FAQs

Learn about Remodels, Renovations, & ADUs

See commonly asked questions below.

Call us with any questions and we will be happy to help you.

What is involved in a remodel?

 REMODELLING PROCESS:

1.  INITIAL CONSULTATION: Our skilled design team will meet with you to understand your preferences, needs, and budget. We will take reference photos and measurements of the space(s) to be remodeled.

2.  DESIGN DEVELOPMENT: Our in-house team of experts will collaborate to create a design plan that meets your specifications. Once you approve the design plan, we will sign a design agreement and begin analyzing initial selections, reviewing budgets, and creating initial drawings.

3.  VENDOR DESIGN SHOWROOM VISIT:  We do provide computerized design renderings, bring color samples and meet with clients at our favorite vendors’ showrooms.  Our computerized photo-realistic rendering system will help bring your remodel vision to life, making it easy for you to visualize and make decisions. We will continue to refine the scope and budget of your project as needed.

4.  CREATION OF CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS: We will create the necessary construction plans, including floor plans, elevations, perspectives, and renderings. These documents will provide the detail necessary for us to bid on the project, estimate engineering and permit costs (if needed).

5.  DEVELOPMENT FINALIZATION: We will meet to review the final remodel design and budget. If everything is approved, we will sign the remodeling contract which includes details of materials to be used, progress payments to be made during construction, and the estimated time frame from beginning to end of your project.

6.  PRODUCTION PLANNING: Once you approve our estimate and sign the construction contract, we will begin ordering materials, allocating manpower, and creating the project schedule which includes scheduling the pre-job walk, job site prep, demolition, foundation, framing, doors/windows, electrical, plumbing/gas, drywall, siding/stucco, roofing, flooring, cabinetry, trim work, painting, and punch lists.

7.  PRODUCTION: Our team will start your remodel, following the plan and schedule, and finalize punch lists. Our detailed planning ensures a smooth remodeling experience with predictable timelines and exceeded expectations.

What is the difference between remodeling and renovating?

The terms “renovate” and “remodel” are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they have different meanings in the world of real estate, contracting, and interior design. Essentially, renovating involves restoring something to a previous state, while remodeling involves creating something new. When it comes to residential renovation, the goal is to update or tweak the original design to meet a new standard without dramatically altering the space. Renovations can range from repainting and refacing cabinets to adding finishes and fixtures. On the other hand, residential remodeling involves completely transforming the layout, structure, and style of a room to create a new look and feel. Remodeling can be as simple as installing a kitchen island or as complex as reconfiguring an entire floor plan. However, remodeling projects typically cost more than renovation projects because they involve more complex design considerations and construction, electric, and plumbing expenses. If you’re planning to renovate or remodel a room, it’s important to consult an experienced design-build contractor or architect to ensure that your project is done right the first time.

Why are ADUs increasingly popular?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have gained popularity as an affordable housing solution in California amidst rising living costs and housing demand. These smaller dwellings, commonly referred to as “granny flats” or “in-law units,” are often situated on the same property as a larger primary residence, with detached and attached units being the most common types. With limited inventory and high demand in areas such as Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, homeowners are building ADUs in their backyards, which can serve as rental properties or even second homes.

As ADUs become increasingly popular, designers need to focus on creating seamless structures that blend with existing homes. Attention to detail is key, including color, texture, and material selection, as well as external elements like lighting. Modern ADUs come equipped with energy-efficient features like solar panels, making them cost-effective and comfortable living spaces.

The popularity of ADUs in California shows no sign of slowing down, thanks to their affordability and versatility. Incentives and reduced permitting fees offered by various cities further encourage growth in this area of construction and development. Homeowners stand to benefit financially and functionally by building ADUs on their properties, with the potential for increased rental income, additional living space for extended family members, and proximity to amenities that increase resale value. With careful planning, investment in an ADU can be a wise decision.

What is the basic information you should know about ADUs?

As a design-build general contractor, we understand that homeowners may find it overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating to navigate the complex process of building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) within their city or county. We can help you understand and build an ADU while ensuring compliance with state laws. Here are some key terms and definitions related to ADUs:

  • Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU): A residential dwelling unit, attached or detached, that provides independent living facilities and is located on a lot with a proposed or existing primary residence.
  • Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU): An ADU of up to 500 square feet in size contained entirely within a single-family residence.
  • Single-family Dwelling (SFD)/Duplex: One or two dwelling units in one building, not including an ADU or JADU.
  • Multi-family Dwelling (MFD): Three or more dwelling units in one building, not including an ADU or JADU.

Other important information to consider includes limits to the number of ADUs allowed per lot, restrictions on rental terms and owner occupancy requirements, requirements for a separate entrance and bathroom, kitchen provisions, fire sprinklers, historic district review, city approval and hearings, minimum size requirements, and regulations for garage conversions and new constructions. It’s essential to be aware of these regulations to ensure compliance with state laws while building an ADU.

  1. Zoning Districts: ADUs/JADUs are allowed in residential zoning districts allowing single-family and multi-family residential uses; and where residential uses are allowed in mixed-use zoning districts, planned development districts, and specific plans.

Many cities have found loopholes around these laws and/or have adopted a local ordinance that exceeds the minimum requirements.

A garage conversion or addition?

In response to the housing crisis, California passed legislation in 2017 that made it easier to obtain permits for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which are secondary living spaces on residential properties. Most cities permit ADUs on properties zoned for single-family or multi-family residences, subject to local regulations and code violations. ADUs can be attached or detached from the main house. 

A garage conversion ADU is a popular option due to its fast construction timeline of 6-8 months with the cost of a garage conversion ADU ranging from $80,000 to $150,000 or more.

A new construction ADU, such as an addition, is a self-sufficient home that can vary in size from 150 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft., with a kitchen, living room, bathroom(s), and entry/exit doors. While a new construction ADU can increase the value of your property, it requires significant investment in terms of time and money, more than a garage conversion.  This is due to the need for new walls, flooring, and roofing construction as well as new installation of electical and plumbing.

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