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Navigating the Timeline of a New Construction ADU: From Start to Finish by an ADU Contractor.

Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an exciting venture, offering a unique opportunity to add value and functionality to your property. Understanding the timeline from conception to completion is key to a smooth process. This article breaks down each phase of a new construction ADU project, offering clarity on what to expect at every step.


Construction timeline

Phase 1: Planning and Design (2-3 Weeks)

  • Initial Consultation: Collaborate with a builder or architect to discuss your vision, objectives, and budget.

  • Design Development: Create initial designs, considering factors like size, layout, and aesthetics.

  • Revisions and Finalization: Make necessary adjustments to the designs, finalizing the blueprints.


Phase 2: Permits and Approvals (1-2 Months)

  • Application Submission: Submit detailed plans to the local planning department for approval.

  • Review Process: The plans undergo a review process, which may include revisions to comply with zoning and building codes.

  • Permit Issuance: Once approved, building permits are issued, allowing construction to begin.


Phase 3: Site Preparation and Foundation (2-3 Weeks)

  • Site Clearing: Clear and prepare the construction site, including any necessary demolition.

  • Foundation Work: Lay the foundation, which varies based on the ADU type (detached, attached, or garage conversion).


Phase 4: Construction (3-5 Months)

  • Framing: Construct the ADU's framework, outlining its basic shape and structure.

  • Mechanicals: Install electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

  • Insulation and Drywall: Apply insulation and install drywall, followed by painting.

  • Interior Finishing: Complete the interior with flooring, cabinetry, fixtures, and appliances.


Phase 5: External Work and Landscaping (1 Month)

  • Exterior Finishing: Complete external elements like siding, roofing, and windows.

  • Landscaping: Restore or enhance the landscaping impacted by the construction process.


Phase 6: Final Inspection and Handover (1-2 Weeks)

  • Inspection: A final inspection by the local building department to ensure code compliance.

  • Certificate of Occupancy: Issued upon passing the inspection, officially allowing occupancy of the ADU.

  • Project Completion: Handover of the finished ADU to the homeowner.


Conclusion: Building a new construction ADU is a detailed and structured process that, on average, can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months from start to finish. Each phase plays a crucial role in the success of the project, requiring careful planning, skilled execution, and consistent communication. By understanding this timeline, homeowners can set realistic expectations and work effectively with their building team to bring their ADU vision to life.


About the Author:

Brian Behroozi is an expert in ADU contractor, guiding homeowners through the intricate process of adding valuable living space to their property, with a focus on quality and efficiency.

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