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ADU units are big news for homeowners, all you need to know is right here!

It is a glaring fact that a deep housing shortage in San Jose and California as a whole, is driving up property values as well as rents, but thankfully, the in-law unit which was often overlooked, is offering a potential solution to homeowners, and real estate experts, ADU units.

With lots of people already living in ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) otherwise known as granny flats and back houses, a new California law enacted in 2016, now makes the construction of these small residential places easier and more straightforward.

Accessory dwelling units provide an avenue for homeowners to generate rental income, and it also serves as a way for renters to have access to low-cost housing.

Homeowners in San Jose looking for home addition and custom homes, an ADU units provides an excellent way for them to actualize their goals and targets.

We’ve highlighted a couple of information about ADUs that will be beneficial to people who are thinking of moving into one, building one, or carrying out both.

The impact of California Law on ADU Units

California state law now allows homeowners to construct ADUs as long as there is sufficient space for it in their property.

The law now makes it easy to navigate through local regulations that might have hindered the authorization of the task in the past because of the additional requirements and complications they bring up.

The new state law now makes it easy for homeowners across the state of California to obtain permits for their Accessory dwelling unit from their respective city, and county offices.

The new laws favor homeowners in San Jose and all of California by preventing local government from slowing down the process of homeowners who want to use a reliable construction and remodeling company like Oria Builders for their ADU construction.

View it this way; the state laws help to expedite, the approval process of the ADU units construction, remove any secondary hook-up cost faced by property owners and also the removal of parking requirements for ADUs positioned close to public transit lines

Types of ADU

To be legally classified as an ADU unit, space must be a separate independent living area which must have its own bathroom, and a kitchen for one or more persons to stay in. Although an ADU can be rented out, t cannot be sold separately from the primary living residence.

There are three types of ADU Units:

  1. Attached
  2. Detached
  3. Repurposed existing space
  4. Attached

An attached ADU is joined to the principal residence of the property, in other words, both share a significant roof structure or a wall. As such, an attached ADU has to follow specific zoning limitation.

  • Detached

A detached unit, on the other hand, is detached entirely from the main property of residence.

Except the detached ADU units are built into an existing garage, there were some certain setback requirements faced by the unit. Also, a detached granny flat needs its own new utility connections.

The law states that fees have to be in accordance with the size of the ADU. Homeowners in San Jose should know that a newly built detached ADU, has to be a single story measuring less than 18 feet.

  • Repurposed Existing Space

This is an ADU that is built inside an existing space in a primary residence. It can be in the form of a bonus room transformed into a studio.

The law doesn’t require a new utility connection for Repurposed existing spaces.

Size specifications for ADU Units

Under the law, the size of a granny flat attached to the house has limitation of half the size of the existing residence. Detached ADUs have that their own size requirements.

  • ADUs shall have a maximum size of 800 square feet for lots with over 10,000 square feet.
  • ADUs shall have a maximum size of 650 square feet for lots size between 9,0001 square feet to 10,000 square feet.
  • ADUs shall have a maximum size of 600 square feet for lots size between 5,445 square feet to 9,000 square feet.

Homeowners should know that ADUs with size less than 800 square feet are allowed one-bedroom while those with sizes of 800 square feet and above can have two bedrooms.


At Oria Builders, we know the ordinances as regards the San Jose area, and this makes us the right fit for your accessory dwelling units construction.

If you are looking for a reliable construction company in San Jose for your ADU units construction, look no further than Oria Builders, as we’ve got you covered for all your granny flat needs.

Don’t let the technical language ring the alarm bells, Oria Builders knows the specifications, requirements, and ordinances in San Jose.

Our team of reliable Contractors will help you to select the perfect ADU that meets your specifications, and at the same time, we ensure we meet all the city requirements and guidelines.

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