<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2026261134315029&amp;ev=Page View&amp;noscript=1">
on June 18, 2020 Blog Interiors Lighting renovations design style investment remodeling ADU

New Law Makes it Easy to Build an ADU

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recently, the Southern California remodeling world has seen an uptick in ADU(Accessory Dwelling Unit aka granny flat or in-law suite) projects.  With the recent changes to ADU regulations, California has made it easier to build an ADU.  Here are 8 new rules that make now the easiest time to build an ADU.   

  1. 1. Faster Review Process: The review period for ADUs has decreased from 120 days to 60 days. This means that cities in California must approve or deny an ADU application within 60 days of receiving the application otherwise it is deemed approved.  This significantly speeds up the entire process of adding an ADU.
  3. 2. Size Limitations: ADU sizes used to be limited based on lot size and other factors, but now detached ADUs can be up to 800 sq. ft and 16’ tall, and even larger in some cases, without local discretionary approvals.
  4.  ADU - Accessory Dwelling UnitRendering of an El Segundo ADU Project
  6. 3. Parking Exceptions: ADUs required a parking space per unit/bedroom, but you no longer need to include a parking space if the ADU is planned within existing space in your home or a structure like a garage or carport. You also don’t need to replace parking when a garage or carport is converted to create an ADU.
  8. 4. Property Setback Regulations: ADU setbacks are now 4’ for the side and rear of the property.
  10. 5. Neighborhood Associations Law: HOAs, CC&Rs, and other local groups can no longer prohibit the building of an ADU on a single-family lot. 
  11. .
  12. 6. Non-permitted ADUs: If you have an ADU that is not permitted, you now have 5 years to bring that ADU up to code.
  13.  ADU InteriorInterior of a Redondo Beach ADU
  15. 7. Impact Fees: One-time charges against a new development for ADUs under 750 sq. ft. have been completely eliminated. For larger ADUs, impact fees will be charged proportionately in relation to the square footage of the primary residence.
  17. 8. Garage Conversions: You’re now allowed to update existing structures and convert them into an ADU, keeping the existing footprint. This means maintaining current setbacks of the existing structure.
  19. While this law is statewide, some cities have imposed their own rules, so it’s important to speak with one of our Designers to make sure you are compliant with your new ADU project.  Whether it be an ADU to create an office/getaway from the main house, an added space for loved ones to stay, or a way to create a source of rental income, an ADU is a great way to add more space and value to your home. If you’re planning to add and ADU, Custom Design & Construction can help you through the process. Fill out the form below to start your ADU project!


Custom Design & Construction, founded in 1986, is a design-build company that specializes in high-end whole house remodels, home additions, ADUs, kitchen, and bath remodels. With our headquarters in El Segundo, CA, we serve homeowners all over the South Bay area. We are an award-winning member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and have a 96% approval rating with GuildQuality

"A good design, well executed is a joy for a very, very long time and that's what I got with Custom Design & Construction"

- Stephen P., Custom Design & Construction Client -