As the world progresses, many people find that they need to downsize their homes. For some, this entails clearing off extra clutter. Others might have to downsize their residence. And for some, it also entails thinking about adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU).
What is an ADU?
A tiny, independent living space that is either attached to or separate from the main house is known as an ADU. They are often utilized as rental homes or additional living spaces.
ADUs are a fantastic addition to any house, but there are a few things to consider. Pedram Zohrevand, a CES4 professional civil engineer with years of expertise in the industry, will be speaking to us in this blog post. He will talk about the major issues with ADUs and how civil engineers can help everyone involved have a better experience.
What Is A Civil Engineer?
A civil engineer is a professional who designs, builds, and maintains society’s physical infrastructure. Some of the structures you’ll be familiar with include:
- water systems
- buildings’ structures
Civil engineers must deeply understand construction methods, materials science, structural analysis, mathematics, and physics. They use this knowledge to design safe, efficient, and cost-effective projects.
What Is Planning And Zoning?
Planning and zoning are the processes that cities and towns use to control development. They ensure that new construction is compatible with the existing community.
Zoning ordinances divide a city or town into different areas (zones). Each zone has its own rules about what can be built there. For example, a residential location might only allow single-family homes. Zoning laws, Zohrevand says, are “one of the most important tools when building an accessory dwelling unit.”
Planning and zoning are essential because they protect property values, preserve the character of a community, and prevent overcrowding and traffic congestion.
How Are ADUs Planned?
Professional help is essential when planning an ADU, as the process can be complicated to navigate alone. A civil engineer will ensure that everything runs smoothly and according to plan.
The first step is to find out if your city or town allows ADUs. Zoning laws vary from place to place, so it’s important to do your research.
If you live in an area that does not allow ADUs, you might be able to get a variance. This is special permission from the city or town that would allow you to build. Once you have determined that you can build an ADU, the next step is to divide an ADU.
Develop a plan. This plan should include the proposed location of the ADU, its size, and what it will be used for.
The planning process can be complex, so working with a professional who understands the laws and regulations is important. Civil engineers, like Pedram Zohrevand, are experts in this field and can help you develop a plan that meets all requirements as well as help you obtain all relevant permits.
California Assembly Bill No. 68
In 2017, California Assembly Bill No. 68 was passed. This bill made it easier to build ADUs in the state of California.
AB 68 did two things: it lifted the statewide ban on secondary units, and it created a streamlined process for approving ADU construction.
This bill made it possible for many people to build ADUs who otherwise would not have been able to. It also helped reduce construction costs and speed up the approval process.
AB 68 was a big win for ADU owners and civil engineers alike. Thanks to this bill, more people can enjoy the benefits of accessory dwelling units.
How Are ADUs Constructed?
ADUs can be built in a variety of ways. They may be integrated into the main house, connected, or entirely detached from it. The most common type of ADU is a conversion when an existing home space (like a basement or tuck-under parking space) is converted into a living area.
Another popular option is to build an attached ADU, also called a junior ADU. These are usually made as a home addition. Because they’re connected to the main house, they’re generally easier (and less expensive) to build than a detached ADU.
Detached ADUs are stand-alone structures. They can be built in the backyard or on another property entirely. Detached ADUs are usually the most expensive and complicated to build, but they offer the most privacy.
A civil engineer will work with the contractor to ensure that the ADU is built according to plan. They will also oversee the construction process and ensure everything is up to code.
Once the ADU is constructed, the civil engineer will perform a final inspection to ensure everything is up to par. After that, it’s time for you to move in and enjoy your new construction!
How Many ADUs Can Be Added?
The number of ADUs that can be added to a property varies from place to place.
It’s important to check with your city or town to see what the regulations are. You don’t want to build an ADU only to find out later that you’re not allowed to have more than one.
A civil engineer can help you navigate zoning laws and determine how many ADUs you can build. They can also help you develop a plan for adding multiple ADUs to your property if that is your choice.
Now and in the future, adding an extra living unit to your home might be a terrific way to increase its value. In addition, it can serve as a source of additional revenue or a place for visitors or family members to stay.
Working with a specialist familiar with the laws and regulations is crucial if you consider constructing an ADU. ADUs may be built by using the years of expertise Pedram Zohrevand has as a civil engineer. He can assist you in creating a plan and obtaining project approval.
Building an ADU is a big decision, but it can be a great way to improve your property. Thanks to AB 68, it’s easier than ever to get started.