide-to-adus/adu-financing)
Choose how to pay for your ADU.

From cash, HELOCs, cash-out refinances and new innovative financing methods > learn how you can pay to build the ADU you want.


Chapter 8: Property Taxes + Insurance(link: adu.works/beginners-guide-to-adus/property-taxes-and-insurance)
Now that your ADU is built, you’ll need to account for your property taxes and insurance.

Learn how to get added coverage to protect your new ADU and how to calculate your property taxes.


Chapter 9: Additional Resources(link: adu.works/beginners-guide-to-adus/resources)
Other sources of information you can learn from.

This chapter gives the reader access to other guides, PDFs, handbooks and information to help them through the ADU building process.

How much of this guide do I need to read?

If you’re serious about building an ADU on your property, we recommend reading The Beginner’s Guide to ADUs from beginning to end. We’ve tried to make it as concise and easy to understand as possible, and learning the Basics of ADUs are a vital first step towards creating an exciting home for a family member or renter.

Go through at the pace that suits you best, and be sure to take note of the dozens of resources we link to throughout the chapters — they’re also worthy of your attention.

Are you getting pumped yet? You should! ADUs are a complex and interesting new development that can be a lot of fun (or a complete disaster). If you get confused, don’t give up; we have folks who can help with whatever your problem is.

We’re excited you’re here! Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into Chapter 1 (ADU 101).