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How to Create the Perfect San Jose ADU

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Roey & Gil

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What are Accessory Dwelling Units?

If you are interested in the idea of a San Jose ADU for your main dwelling unit, then getting as much information as you can on the subject is necessary before diving into the project.

When you live in the Silicon Valley of the Bay Area – you likely are already hyper-aware of the high housing costs, rental rates, etc.

Building an accessory dwelling unit allows homeowners to make a new space within their property line, opening up a whole new world of possibilities!

A San Jose ADU is a building that may mimic a house, gym, office, or many different things – however, it is not a traditional structure.

ADUs are usually smaller structures about a primary residence area, but there are endless ways to broaden the horizons of the definition.

adu example
ADU’s are essentially a second, miniature, home on your property

adu blueprintBuild an ADU – The Basics for Property Owner

It wasn’t until 2017 that state law confirmed that ADUs were allowed within communities.

Still, there are many detailed guidelines and tedious jardon that go into the process of creating your very own accessory dwelling unit in the San Jose area.

Over time, clarity came – primarily due to home remodeling professionals and accessory dwelling unit builders.

With California passing additional laws to lift restrictions further, creating an ADU has become a more accessible dream.

To get a better idea of what would best suit your single-family or multi-family properties, you need an entire rundown of ADU plans, types, and options available.

attached adu
An attached ADU offers direct access to the main house which is ideal for guests and family members

Attached ADU Project

Attached ADUs are essential and an extension of your existing space because it is attached to the primary residence area.

They aren’t always using the primary home as a part of the structure, and sometimes, they create a whole new accessory for the property.

This can vary depending on what the user prefers and any setback requirements involved in the construction of the unit.

You can use an attached garage area, playroom, primary suite, or attic area to make your attached ADU.

detached adu
Detached ADU’s offer more privacy and are ideal for rental units.

Detached ADU Offers a Whole New Experience

Unlike an attached ADU, a detached ADU is not connected to the primary house.

This will exist on the same property as the main dwelling unit, but detached ADUs give access to their own space.

These are most often developed on the rear property line of the main home.

Detached ADUs have different regulations than attached ADUs, but they also give way for benefits and amenities that you otherwise wouldn’t see with an attached ADU component.

garage renovation adu
When it comes to transforming your garage into a living space, Clever Design will get the job done

Garage Conversion ADU for Your Family Properties

Existing detached garage conversions are a form of an attached ADU – this is convenient for single-family homes.

While you don’t have the benefits that come with detached ADUs, you are provided with the luxuries of expanding a space that already exists within your main residence!

This is an excellent example of how you can make attached ADUs out of a room that was not previously used and still maintain your previous roof structure.

Being innovative in pushing the boundaries around your garage conversion and construction process will make all the difference for this conversion.

junior adu
Junior ADU’s are more compact and take less time to construct while still offering a cosy living space for family, friends, or tenants

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units in Residential Neighborhoods

Junior accessory dwelling units are another style of attached ADUS, but these are always created out of an existing space with single-family properties.

These have size limitations and can only be up to 500 square feet.

They can include their own bathrooms, or you can share with an existing bathroom on the property.

JADUs are developed by adding a new space and an exterior door to the existing single-family dwelling.

These are allowed all across California in any place, and like detached ADUs, you can use them for long-term rentals!

zoning laws adu san jose
Like all structures, there are official guidelines to follow in order to remain compliant with the state and your local city zoning laws

aduSan Jose Accessory Dwelling Unit Facts and Figures

With any kind of attached or detached ADU, there are rules and regulations set forth by both the state of California and your particular zoning district.

Making sense of these regulations around the permitting process, height limitations, rear yard construction, and the city of San Jose’s stance on everything is a large part of your journey.

detached ADUSingle Family Properties Vs. Multi Family Properties

Understanding the difference between single-family lots and multifamily properties is a good starting point if you are interested in determining where and when your ADUs allowed.

Multifamily property is a space that allows more than one family to live even if there is one sole owner on the house deed – whereas single-family properties can only house one.

There are a few stipulations for each property type, depending on how it is categorized:

  • For single-family properties and single-family lots, there is only one ADU and one JADU allotted.
  • With multi-family properties, you can have up to two detached ADUs and an attached ADU.
  • For any multi-family lots, you can increase the number of ADU units up to 25% of your existing units, but JADUs are not permitted.

adu permitWhen You Build an ADU in California, Permits Matter

Regardless of your single-family home or multifamily lots – every property requires permits from the city of San Jose before any plans go into place.

You will need the correct permits for your conversion, attached, or detached ADU project per the city planning department.

The time frame around this depends entirely on the plans submitted and how many other people are waiting in front of you.

It will generally take anywhere from 3 to 5 months for approval in the city of San Jose, but you have to ensure the plans you are submitting are legitimate and adhere to all standards set forth by the city for your property type.

Without approval, if you choose to move forward with construction, you will violate state law and incur heavy fines and even lawsuits.

project photoConsider Maximum Square Footage When Accessory Building

Maximum height, size, and details matter when planning for your single or multi-family lots.

California has ADUs allowed to be up to 800 square feet, but there are options where you can increase the size of your zoning agency permits.

In San Jose, the rules are as follows:

  • Single-family properties cannot have a detached ADU that exceeds 1000 square feet, nor can an attached ADU move past 800 square feet or 50% of the property area.
  • A single-family home junior ADUS cannot be larger than 500 square feet – they also have height limitations that cannot surpass 25 feet.
  • For multi-family property, neither an attached nor detached ADU can exceed 800 square feet and has the same height limitations as the primary residence whenever you build an ADU!
  • On multi-family property, a JADU is not ever permitted.

lawLegal Requirements and ADU Development in San Jose

Things like property lines always matter, maximum height, etc. – but for a long time, the language was the legal requirement for plans of your ADU property beside your primary residence.

Previously, it was stated that you couldn’t build an ADU and junior ADU on the same property, but that is no longer the case.

There are always changes taking place that you have to keep up with as you are constructing your accessory dwelling units!

That is why having reputable ADU builders in San Jose, CA, supports homeowners in the process.

adu construction
ADU construction is best left to the most skilled professionals in the Bay Area. That’s where Clever Design steps in!

walking you through adu processThe Importance of Hiring ADU Professionals

If you are set on creating your first or second accessory on your multi or single-family home, seeking out ADU companies near me should be your first priority.

Without professionals to lean on, the project can be confusing, you may run into setback requirements, and you need to sort through every last detail before you begin construction.

project managerYour ADU Depends on Support

Having a company that is expert in design and building is essential when you are hiring ADU builders, kitchen remodel, and bathroom remodel specialists who can provide the best of all worlds. This is going to make your build tremendously easier.

You have to consider that creating an ADU in San Jose takes a ton of planning, and local ADU builders like Clever Design and Remodeling will provide a free estimate and complete consultation to review your budget, your vision, and the projected ADU construction cost.

Not only can they offer prestigious planning and design skills, but they also have experience completing ADUS – both conversions, detached and attached.

They will always be familiar with all the elements needed for the project to go off without a hitch!

customer satisfactionMaking Things Easy on Your Family Members in San Jose

One of the most extraordinary things about accessory dwelling units is what they can offer your family, not in the future.

You can cultivate a completely custom ADU whether you are hoping for a mother-in-law suite, a home gym, a home office, a rental property, or just an extra space that remains interchangeable.

You can move in any direction with your ADU, and you will still see a return on investment.

attached aduDesigning Attached and Detached ADUs

When you are working with professional ADU builders, you will read benefits like:

  • Zero time wasted and more money in your pocket – when you are working with professionals, they are going to complete your project in a timely manner and within the budget required.
  • Legitimate & high-quality craftmanship – the pros know their way around an ADU build and other remodeling circumstances. They have constant access to the finest materials and equipment and will hold themselves to the highest standards.
  • Safe environment with a safety net – reputable remodeling companies and builders will always promote safety measures on top of what the state law puts forth for construction. Not to mention, they are insured on everything they complete, so if an accident occurs or something goes wrong, it doesn’t fall back on you.

ADU Permits Can Make for a Headache

Last, the permits and parameters around the property can be frustrating and tedious.

You don’t want to waste your time dealing with the city and going back and forth with plans that don’t suit the rules.

Professional ADU contractors will always complete all of the logistics for you so that you can worry about the overarching vision and purpose of your build.

adu under construction
It may be a cliche but many hands really do light work. Especially when the team at Clever Design are on the project!

clever design logoClever Design and Remodeling – Changing the Way You Develop Accessory Dwelling Units in San Jose

If you are considering backyard homes for your parents, a new gym for your newfound love of fitness, or perhaps you work from home and just want to redefine what it means to work remotely – ADUs will elevate your California home to an urban village!

Housing and construction across San Jose mimic its environment; it’s gorgeous, but why can’t you take your main residence to new heights with an accessory dwelling unit?

Clever Design and Remodeling in San Jose, CA, are ADU building specialists whether you are interested in one ADU or two!

Our crew of designers has tremendous experience in creating brand-new accessories and complete remodeling services for existing units.

call us todayContact Our Team for a New Living Space

Don’t let ADU regulations, property taxes, and parking requirements drag your dreams down.

While there are limitations for your main home and potential accessory dwelling units – we don’t set boundaries around creativity as home remodeling contractors in San Jose, CA.

Clever Design and Remodeling caters to our clients every want and need because it is our responsibility to serve our community in ways that continue to uplift the Bay Area.

If you are intrigued by developing your own San Jose ADU, contact our office today!

adu faq
No matter what style of ADU you are considering for your project, Clever Design has answers to your questions!

faqsFrequently Asked Questions for Your San Jose ADU Project

rental incomeWill I be able to rent out my ADU in San Jose?

Rental income is a great incentive to place an ADU on your property, but there are certainly boundaries to what you can and cannot do.

It has been projected that over 30% of those who chose to build an ADU in the past year intended that property to become a rental.

You can rent out both attached and detached ADUs, but you won’t be able to post it on Air B-n-B because it must be a long-term rental only!

parking spaceWill my accessory dwelling unit need its own parking spot in San Jose?

You will not need to provide parking or separate parking sport for your ADU so long as it offers the following:

  • It is within a half mile from the nearest bus station or public transit park and ride.
  • It has clear paths and accessible points for travel.
  • The ADU is within a block of a place that offers hourly or daily parking services.
  • It is in a historic district.

timeframeHow long will it take to design and build my ADU in San Jose?

The time it takes to create an accessory dwelling unit will vary depending on what type of property you are hoping to build.

Expect 1 to 2 years for completion as many moving pieces go into the project.

Your ADU builders should provide an exact timeline and scheduling once you enter into the agreement formally.

building permitWhat is the rear yard coverage rule?

The rear yard coverage rule is one that there is some debate about amongst homeowners in California because not everyone is going to agree with it.

As for the rear yard, for a detached ADU, your building should not take up more than 40% of the rear yard, and it should sit at least 4 feet away from the property line.

The front property line is a different story – your unit should be 45 feet away from this property line.

project photoWhat if I already have existing units – will ADU regulations limit my ability to build?

This again depends on what you are hoping to develop, but as a general rule of thumb, for single-family homes, you can have one ADU and one JADU.

For multi-family lots, you may have two detached ADUS and attached ADUS that do not exceed 25% of the leading property.

These details matter, and if you are reaching for the perfect ADU – stick to the rules and follow the guidance of the professionals.

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