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Accessory Dwelling Unit San Francisco Bay

Additional space and supplemental income in San Francisco Bay can provide immense joy and comfort to your life and home. Extra income and an increased home value are too good to pass up, and Clever Design & Remodeling can compose accessory dwelling units to accessorize your life. Our project management and diverse expertise set us apart in delivering new dwelling units. With a licensed, bonded, and insured team behind you – why not add to your primary residence and dive into ADU projects with Clever?

What's ADU?

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San Francisco’s ADU program was initially authorized in 2016 and is now accessible citywide for residential property – in a single-family home and multi-family buildings. Sometimes, they are in-law units, casitas, or secondary units that add to the primary residence.

New units must be up to the building code, and ADU legislation and regulations are in place to supervise community development. An accessory dwelling unit gives property owners autonomy over their existing space and what they would like to add to their landscape.

The Four Types of ADU

You often see a few different types of accessory dwelling units in San Francisco, and each one is a project Clever has taken on and successfully produced.

Our company has consistently planned, constructed, and successfully built following what works for your living space and what will upgrade your life. We work according to the local ADU program and follow all procedures to create a beautiful accessory dwelling unit.

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bay area remodeling contractor decoration

A conversion ADU is when an existing space within the primary structure is converted to create the dwelling unit. This is often a sunroom or current garage, etc. You can take a garage space and turn it into something truly magical for family members to stay when visiting and a place that can be rented out in the interim.

A conversion still requires planning code requirements and the necessary building permit application, but it can save money by choosing to convert rather than committing to new construction.

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An attached ADU is an additional unit within the property line with its sleeping room, kitchen, living space, and bathroom. It can be connected directly to a single-family home. Attached ADUs resemble a second house structure on the same lot as the primary residence/existing structure.

California building code requires these units need each bedroom to have its rescue opening to be considered a legal dwelling unit. San Francisco and the California Department of Housing limit the total square footage that can be added to any home. Still, it is typically more reasonable in cost than a detached unit.


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detached ADU is an accessory unit entirely separate from the primary home. Any detached ADU can not be attached to the primary house and must be completely structurally independent. With a detached ADU, you have a more considerable opportunity for potential rental earnings as the area offers any tenant privacy and a complete living experience – allowing the homeowner to build above the ground floor. In San Francisco, that can be a necessity. (In multi-family properties, unlimited ADUs are allowed.)

However, ADU programs oversee parking requirements overall accessory units, and specifically, with detached ADUs, an off-street parking space is required.

detached adu project in the bay area


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junior ADU is an accessory constructed within a single-family house but cannot exceed 500 Sq Ft. Junior ADUs can be built in every zoning district that authorizes single-family dwellings. They can be used for long-term rentals only and cannot be used for short-term leases or overnight stays, which was subject to a review process. If you are only interested in making interior conversions – a junior ADU may be the best option for you!

JADUs can be made by adding a kitchen and a door leading to the home’s exterior. You may also include a bathroom or shared bathroom with the primary home.

The Process of Building Accessory Dwelling Units

Building any ADU in San Francisco involves planning, preparation, and execution. Clever Design & Remodeling comprises five-star contractors, designers, and builders who are prepared to go the distance for our client’s satisfaction. San Francisco ADU program is composed of several guidelines and regulations that are highly important to consider when deciding which option is best for your build.

Our team will meet with you for a free estimate and consultation to thoroughly review and assess your existing space and any existing units, if applicable. Discretionary review of the approximate cost and keeping things budget friendly is our goal, and our client’s happiness is our mission!

The average cost of an ADU for both single and multi-family properties is approximately $145,000.00. This can vary greatly depending on the type of ADU, as junior ADUS can be much cheaper to complete than detached units for multi-family properties.

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California Department of Housing & Community Development oversees new construction and the composition of any new unit. Our planning department will work with property owners to choose the best accessory dwelling unit for their San Francisco home. Street trees, historic resources, state law, state ADU mandate, regulatory agreement, rent control, and zoning district all have to be considered.

Our company will apply for necessary waivers with the zoning administrator or neighborhood notification for proper building. Once all the permits and requirements are met, the new construction will commence!

General Construction

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General constructionconstruction drawings, and architecture are all pieces of the planning code. Our planning department and construction team work tirelessly to satisfy our client’s wants and needs. While we are under the guise of the local program standards – Clever Design and Remodeling has our own standards and expectations. The safety of our employees and the homeowner is our first priority, and we adhere to San Francisco ADU regulations for that reason.

We take care of the construction and development of your ADU alongside interior design and finishes – and all of the details, like installing detectors, smoke alarms, etc. We tend to move quickly and want to be as efficient as possible when approaching any building project. Our team completes everything from the permits to the final touch-ups for our clientele.

adu planning designers

Planning and Permits

Planning is a large portion of preparation for designing and building ADUs. Building an ADU means dealing with the local program and any underlying zoning district. California Department of Housing & Community Development oversees new construction and the composition of any new unit.

Our planning department will work with property owners to decide the best dwelling unit for their San Francisco home. Street trees, historic resource, state law, state ADU mandate, regulatory agreement, rent control, and zoning district all have to be considered. The building’s electrical system and replacement parking requirements are also factors that have to be examined.

Planning code requirements and pre-application meetings are non-negotiable. Owner occupancy requirements do not apply to any new ADUs through 2025 in San Francisco. Our company will apply for necessary waivers with the zoning administrator or neighborhood notification for proper building and a successful building inspection.

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Interior Design and Cabinetry

Clever Design and Remodeling handles interior and exterior design alongside cabinetry, flooring materials, and installation. We can customize each component to your liking! Our designers have a vast background of experience. We individualize every build for our client because no two ADUs are exactly alike!

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bay area remodeling contractor decoration
bay area remodeling contractor decoration

Landscape Design

The exterior and landscape around your primary structure and San Francisco ADU are what finalize the look and feel of your property. A project cannot truly be finished without landscape design and development. We will install water fixtures and exterior lights, detail the front door and windows, construct a garden and provide planting with irrigation. Clever Design and Remodeling wants to help you put your best foot forward in providing a beautiful outdoor space you and your family can enjoy.

We Design & Build Backyard Homes in San Francisco Bay Area

Our Bay Area design experts are available to make your wildest dreams come true. We want to bring your household joy, happiness, and extra income. Clever Design provides modern solutions for your backyard homes. With decades of experience in remodeling and design – our team of experts can support you through your San Francisco ADU project.

backyard designer in the bay area

Experts in Creating a Second Home for Property Owners!

We make it our business to supply the most excellent contractors, designers, and builders for your second home. We provide a team to back your vision, and our team will bring that vision to fruition. Whether you are exploring the idea of detached ADUs as a rental property or hoping to create something smaller for your parents and in-laws – Clever Design will generate a space that suits your needs and brings joy to your life!

Detached ADU

Our detached ADUs are designed to be a place that renters or homeowners can enjoy. A detached ADU is something that will…

  • Value to your home.
  • Create more space on your property, as a detached unit can be larger than an attached unit.
  • Have higher construction costs as you complete an area entirely independent of the primary home.
  • Provide options for rental earnings and passive income.
  • Create parking requirements you must adhere to.
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Garage Conversion

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garage conversion is fun because it is so much you can do with the space. A garage conversion is something that is:

  • Cheaper than other ADU options – the average conversion is $25,000 – $100,000 to complete.
  • Creates a unique space that fits into your home and the neighborhood.
  • Water and electricity are already present within the home!
  • You do not have to sacrifice any outdoor space to create your ADU.
  • Adding value to your home by upgrading the existing garage.

Mother In Law Suite

In Law Units are the perfect place for your family to be together. Quality time is truly priceless, and your home is a space to create memories and savor moments together. Making a Mother In Law suite will –

  • Save you money if you take care of your parents or in-laws as they live with you rather than seek care elsewhere.
  • More space for other friends or family to crash while visiting the town.
  • Create the option for attached or detached ADUS and what works best for your family.
  • Of course – Add value to your home!

Granny Living Space

A Granny living space can be whatever you and Granny want it to be! Clever Design has worked with many clients to create something that works for Granny to live and for the grandchildren to play. That is the wonder of making something new – as you develop the plans, it may be something you can’t put into words – but it ends up perfect anyway.

Garden Cottage

Your garden cottage is only one phone call away. Clever Design & Remodeling will work with you to develop the garden you want and where you can retreat for solace, relaxation, and gardening. Your second home should be a space where you feel comfortable, safe, and above all – a space you love.

Clever Design provides the backing you need to construct an ADU that suits you, your family, and your home! If you are exploring the idea of building an ADU on your property but need assistance in evolving the project, give us a call for your free estimate and consultation. We look forward to creating with you!

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