There are a lot of different expenses that go into constructing an ADU. Knowing them ahead of time is key in determining whether or not you need to make changes to your idea of how you want your ADU to look. That’s why we put together this quick guide on how to get an ADU estimate.

Know What You Are Building

The first part of getting an ADU estimate is knowing what type of ADU you are going to build. This is key in determining costs since each ADU type has different costs associated with it. For example, a garage conversion will be much less expensive than a new construction detached ADU because you already have the basic shell to work with, and likely the necessary electricity and water as well.

Know Where You Are Building Your ADU

The location of your build site will also play a major role in ADU expenses. Different cities have different fees associated with building within them. Plus, knowing the exact location of your build site means you will know the type of land it is being built on. If that land is on a hill or very rocky, this can also impact the site preparation costs.

Do Your Research

Before getting an estimate, make sure you know about all the costs associated with building an ADU. The four main costs are:

  • Design and planning
  • City fees
  • Construction labor and material
  • Finish materials

Each of these categories has a variety of costs that make them up. So be sure that your estimate includes everything.

Use An ADU Calculator

To actually get your estimate, you can consider using an ADU calculator. They allow you to input the information you have gathered (the stuff above) and it will calculate out what your average costs will be. There can be some level of error here, so always plan for contingency money.

Use An ADU Professional

Your best bet is to use an ADU professional to calculate your estimate. Provide them with as much information as possible and they will be able to come up with a fairly accurate estimate for you to go off of. Many professionals offer free consultations for advisory meetings that figure out your estimates.