9 Tips to Save on ADU Construction Costs

Abodu Unit


Aboud Team

February 16, 2022ADU Cost

Like any home project, if you cut corners while constructing your ADU, prices are bound to go up. Follow these tips during your ADU construction process to keep costs from skyrocketing.

How to save costs on your ADU

1: Select Pre-designed Units Over Custom-made Ones

Customized architectural plans may not be necessary for most homeowners. Pre-designed units are convenient, and they help to keep your cost low because contractors will already have all the materials they need to construct your ADU. Many cities in California and Washington also have pre-designed ADUs you can choose from to expedite your permitting process. Getting through the permitting process faster makes your ADU build quicker and less expansive.

2: Choose Materials Carefully

When you can, always choose affordable and durable materials. You’d be surprised how quickly your cost can rise if you choose pricey materials like marble instead of quartz. Additionally, to prevent premature renovation down the road, make sure you invest in durable materials. Quartz, for example, is more durable against stains than marble. Choosing materials that don’t last will lead to more future costs.

3: Choose Your Utilities Wisely

Go all-electric if you can. The low cost of natural gas is attractive in many regions, but extending a gas line to your ADU may be expensive. Having solar panels can also reduce the price of utilities for your ADU.

4: Only Use One Plumbing Wall in Your Layout

You can save a lot of money while constructing your ADU if you place the kitchen and bathroom next to each other. Plumbing is often expensive to install because it includes supply lines (hot and cold), waste lines, and vent lines. The farther apart your kitchen and bathroom are from one another, the more expensive plumbing installation will be.

5: Install Only One Meter

Consider splitting utility costs between the main house and your ADU if you plan on renting the ADU. If an ADU has its own electrical, water, and gas meters, it will cost you thousands of dollars extra. In light of this, it would be helpful to know what percentage of your utility bill is attributable to each unit. Installing sub-meters on the ADU utilities will solve this problem.

6: Make the Design As Simple As Possible

A good designer can work with your budget and keep costs down by simplifying your ADU’s design. There are many design options to choose from that are beautiful but not overly complicated. Don’t let your ADU contractor talk you into an overly complicated design that requires more materials than necessary. Keep things simple to keep your price low.

7: Don’t Splurge on Interior Finishes

A quick way to cause your ADU cost to go through the roof is by splurging on upscale interior finishers. If you are using your ADU as a short-term rental, there is no need to purchase the most expensive furniture you can find. Save money by going to big-box stores like Home Depot or IKEA for all your ADU furniture needs. If you plan on using your ADU as a home office, thrift stores are a great place to find well-priced office furniture.

8: Make Sure Your Contractor Is Familiar With ADU Laws

When you hire your ADU contractor, be sure they are familiar with local ADU ordinances. As ADU laws vary from city to city and county to county, be sure your contractor knows ADU laws for your area. Costs can go up quickly if your contractor spends time constructing your ADU without being familiar with local laws. Not following regulations may cause your build to last longer than intended, which in turn will raise the price of your ADU construction.

9: Going Over Your Projected Timeline

Going over your expected timeline means having to pay more than you initially expected. This is one of the most common ways ADU constructions go over budget. The longer contractors are on your property, the more likely the total cost will increase.

Build a Premium ADU With Abodu

When you purchase one of Abodu’s pre-designed ADUs, you can rest assured that there are no hidden fees. Enjoy the fastest ADU project timeline available when you work with Abodu. Enjoy one of our ADU products, which are outfitted with the highest quality finishes. There's a reason why we remain the #1 provider of prefabricated ADUs in California.

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