A Maxable site evaluation is a FastPass to understanding your property’s accessory dwelling unit potential! 

While most Californians have heard about the state’s groundbreaking 2020 ADU laws, few have the design, permitting, and construction expertise to research all the regulations that apply to their particular property.

The state law sets maximum and minimum requirements, but within your jurisdiction, there can be lots of wiggle room or additional rules you need to be aware of. For the average homeowner, digging out this info is time-consuming, confusing, and stressful. 

A site evaluation deletes the stress and reveals the possibilities.

Your ADU consultant does the research for you

When you book a site evaluation, an ADU consultant will research the accessory dwelling unit opportunities for your specific lot and jurisdiction. 

Your options are different depending on whether you own a single-family home, a duplex, or multi-family housing.

Ordinances and Overlays

Accessory dwelling units are subject to local ordinances and overlays, regulations that are enacted by jurisdictions or neighborhoods. Some have to do with the land itself: hillside, coastal, and high-fire areas have different rules. 

Historic districts may have specific design regulations. Some neighborhoods have passed FAR (floor-area ratio) overlays that allow you to build larger than the minimum state standards for your lot—info that can expand your options.

The number of stories you can build often depends on local regulations, which might allow you to build higher than the state’s minimum. Say hello to that loft!

Utility Review

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Many homeowners don’t understand how utilities can affect their ADU construction options. A site evaluation gives you that info so you don’t waste time contemplating ideas that might not work on your lot.

A big factor to consider when planning an ADU is that its location may depend on where power lines run across your property. 

Different utility companies have different rules about how close you can build to their power poles and lines. Some require you to get an encroachment permit to build within their access easement. You need to know this before you start planning your ADU.

The sewer line is another important factor. There are special regulations regarding where the ADU’s sewer line can tie into your home’s lateral sewer line, and this can impact your budget.

More and more jurisdictions are requiring all-electric ADUs, and you need to know if you live in one that does. You may want solar panels, but you also may be required to install them.  We’ll find out and let you know.

We’ll provide you with a site report that lists all this vital info about your property along with parking, setback, and size limits specific to your lot.

The best ADU for your property

There are so many great options for building accessory dwelling units, and more are popping up every month.

Does a garage conversion work best for your lot, or would a stand-alone ADU make more sense for your family in the long run?  Should you consider a prefab? How large should you build? 

Our experience designing and building accessory dwelling units and our work with thousands of homeowners give us a depth of knowledge that will help you make important decisions like these. 

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What kind of accessory dwelling unit can you afford?

An especially valuable aspect of our site evaluation is the insight we provide about design, permitting, and construction costs.

These costs, especially permitting, can seem mysterious to people who have never built a home. Construction costs are a moving target. When you meet with your ADU consultant, they’ll let you know whether the amount you have in mind aligns with current costs.

We can also connect you with lenders who have experience funding accessory dwelling units. As a construction category, the ADU space is rapidly evolving. Our lending partners know how to properly appraise ADU projects and structure loan and refi packages that take advantage of the new financial products being developed to help homeowners build more housing.  

Legalizing unpermitted accessory dwelling units

Your neighborhood probably has dozens of unpermitted ADUs, the legacy of a hostile building environment and severe housing crunch in California. 

Many of the folks who book site evaluations with us want to know if we can help them legalize their unpermitted units. Yes! We can connect you with design partners who have lots of experience with this process.

The peace of mind our clients get knowing they can rent out a legal ADU and not worry about a possible lawsuit is priceless!

Introducing our amazing designers 

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During your 30-minute virtual site evaluation, we’ll go over all the research we’ve done for your property. We’ll also ask you about your style, budget, and how you plan to use the accessory dwelling unit.

Then we’ll connect you with an architectural designer hand-picked from our heavily vetted network. We use data from hundreds of projects and our own expertise to find a match who’s right for your style, project, and budget.  

We’ll send you the designer’s portfolio and make an introduction. In just 30 minutes, you’re suddenly on track to achieving your ADU dreams!

Maxable is California’s leading ADU marketplace. After writing state laws, educating thousands of homeowners, and completing hundreds of site evaluations and ADU projects, we know accessory dwelling units better than anyone else! Get in touch when you’re ready to find out the next steps for your project.

Maxable makes planning, hiring, and building your accessory dwelling unit simple

Want to explore your options on how to get started on your ADU? Our team is here to connect you to the best local designers and builders for your ADU project. It all begins with a free ADU Planning Phone Call. Talk to you soon!