ADU Location Regulations: Distance Rules & Consequences in San Diego

If you’re considering building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), it’s important to make sure your plans are up to code. Accidentally building the unit in the wrong location could lead to major problems later on. The pros from Forever Builders, the best remodeling company in San Diego, explain what you need to know when you’re trying to create the ideal ADU for your property. 

ADUs Need a Certain Amount of Setback

San Diego doesn’t have any rules about the maximum distance between the main house and the ADU. However, it does have rules about the minimum distance between the two buildings. If your ADU isn’t attached to your main house, it needs at least four feet of space along the rear and side walls of the building. This stops the spread of fires and makes it easier to put them out. 

San Diego also has laws about how far back the ADU needs to be from the front of the property line. This distance changes based on your zoning, so you’ll need to see what the required front yard setbacks are for your location.

The Distance of Your ADU Affects Its Size

Another reason to pay close attention to the distance between your house and your ADU is that it affects the size of the unit. San Diego has different sizing rules for attached and detached ADUs. 

An ADU that’s attached to your primary residence can only be 50 percent of the total size of the house. Meanwhile, a detached ADU can be up to 1,200 square feet regardless of the size of the primary unit. As long as your home is less than 3,000 square feet, making sure to build a detached ADU will allow you to create a larger unit.

There Are Real Consequences for Ignoring Building Codes

If your building plans don’t meet San Diego code requirements, it might be tempting to ignore the law and build it yourself. However, this is a very bad idea. San Diego can fine noncompliant property owners up to $10,000 per year until the issue is fixed. Since there’s no easy fix for an ADU in the wrong location, the only way to resolve the issue is to remove the ADU and rebuild it in the proper spot. Furthermore, having an unapproved ADU on your property may make it difficult or impossible to insure your property or sell it to someone else. Taking the time to pick the right location saves you a lot of hassle in the future.

Make Sure to Get Professional Input

Navigating all the different building codes of California and San Diego can be tricky. Laws are constantly changing, and making a mistake can be quite costly. This is why it’s essential to consult with professional contractors instead of trying to do a DIY project. They have plenty of experience handling building regulations, so they can ensure your ADU ends up in a good location.When you’re ready to add an ADU to your home, make sure to hire the best contractors in the business. The team from Forever Builders are the experts in home remodeling Southern California homeowners can trust to provide the most affordable services and ensure their visions become reality. From design to completion, we’ll help you create the home you’ve always wanted, meeting all your expectations while keeping your costs within budget. To find out more about our outstanding remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today.

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