5 Ways to Customize Your Prefab ADU in California

Natural light panning into the Abodu studio featuring a kitchenette, grain cabinetry, chrome fixtures, and sleek appliances.


November 1, 2023Backyard Living

Blending timeless design and comfort, a custom ADU from Abodu enables homeowners to maximize their property’s potential with a tailor-made living space.

Choose from a variety of customizable design options—such as high-quality interior and exterior finishes, as well as a selection of floor plans, from studios to two-bedroom layouts—to craft your ideal accessory dwelling unit.

Designed and assembled off-site, prefab ADUs have a streamlined building process in a dedicated production space, minimizing disruptions to your daily life and reducing the overall ADU project time. When you partner with Abodu, your new ADU can be ready in as soon as nine months.

This is faster than standard ADUs which are typically constructed on-site from the ground up and can take a year or more to complete. For a seamless customer experience from the initial free consultation to final delivery and installation, Abodu prefab ADUs are a win-win.

5 best ways to customize your ADU

As one of the leading custom ADU builders in California, Abodu offers an impressive selection of pre-approved ADU plans and premium finishes. Check out five ways you can tailor your new ADU during the design process:

1. Choose the interior layout: Collaborate with the ADU design team to craft a functional and efficient space that features the ideal number of bedrooms and bathrooms for your intended use. For example, a studio prefab ADU could be great as a home office, while a two-bedroom, two-bathroom rental unit can comfortably accommodate a small family.

2. Select high-quality finishes and materials: Personalize your new ADU by picking finishes and materials that align with your style. From fixtures to cabinetry, flooring, and appliances, you can choose from so many different ADU configurations to create a space that’s uniquely yours.

3. Save energy with sustainable features: Reduce your environmental footprint and lower utility costs with energy-efficient features like LED lighting and appliances. Plus, the standard glass entry door that comes with Abodu base models makes it easy to take advantage of natural light, and solar panels are also available as an add-on.

4. Maximize outdoor space: Think about how you want to use the outdoor space around your new ADU. Add on a private deck or increase accessibility with a ramp. And take landscaping into account as well—perhaps you can work with a general contractor to install fire features or artificial turf.

5. Don’t forget the extras: Consider convenient add-ons like a Murphy bed or a bench with built-in storage for extra space. Additionally, accent lighting for cabinets and concrete pendant lights can add a decorative touch and illuminate any custom home.

How much does a prefab ADU cost in California?

For a California homeowner, the median cost for ADU construction is around $250 per square foot or $150,000 for a 600-square-foot unit, according to research conducted by the Center for Community Innovation at UC Berkeley.

However, keep in mind that many factors influence the overall cost of a prefab ADU, which include local permitting fees, labor costs, and materials used for custom ADU designs. High-end upgrades and add-ons can also impact the price tag.

Fortunately, reputable ADU builders like Abodu are transparent with project expenses, providing homeowners with upfront pricing and in-house financing options. Abodu prefab ADU options start at just $228,800 with no hidden costs.

What are the benefits of building an ADU?

Offering a wealth of perks, accessory dwelling units are multipurpose custom homes. Make the most of your ADU as a flexible WFH space, a personal gym, or even a cozy granny flat for relatives living out their golden years.

Not to mention, when you add an Abodu ADU to your home, you can:

  • Increase property value: A custom ADU can boost your real estate’s value by 30%, making it a smart investment in the long run.

  • Generate passive income: Renting out an ADU in California can yield substantial rental income, especially in high-cost areas with limited affordable housing options.

  • Enjoy flexible usage: Transform your ADU into a guest house, a home office, a full-time living space for family members, or something else entirely.

  • Address the housing shortage: By opening up housing opportunities, ADUs help alleviate housing shortages in densely populated metros like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

  • Experience sustainable living: Many ADU builders design modular homes with sustainability in mind by using eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient appliances.

Ultimately, possibilities abound when you enhance your property with a versatile accessory dwelling unit.

What are the requirements for building an ADU in California?

While different jurisdictions throughout the state have their own regulations in place for the ADU building process, all ADUs must be self-contained living spaces with a fully functional kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.

The following are some of the general requirements for a prefab ADU in California, which may vary depending on local ordinances:

  • Zoning: Homeowners can build an ADU in most residential zones, though there may be restrictions related to lot size or proximity to public transit.

  • Size: For a detached ADU, it’s common for 1,200 square feet to be the upper limit, but local agencies may set size restrictions exceeding this number.

  • Setbacks: Likewise, individual city planning divisions can dictate how far an ADU should be situated from the property boundaries.

  • Parking: In many cases, a new ADU within a half-mile of public transit does not need its own parking space.

  • Utilities: Separate utility connections are not always required for ADUs, but the custom home must have access to essential utilities like water and electricity.

It’s worth noting that attached ADUs, like a garage conversion, often have a distinct set of requirements that differ from freestanding units.

Explore Abodu's customization options

Between airy studios and spacious two-bedroom units, Abodu’s range of prefab ADUs is unmatched. Design a timeless custom ADU that resonates with your distinct preferences and lifestyle, whether you’re dreaming of a dedicated workspace or an accessible in-law suite.

Let the Abodu team manage your new ADU project every step of the way, from acquiring permits to crane-delivering your new ADU. Embrace the Abodu experience and reimagine what your backyard can be. Book a call or showroom tour today.

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