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What Type of ADU Build is Right for You?

Regarding ADUs, the legislation got introduced in California in 2017 in response to the housing crisis. It made it considerably more convenient than it had previously been to approve building accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The goal was to build ADUs without upsetting neighborhoods or redeveloping existing properties to make the most of the current infrastructure. ADUs can be installed in San Diego on land that is zoned for either single-family homes or multi-family complexes (depending on the local legislation). However, a lot has to be code-compliant to be eligible for a city permit.

Most prominent and experienced San Diego ADU builders, like ADU contractors, have availed this opportunity. Consequently, more and more San Diego property owners are inclined towards ADU construction rather than buying new properties.

The word “accessory dwelling unit,” or ADU, is somewhat general because there are several types of ADUs that one can imagine. However, for the most part, you need to know that some ADUs are attached to existing structures while others are installed on separate lots. For more information about ADUs, you may visit ADU Contractors website. It will help you a lot!

The Most Suitable Types of ADU

Multiple businesses in San Diego specialize in ADU installation as granny flats have become more popular. Most homeowners are unaware that renowned construction firms like ADU Contractors usually focus on a certain kind of ADU development. Of course, there are other techniques to build the tiny granny apartment in your backyard.

Prefab ADUs, particularly modular or panelized prefabs, are an excellent alternative to the conventional stick-built ADU. Besides, you might have even spotted some construction businesses experimenting with 3D-printed granny flats!

Here are the details of some of the distinguished ADUs which have become popular among San Diego property owners:

Prefabricated Building Process

There are two different prefabricated construction methods.

  1. Modular Construction

Using this technique, the entire ADU is manufactured in a factory, shipped to your backyard, and then raised atop the pre-constructed foundation. The manufacturers build the ADUs in the form of box-like modules that have attached floors, walls, ceilings, plumbing, and interior fittings. Then modules are lifted by a crane and set on the respective property foundation.

  1. Panelized Construction

The second prefab building technology is panelized construction. In this case, the framing package is manufactured in a factory and delivered to the construction site for assembly. There are a few dimensions in that panelized construction, which is distinct from modular construction.

  • When it comes to panelized construction, manufacturers only create the outside shell of the ADUs at the factory. The interior is then disassembled into flat panels, which are stacked on a flatbed. Similar to how modules are put together during modular construction, these panels are put together on a pre-built foundation.
  • Panelized prefabs do not contain the assembly of the interior and exterior finishes, unlike modular prefabs. Also, they don’t have other components installed, including plumbing. After the panels have been commissioned on-site, only then these finishes get implemented.
  • Methodologies such as panelized and modular are valued differently. Conventional site-built homes will appraise similarly to panelized homes, although modular homes will often get evaluated at lower prices.
  • Modular cannot be modified. A few different floor designs are available to you, but you cannot upgrade the walls, doors, or windows. A kitchen or bathroom cannot be moved either.
  • Several homeowners adore panelized because it allows them to fully customize the ADU. Besides, they still enjoy some of the financial advantages of having the framing package manufactured in a factory.

Stick-Built ADU Building Process

The third technique is stick-built, which is primarily an alternative to the first two prefab techniques. Traditionally, a stick-built ADU apartment is constructed on the spot. Wood is used to manufacture this category of the apartment. It’s usually built on-site in a property backyard. The majority of San Diego homeowners prefer the stick-build style since they are less knowledgeable about other construction techniques.


The three primary ADU construction methods are stick-builds, panelized prefabs, and modular prefabs. Although stick-builds and prefabs have unique advantages, prefabs ADUs are gaining popularity in the San Diego ADU domain. Request a free quote from ADU Contractors if you’re interested in adding a granny flat to your property backyard and need guidance!

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