Step 4: Designing your backyard home

Designing a backyard ADU is both hard and fun. Hard – because a lot of costs for an ADU go into very unexciting line items like engineering, foundation or utilities. Fun – because you can make the interior look the way you want – the percentage of the budget that is going into interior finishes that you will end up looking at is typically less than 10%. Were you dreaming of glass tiles in a bathroom? Or black marble as a kitchen countertop? Bright red accent wall? Or just all white interior?

Check out these backyard ADUs. See anything you like? We can get it built for you – and add any interior finishes that you fancy.

Google gives you close to 1 million results for “an ADU builder near me” search, it has mercy in San Jose – just 313,000+ results. But then goes all out in Campbell – 1,110,000+ results.

Looking to find the right builder for your backyard ADU? Interested in some guided selection that will give you vetted options for Bay Area builders that actually had built ADUs? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so it’s worth going through the strengths and weaknesses of the best in the business.

There is no perfect contractor (who is perfect?), but there is a perfect match.

The construction of backyard ADU is similar to other construction projects and you need to go through all the documentation requirements. Getting your building permit is a necessary expense, and it may cost from $ 20,000 to $30,000.

Getting your building permit is one of the things you do in your pre-construction phase. 

This is what we typically cover at this phase of the ADU project:

  • Study of feasibility and ordinances
  • Surveying the site
  • Creating the architectural drawings
  • Preparation of the structural calculations and drawings
  • Grading and drainage planning
  • Making energy calculations
  • Paying city fees for obtaining licenses & permits etc

You have to comply with all the state and city requirements to have your backyard ADU permit approved. Make sure you select a professional who knows their ADUs.

Remember, you cannot save money during construction. You can only do it at pre-construction phase. Is your professional motivated to build to budget? Does your professional know the costs to build?

If the phrase above sounds baffling, please talk to us, so we could explain how some early design decisions drive the costs up at construction stage. Your backyard ADU does not need to cost a fortune.