Legalizing an ADU has been made easier by unit legalization programs that many local governments have implemented. Legal ADUs are able to be rented out for affordable housing options, which is why governments want to make it as easy as possible to legalize an unpermitted one. If you are interested in undergoing the process, here are 5 easy steps to legalize an ADU.
1 Assess Your ADU
Building an ADU yourself without paying attention to building codes or ADU zoning requirements means you probably have some areas of improvement to focus on. Therefore, your first step should be to familiarize yourself with your local ADU regulations and determine which ones you comply with, and which ones you don’t. You will need to pay close attention to things like setback requirements, energy restrictions, and if it contains a kitchen or bathroom.
2 Draw-Up Plans
Once you know what needs changing, it is time to hire professionals to draw up the necessary plans needed to make those changes. We recommended having someone who is familiar with ADUs do it for you to improve your chances of getting plans approved the first time around.
3 Get Plans Approved
The planning staff will verify that your ADU is not violating setback requirements and the building staff will verify that code requirements for safe and sanitary housing are met. If you worked with a professional to draw up your plans, this should be an easy “sit-back and wait” step.
4 Start Construction
With approved plans, you can hire an ADU contractor to begin construction. We recommended working with someone with ADU knowledge to make the process as smooth and less costly as possible.
5 Schedule Inspections
Finally, you will need to schedule regular inspections during the construction process to ensure everything is being brought up to code properly. Inspectors will look at things like foundation, electrical systems, and sanitation. They will do their best not to disturb finished projects but keep in mind that they do need to look at everything, so sometimes projects need to be opened back up.
After everything passes inspections and your construction is done, your ADU will be legalized!