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Can I convert an existing structure into an ADU?

In many cases, converting an existing structure, such as a garage, a basement, or an attic, into an ADU is possible. However, you must ensure that it meets all applicable building codes and zoning regulations and that you have the necessary permits and approvals to proceed with the conversion.

Garage to ADU conversion on California hillside property

Some things to consider before converting an existing building into an ADU:

1. Zoning laws: The location and size of your property must be appropriate for an ADU and sufficient to build one according to the local zoning laws. You should also understand zoning requirements, like minimum lot size, maximum building size, and parking requirements.

2. Building codes: The proposed ADU must comply with all applicable building codes, including requirements for fire safety, structural integrity, and energy efficiency.

3. Financing: Converting an existing structure into an ADU can be a significant financial investment. Consider construction costs, materials, permits, and professional fees and determine how you will finance the project.

4. Maintenance: You will be responsible for maintaining the unit and meeting appropriate safety and health standards. This may involve regular inspections, repairs, and upgrades.

5. Tenants: If you plan to rent out the ADU, you should understand the relevant housing laws and your legal responsibilities as a landlord.

6. Impact on property value: Converting an existing structure into an ADU may affect the property's value. In some cases, a dwelling unit may decrease your home value if it negatively affects the appearance or functionality of your property.

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