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Unlocking the Potential of Your Property: A Quick Guide to Building ADUs in Sacramento

Updated: Jan 23

Welcome to the World of ADUs in Sacramento!

Hello there! Are you considering adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to your property? Well, you've come to the right place! Let's dive into what an ADU is and how you can make this dream a reality in our lovely city of Sacramento.

Understanding ADUs: More Than Just Extra Space

First up, what exactly is an ADU? Think of it as a mini-home on your property. It could be a part of your main house or a completely separate unit. These units are perfect for living, sleeping, eating – you name it. Just remember, while you can rent them out, selling them separately from your main house is a no-go.

How Many ADUs Can You Build?

In Sacramento, you're allowed up to two ADUs on your lot. Whether they're attached to your home or stand alone, the total size for detached ADUs can't exceed 1,200 square feet. For example, you could have one 400 square feet ADU and another of 800 square feet. Just make sure to check the zoning requirements for the specifics!

Size Matters: How Big Can Your ADU Be?

Size does matter when it comes to ADUs. For detached ones, you're looking at a max of 1,200 square feet. If you're attaching the ADU to your main residence, it can be half the size of your primary home or up to 850 square feet, whichever is larger. And if you're thinking of adding two or more bedrooms, you can go up to 1,000 square feet. Just be sure to follow all the building codes!

Planning and Building: Getting Your ADU Off the Ground

Before you start building, you need a green light from the Planning Division. You can submit your plans electronically or the traditional paper way. Make sure your plans are detailed and meet the size requirements. If you're demolishing something to make space, don't forget to get approval for that too!

Addressing and Safety: Making It Official

Each ADU needs its own address. If your ADU faces an alley without proper signage, it's your job to fix that. Fire safety is crucial too. There are specific rules about when ADUs need fire sprinklers, so be sure to check those out.

Utilities and Solar Power: The Essentials

You don't need a separate water meter for your ADU, but do check in with the City's Department of Utilities for any specifics. And with California's sunny days, you might need to consider solar panels however, AE Drafting has ways around this with the new 2022 Title 24 code. Consult a pro to see if your ADU falls under these requirements.

Costs and Impact: What to Expect

Building an ADU isn't free, but there's some good news. For ADUs under 750 square feet, impact fees are waived. For larger ones, fees do apply. You can get an estimate of the costs from the Building Division. Also, remember to check with your local school district about any applicable fees.

Your ADU Adventure Awaits!

Embarking on the journey of building an ADU in Sacramento is not just about adding space; it's an opportunity to enhance your lifestyle. Whether it's generating extra income, creating a cozy home office, or providing a private space for family members, an ADU offers versatile solutions tailored to your needs. This approach turns your property into a multifaceted asset, reflecting the dynamic ways we live and work today. Remember, these ADUs not only provide extra living space but also enrich our community's diversity and housing options. So, if you're ready to expand your home's potential, or have any questions contact AE Drafting LLC. Happy building!

You can download the Sacramento ADU Guidelines below:

Download PDF • 155KB


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