Author Topic: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income  (Read 1651 times)

Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« on: September 18, 2017, 03:23:16 PM »
We live in CA and our city (following the state update) passed an ordinance relaxing the regs on accessory dwelling units.  In our case we, if we build out the garage we would not have to replace the covered parking if the ADU replaces the covered parking. We were already thinking about putting in a garage apartment but it would have been weird to bump out on the driveway to build out a new garage.  The new regs make it very attractive and dead easy.  We have the space on the driveway to add a garage but due to the layout of the main house it would be really weird to add a garage and not change the main floorplan.

Our house is relatively small with a small yard so building a detached ADU is not preferred as we want to maintain the back yard we have. We don't live in a fancy neighborhood so I don't think this addition would attract a higher class of buyer, I don't think it would hurt our property value. Our main motivation is providing decent guest quarters for my mother who visits frequently and making some side income on short term rentals/airbnb. 

I am currently in the assessment phase determining how much storage/utility space we need and also doing some market research on short term rentals. 

My question is has anyone done this and what do you wish you did differently? Or do you have any general advice?  The only thread I saw about this is from 2013 so I thought it was time to create a new thread.  We are currently not looking at building up due to cost so would maintain the existing structure, just building out the inside.  Is that shortsighted because we will probably want to add on the main 1100 sf within the next 10 years?

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4030
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 08:11:51 PM »
A lot depends on your city.

* Churn credit cards. It's best if you can find a GC that lets you buy materials but, if not, it's still worth the minimums on several cards (apply for the cards after you apply for any loans, of course).

* Take pictures! When the wiring and plumbing go in the walls, take more pictures. Get your spouse or a friend to hold a tape measure in those pictures, too.

* The construction will take longer than planned due to the economy. Contractors are busy.

* Your city permitting office may be ass-backwards and a black hole of paperwork. Expect it and be pleasantly surprised if it's not.

* Get to know your architect's and/or engineer's drawings. Using a 2x10 joist instead of a 2x12 is obviously bad but a 2x12 joist instead of a 2x10 can throw everything off as well. Your GC or inspector may not notice so you'll need to pay attention.

* Shop the Habitat reStore for deals.

* Stain the slab concrete floor? It's inexpensive and durable. The concrete crew will need to know this beforehand so you can avoid extensive buffing.

* In the kitchen, put in blocking at the counter and cabinet levels. It makes installing cabinets far easier. Same with the bathroom.

* The little things add up. Make wise decisions about nice details and what sounds nice in the moment. It's easy to think, "Oh, it's only $250 more. That's nothing compared to my $100,000 budget." It's an ADU. It doesn't need granite countertops or stainless appliances.

* It's easier to run plumbing through a 2x6 wall. It's also better re:insulation.


Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 09:20:59 PM »
Thanks for the thoughtful comments! I'm also wondering what the ideal size is. We want it for my mom but also would like it to cash flow. I feel like there must be a sweet spot on investment vs rental rate.

Good idea to churn the costs!

carloco

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Location: Richmond, VA
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 05:24:51 AM »
What is "blocking at thecabinets"?

MommyCake

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 192
  • Location: NJ
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 06:35:28 AM »
Don't forget to consider the impact to your property taxes. 

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1916
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Pueblo, CO
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 10:02:09 AM »
We live in CA and our city (following the state update) passed an ordinance relaxing the regs on accessory dwelling units.  In our case we, if we build out the garage we would not have to replace the covered parking if the ADU replaces the covered parking. We were already thinking about putting in a garage apartment but it would have been weird to bump out on the driveway to build out a new garage.  The new regs make it very attractive and dead easy.  We have the space on the driveway to add a garage but due to the layout of the main house it would be really weird to add a garage and not change the main floorplan.

Our house is relatively small with a small yard so building a detached ADU is not preferred as we want to maintain the back yard we have. We don't live in a fancy neighborhood so I don't think this addition would attract a higher class of buyer, I don't think it would hurt our property value. Our main motivation is providing decent guest quarters for my mother who visits frequently and making some side income on short term rentals/airbnb. 

I am currently in the assessment phase determining how much storage/utility space we need and also doing some market research on short term rentals. 

My question is has anyone done this and what do you wish you did differently? Or do you have any general advice?  The only thread I saw about this is from 2013 so I thought it was time to create a new thread.  We are currently not looking at building up due to cost so would maintain the existing structure, just building out the inside.  Is that shortsighted because we will probably want to add on the main 1100 sf within the next 10 years?

Kauai just passed similar legislation to encourage people to build ADU's on their property to ease the affordable housing squeeze. However, long-term leases are only allowed (6 months or longer). Check with the city to make sure you can do short-term leases. They usually don't like them because it doesn't help the local residents find affordable housing.

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4030
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 11:09:53 AM »
What is "blocking at thecabinets"?

Scrap lumber (2x4+) positioned on the long side so that cabinet screws have more chances to hit wood. For example, that'd be ~54" high for the lower end of the upper cabinets.

https://bestofhouse.net/wp-content/uploads/blocking-kitchen-bath-electrical-boxes_123291.jpg

Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 05:52:32 PM »
We live in CA and our city (following the state update) passed an ordinance relaxing the regs on accessory dwelling units.  In our case we, if we build out the garage we would not have to replace the covered parking if the ADU replaces the covered parking. We were already thinking about putting in a garage apartment but it would have been weird to bump out on the driveway to build out a new garage.  The new regs make it very attractive and dead easy.  We have the space on the driveway to add a garage but due to the layout of the main house it would be really weird to add a garage and not change the main floorplan.

Our house is relatively small with a small yard so building a detached ADU is not preferred as we want to maintain the back yard we have. We don't live in a fancy neighborhood so I don't think this addition would attract a higher class of buyer, I don't think it would hurt our property value. Our main motivation is providing decent guest quarters for my mother who visits frequently and making some side income on short term rentals/airbnb. 

I am currently in the assessment phase determining how much storage/utility space we need and also doing some market research on short term rentals. 

My question is has anyone done this and what do you wish you did differently? Or do you have any general advice?  The only thread I saw about this is from 2013 so I thought it was time to create a new thread.  We are currently not looking at building up due to cost so would maintain the existing structure, just building out the inside.  Is that shortsighted because we will probably want to add on the main 1100 sf within the next 10 years?

Kauai just passed similar legislation to encourage people to build ADU's on their property to ease the affordable housing squeeze. However, long-term leases are only allowed (6 months or longer). Check with the city to make sure you can do short-term leases. They usually don't like them because it doesn't help the local residents find affordable housing.

Yes, I am looking into the local regs for short term rentals. I would actually prefer a LT rental but want to leave the option open for my mom to come stay with us. Having a permanent renter doesn't allow that. 

bacchi -- Any comments on the quality you would recommend? I've seen comments that you should not use high end finishes because its "just" and ADU but with such a small space I dont want it to be small and dumpy. 

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4030
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 12:35:07 PM »
bacchi -- Any comments on the quality you would recommend? I've seen comments that you should not use high end finishes because its "just" and ADU but with such a small space I dont want it to be small and dumpy.

That reminds me. For a small space to appear larger, give it higher ceilings.

Re:quality, I'd try to match the neighborhood. I spent more on energy efficiency than fancy-pants trim and molding and floor coverings (although I did get a great deal on hardwood from the reStore). Ikea has nice looking bathroom vanities and sinks. Skip the tub and put in a shower stall only? Kitchen cabinets from rtacabinetstore rather than semi-custom or custom cabinets (avoid MDF cabinets)?

Shrug. I did spend extra on things that I wanted, like a custom steel stair guardrail, but used a lot of can lights instead of expensive light fixtures. It's a modern look so it works.

Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: Building out a garage apartment/ADU for additional income
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2017, 10:28:49 AM »
We've been looking at the potential layout for the space and if we go with a 1BR then we have to give up our storage space. I'm not sure the delta between a nice studio and small 1BR is worth our quality of life impact. We've thought about lofting but the whole reason this is possible now is we are not looking to do any structural upgrades.  We'd have to install new footings, etc to install a loft and I want to maintain the same roof pitch/line to prevent reworking the existing roof that's in good shape.