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Pre-approved ADU Plans: What You Should Know

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The creation of architectural plans is one of the initial investments. This can seem daunting to many of us. You need to think about your living expenses. It is essential to consider both short-term and longer-term needs for this investing time.

Planning is a process that involves both time and costs. Plans start from $5,000. The cost of surveying the site, drainage evaluations, engineering, and septic will add to the timeline and increase costs. The timeframes can be long. The survey and design services required to complete the plan take several weeks. The local building department takes several months. According to the current ordinance, this deadline must be met in sixty days.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the situations you need to consider in your quest to employ the use of a pre-approved plan to construct your ADU. This would include a few recommendations here and there to help guide you through this journey.

Savings on ADU Pre-Approved Plans: A Fallacy?

Pre-approved designs can save homeowners thousands of bucks. This allows them to offer much lower fees for ADU design approvals. Pre-approved plans can also help save time for architects and designers. Choosing a preapproved design can also reduce costs when designing your ADU.

This is not true for all preapproved plans. Some are designed to be urban utopias, with unrealistic designs and features that do not fit your budget or space. Suppose your ideal ADU is smaller and more efficient. In that case, you may save money by customizing and soliciting the services of an all-around ADU services provider, such as Acton ADU Construction. There are always savings to be made on finishing, but these options aren’t part of the pre-approved plan program.

Check With Your Vendor

Of course, before you begin to work with any approved ADU vendor, your first step will be to select one of their plans after you must have settled on what vendor you would like to employ their services. You may need to speak with several vendors about their pricing and installation options. Also, their role in submitting plans for approval and securing building permits. You must have the license pulled by the contractor or vendor. This protects the professional service’s liability for the work.

What Modifications Can I Make to a Pre-Approved ADU Plan?

Many cities have pre-approved plans that allow homeowners to make minor modifications to existing designs. San Jose, for example, will enable homeowners to move one load-bearing structure or beam and up to twenty-five percent of the non-structural changes to their preferred ADU design. So you could say it is heavily contingent upon that city’s requirements.

These options include large windows, exterior modifications, and other customizations to make your ADU/JADU feel like a home. However, you cannot add additional square footage to your home office or dining room that was not included in the original plan. Your original preapproved program should consist of ample living space or a wrap-around patio if these are essential to your ADU dreams.

The benefits of designer-owned plan programs are unmatched when it comes to maintaining preapproval status while making minor modifications, and they also allow for easy maintenance. Working with the designer who has the plans makes it easy to quickly draft the variations and submit the strategies to the city. Working with city-owned projects that the city has approved might mean going back to the original architects to make changes or find a completely new architect.

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