Junior (ADU), also known as a secondary suite, is an independent living space less than 500 sq feet within the existing walls of a family home. These junior accessory dwelling units are similar to studio apartments but usually have a separate exterior entrance from the existing structure. Think converting a room in an accessory structure or family home into a legally rentable unit to generate revenue, and Junior ADU is your solution. Junior ADUs meet kitchen requirements and have a counter surface, storage, and separate sanitation facilities or are shared with the main house.
Construction, size, and requirements are notable differences between Junior ADU and ADU. Requirements for construction and permits are essential, but Junior ADU and ADU can exist on your property. We'll discuss each difference more in-depth to improve your knowledge:
The Junior ADU represents a miniature version of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). For example, Junior ADU has a maximum size of 500 square feet, while the accessory dwelling unit's maximum sizes are 1,200 square feet. However, property owners can expand Junior ADU's physical structure and dimensions by 150 square feet to accommodate the doorway, passage, and other areas.
Homeowners can have an 800 square feet accessory dwelling unit. You can even build two stories of accessory dwelling units in many municipalities, but Junior ADU has a height limit of 16 feet.
Owner occupancy, parking, and bathroom requirements differentiate Junior ADU and ADU. One primary requirement for Junior ADUs is owner occupancy but waved for accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The property owner may not reside on the property's site with an accessory dwelling unit, but it is necessary for a Junior ADU.
Local agencies waved owner-occupancy from January 2020 and January 2025 for ADUs. Parking is another factor that Junior ADUs do not require but depends on specific conditions for accessory dwelling units. Furthermore, standard sanitation, like a bathroom, is not necessary for Junior ADU but necessary for accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
Junior ADUs have fascinating and reasonable construction options. For example, Junior ADUs may share sanitation facilities and systems with the family home, leading to simple renovations. Furthermore, Junior ADUs can contain small appliances and have a simple kitchen design, reducing renovation and development costs.
The construction for ADUs, also known as carriage houses or garage apartments, requires plumbing, appliances, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Constructing ADUs is much more than adding a simple room to an accessory structure or family home. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) require mechanical, gas, electric, and additional housing equipment.
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The average cost for constructing a Junior ADU in Los Angeles differs for everyone as it depends on countless factors. However, the selected area size, options, and construction materials are essential when determining the cost of structuring a Junior ADU in Los Angeles. In addition, constructing a Junior ADU in Los Angeles requires local government agencies' approvals and permits.
So it costs $115,000 to $145,000 depending on requirements and homeowner needs. The construction requirements for junior accessory dwelling units include ceilings, insulation, installing HVAC, plumbing, doors, windows, flooring, and interior walls. Remember that converting a 500 square feet portion of your home is more cost-effective than transforming a garage.
Los Angeles JADU guidelines and requirements
The State of Los Angeles allows homeowners to build accessory dwelling units in single-family neighborhoods but with guidelines and requirements. The Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit has different requirements and guidelines in Los Angeles, and we will describe each below:
The Los Angeles guidelines and requirements state that Junior Accessory Dwelling Units must be within 150 square feet of a family home.
Another guideline and requirement for the Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit in Los Angeles is the bathroom. These units can share sanitation facilities with the family home or have an individual bathroom.
A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit in the city of dreams must have an entrance separate from the house. Most homeowners install entry doors on Junior Accessory Dwelling Units at the side of the house for convenience.
A Junior (ADU) in Los Angeles must have a kitchen with drain lines. The maximum requirement for Junior ADUs kitchen sink is 16" x16", while the drain line has a 1.5" maximum diameter. Furthermore, these units do not require propane gas or any appliance consuming electricity of more than 120 volts.
The guidelines for structuring a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit in Los Angeles include parking only when converting a garage. Homeowners can use the existing driveway for parking when converting an attached garage in the city.
Occupancy restrictions come with a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit in the city of dreams. It means that homeowners must reside in the Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit or the remaining parts of the family home. Furthermore, Los Angeles guidelines do not permit homeowners to rent out both spaces. However, these restrictions do not apply to housing organizations, land trusts, or governmental agencies.
Personal savings, home equity, construction, and home renovation loans are ways to finance a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit in Los Angeles. Retirement accounts, friends, and family loans are other ways to finance junior accessory dwelling units in the city of dreams. These are quick financing options that vary in interest rate. There are ways to finance a Junior ADU in Los Angeles, and we will discuss a few below:
Personal savings is an ideal way to finance a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit in Los Angeles. It involves paying for the accessory dwelling units from your savings. This option is for you if you have worked for several years and have substantial personal savings. Consider financing the Junior ADUs from your savings to cover the cost. Then, you never have to worry about construction or home renovation loans with interest.
HELOC is a revolving credit line allowing you to access funds and repay with interest. This credit line is best for homeowners needing home improvement or renovation project funds. If you have some equity on your home with an existing mortgage in Los Angeles, consider financing Junior ADUs with a home equity line of credit. These funds usually have lower interest rates and are a valuable source for homeowners in Los Angeles engaging in junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs).
This mortgage refinancing option is a loan ideal for home improvement and renovation projects. The cash-out refinance loan require a good credit score and are suitable for homeowners in the city of dreams with definite construction timelines and plans. If you want this loan for structuring a Junior ADU in Los Angeles, consider sharing your bank statements, employment history, property documents, and federal tax returns. While the cash-out refinance loan has variable interest rates, it is an ideal way to finance a Junior ADU in Los Angeles.
A home renovation loan gives you access to funds for improving, repairing, and remodeling a residential home. These loans allow you to restore and enhance your home's aesthetic appeal and retail value. Unlike traditional loan types, renovation loans are easy to secure and ideal for homeowners seeking simplicity for junior accessory dwelling units in Los Angeles. Lastly, this loan depends not on your property equity or value but your income qualifications.
Another ideal option to finance a Junior ADU in Los Angeles is a friend and family loan. It is a finance option if a relative or friend loans you money to build a junior accessory dwelling unit. You can generate revenue to repay your debts with monthly payments from renting out the space. Consider clarifying interest rates and loan terms, and schedule repayments before taking loans from friends and family for a Junior ADU in Los Angeles.
If you're within the age range and have a retirement account, consider financing your Junior ADU in Los Angeles with a loan. Engage a tax expert or certified public accountant to understand tax liabilities before taking this option. Whether or not your account has certain maximums, you need a repayment plan to prevent tax penalties.
Every homeowner constructing a Junior ADU in the city of dreams requires a permit from the local jurisdiction and state government. In addition, the decision-making standards and development process of the habitable space on your property must be subject to review and approval before construction commences. For example, if you're structuring a Junior ADU in California, the city has a standard for design, height, materials, and colors.
The commission reviews the Junior ADU compatibility with neighboring properties before approval. Furthermore, if your structure is closer to the utility easements or requires the removal of a tree, you may need additional permits. For example, a new construction more intimate to the utility easement in Los Angeles requires a permit.
If you're working with a Junior ADU designer or architect, they can figure out necessary permits, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits. Remember that the commission considers the Junior ADU permit ministerial and not subject to a hearing.
Constructing a Junior ADU in Los Angeles can take 3 to 6 months, including the architectural design plans. This is because California recently adopted a few laws that significantly changed the landscape for multifamily homes and single-family homeowners. Remember that the Junior ADU construction process and architectural plans are subject to city plan check, approval, and permit. While the city plan check for a new accessory dwelling unit in the city may take 6 to 9 months, the construction process requires 3 to 6 months.
Conducting extensive research, getting advice from knowledgeable sources, and hiring an architect or designer are a few steps to structuring a Junior ADU in Los Angeles. Furthermore, reviewing your plans and project vision before engaging Junior ADU contractors are essential steps. There are various steps to constructing a Junior ADU in the city of dreams, and we will discuss each to improve your knowledge.
When constructing a Junior ADU in Los Angeles, your first task is research. Extensively research the state requirements for building a Junior ADU on your property. Consider reading the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) handbook provided by the housing and community development in California and visit the website for additional details.
You'll learn the necessary information for zoning and development standards and a summary of California's recent Accessory Dwelling Unit Laws. Parking, size and height requirements, impact fees, bedrooms, and setbacks are other vital Junior ADU construction information in the handbook.
After researching the necessary information for constructing a Junior ADU in Los Angeles, consider seeking advice from knowledgeable sources. Discuss what you envision on your property with experienced engineers and architects and brainstorm ideas. Professional engineers are innovative and can advise you about the construction project design. Meanwhile, architects minimize the complexities in constructing a Junior ADU, help with visual appearance planning, and give you clarity. Remember that the city rules are essential, so engage the housing and community development officials for proper guidance. After researching the requirements, you'll learn a lot by seeking advice from these knowledgeable sources.
Now that you have the necessary information about construction laws with advice from knowledgeable sources, it's time to hire a designer or architect. Before submitting your plans to the City Department of Building and Safety for approval, get an experienced designer or architect to draft them.
Consider hiring an experienced architect to draft your plans and send them to the Building and Safety Department. This department evaluates your draft and schedules a plan check to ensure you build well, safely, and fast in the city of Los Angeles. While these plans come at a cost depending on your needs, they are essential to your Junior ADU construction success in the city of dreams.
After finalizing your project vision and plans for the Junior ADU construction with an architect or designer, it's time for review. Consider reviewing the Junior ADU construction in Los Angeles checklist with your contractor. Review the utilities, kitchen, and bathroom sections for new gas, water, sewer gas lines, countertops, toilet, shower tile, and plumbing.
Furthermore, review the roofing and structural design, interior doors and fixtures, and finishes for skylights, waterproofing, and interior and exterior flooring. Ensure all materials fit into your vision before finalizing plans. Experienced contractors can review your plans and advice on utilities, estimated costs, and design and location constraints.
After thoroughly reviewing your project vision with experienced engineers, architects, and Junior ADU contractors, consider finalizing paperwork for construction. Skilled Junior ADU contractors often detail the project estimate cost after getting the plan approval from the Los Angeles building
department. Remember that the Los Angeles building department must review and approve your plans before construction. So after getting the necessary approvals and permissions from the commission, it's time to sign a Junior ADU construction agreement with your contractor.
A private bathroom is not required for Junior ADU, but the living space can have a separate bathroom or share bathing facilities with the existing structure. While primary home and living necessities are necessary for homeowners constructing Junior ADUs in California, a private bathroom is optional.
If you rent a Junior ADU and do not want to share bathing facilities with the family home, consider asking for a separate bathroom. Furthermore, Junior ADUs laws in Los Angeles allow standard sanitation practices to make the space comfortable and habitable.
A full kitchen in a Junior ADU is optional, but the rentable space on your property has required kitchen features. A Junior ADU can share kitchen facilities with the existing structure, but providing a kitchen for the habitable room becomes necessary if the reverse is the case.
Furthermore, if you're constructing a Junior ADU in the city of dreams according to the state laws, it requires efficient cooking facilities.
While a Junior ADU in Los Angeles must have a separate entrance and bathroom from the existing structure, cooking space and utensils are necessary. Countertops for food preparation and appliance, maximum diameter sink drain, cabinets, and refrigerator storage are necessary cooking facilities for a Junior ADU.
Homeowners associations manage residential communities with rules and regulations but cannot stop you from constructing a Junior ADU in California. These associations protect residents and properties in communities and have no right to prevent constructing a junior accessory dwelling unit in the City of Los Angeles.
While homeowners associations can place reasonable restrictions on your Junior ADU, California law invalidates their rules and protects your building rights. Your Junior ADU construction plan requires approval and permits from the government and not from homeowners associations.
A junior ADU on a single-family home or accessory structure increases property taxes according to tax laws guiding the city of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Tax Collector states that anything that increases your property value will affect your property taxes. Therefore, structuring a Junior ADU on your accessory structure in Los Angeles increases the property value and slightly raises the property tax.
A Junior ADU triggers an assessment, and the commission evaluates the new living space with your primary home with the renovation or additional costs after completion. After your property assessment, the government introduces a slight increase in your property tax bill. Remember that the property tax can increase over time but not more than 2% annually.
For example, if the Junior ADU costs $279,000 and increases your property taxes by 1%, you'll pay an additional $233 monthly and $2,790 annually. While the increase in value affects property taxes, it is a win for homeowners generating a passive income with the habitable space. The rental fee is more substantial than additional property taxes if you're generating a passive income by renting out the Junior ADU.
Finding remodeling contractors with excellent design experience and craftsmanship for constructing Junior ADUs challenges many homeowners in Los Angeles. Instead of relying on family and friends or regular engineers for the construction project, consider engaging a professional remodeler.
Experience and knowledge are essential when constructing a Junior ADU in Los Angeles, making Structura Remodeling your best option. This construction company is home to experience remodeling contractors with a track record of excellence in constructing Junior ADUs and other projects in Los Angeles.
If you want to introduce a Junior ADU to your existing family home in Los Angeles, Structura Remodeling is your solution. From supplies to design to construction permits and approval, Structura Remodeling professional contractors are experienced and proactive. These professionals create excellence with experience and can be your go-to source for everything. Structura Remodeling contractors provide meticulous and incredibly hands-on customized servicing from Junior ADU planning to construction to exceed your expectations. You never have to worry about constructing Junior ADU or finding supplies in the city of dreams, as Structura Remodeling contractors are very professional and dependable. We can make your Junior ADU approval, permit, and construction dreams a reality and ensure your project stays on schedule and within the estimated budget.