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Can I Construct an ADU on My San Diego Property?

ADU remodel in san diego

San Diego, known for its perfect climate and stunning coastal beauty, has been a hotspot for homeowners looking to maximize their property’s potential. One popular option is the construction of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also known as a granny flat or backyard cottage.

In this guide, we’ll explore the key aspects of building an ADU in San Diego.  We’ll also touch on some reputable local contractors like Peak Builders in San Diego who can assist you with ADU construction and related services such as home remodeling, roofing, and landscaping.

What Does ADU Stand For?

ADU is referred to as  Accessory Dwelling Unit, which refers to a supplementary living space situated within the confines of the same property as the main residential structure. ADUs are also commonly known as granny flats, backyard cottages, or in-law units. They are self-contained living spaces that include sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities.

How To Build An ADU?

Building an ADU in San Diego involves several steps and considerations. Here is an instructional manual to initiate the process:

Research Local Regulations

Before diving into ADU construction, research the local regulations and zoning laws in San Diego. Familiarize yourself with the city’s specific requirements and limitations on ADUs. Some neighborhoods may have restrictions, so it’s crucial to understand the rules in your area.

Plan Your ADU

Once you have a good understanding of the regulations, you can start planning your ADU. Consider the size, layout, and design that best suits your needs and your property. It’s essential to work with experienced professionals like Peak Builders in San Diego to help you design a functional and aesthetically pleasing ADU. They specialize in various home remodeling construction services.

Determine the Size

In San Diego, ADUs must meet certain size requirements. The minimum size for an ADU in San Diego typically ranges from 250 to 800 square feet, depending on the type and location of your property. Ensure that your design complies with these size requirements.

Check Height Requirements

San Diego also has specific height restrictions for ADUs. The maximum height for detached ADUs is typically 16 feet. For attached ADUs, the height limit is usually 25 feet. Adhering to these requirements is essential to obtain the necessary permits.

Obtain Building Permits

To build an ADU in San Diego, you’ll need to secure the required building permits. The process can be complex, so it’s advisable to work with experienced ADU contractors who can help you navigate the permitting process. This can save you time and ensure that your project complies with all local regulations.

Calculate the Cost

The cost of building an ADU in San Diego can vary widely based on factors like size, design, and location. The cost of building an ADU in San Diego varies based on numerous factors. Aside from size and design, other elements that affect the cost include materials, labor, permits, and site preparation. It’s essential to get accurate cost estimates and consider financing options to ensure your project stays within budget.

Explore ADU Types

There are different types of ADUs, including detached, attached, and garage conversions. Each type has its advantages and limitations. Consider which option best suits your property and your goals. For garage conversions and additional services like stucco painting and repair, consult experts who can provide you with quality work.

ADU construction in San Diego

How many ADUs are permitted to be built in San Diego County per property?

The number of ADUs you can build on your property in San Diego County depends on several factors, including the size of your lot and local zoning regulations. Generally, you can have one ADU and one Junior ADU (JADU) on a single-family lot. However, it’s vital to consult with local authorities and professionals to determine the specific allowances for your property.

ADU Contractors and Related Services

When considering an ADU project in San Diego, it’s essential to partner with experienced contractors who can handle not only ADU construction but also related services like home remodeling, roofing, and landscaping. 

A one-stop shop for all of your construction and renovation needs, businesses like Peak Builders & Roofers in San Diego provide a wide range of services. Whether you need a backyard ADU, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, solar power system installation, roofing replacement, or landscape and hardscape remodeling, these experts can provide quality craftsmanship and excellent service.


Building an ADU in San Diego is an exciting opportunity to enhance your property’s value and provide versatile housing options. However, it’s crucial to be knowledgeable about the fees, procedures, and local laws.

Consult with professionals like Peak Builders in San Diego who specialize in ADU construction, residential and commercial roofing, remodeling, and other related services. With their knowledge and skills, you can begin your ADU project with assurance, secure in the knowledge that you are making a smart investment in the future of your property.

FAQs: Building an ADU in San Diego

What Minimum Size is Required for an ADU in San Diego?

The minimum size for an ADU in San Diego can range from 250 to 800 square feet, depending on the type and location of your property.

How To Build An ADU?

To build an ADU in San Diego, research local regulations, plan your ADU, determine the size, check height requirements, obtain building permits, and calculate the cost. Experienced professionals like Peak Builders in San Diego can help with the process.

How many ADUs are permitted to be built in San Diego County per property?

Typically, you can build one ADU and one Junior ADU (JADU) on a single-family lot in San Diego County. Specific allowances may vary based on local regulations.

Does an ADU require a building permit?

Yes, a building permit is required for constructing an ADU in San Diego. The most effective approach to address this intricate process is by enlisting the assistance of experienced professionals such as Peak Builders.

What Are Some ADU Contractors and Related Services in San Diego?

You can rely on reputable contractors like Peak Builders for ADU construction and related services, including home remodeling, roofing (both commercial and residential), and landscaping. They provide a one-stop shop for all of your building and remodeling services. 

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