Building a Granny Unit (ADU) is a big project. It is just like building an entire house- just smaller and in your backyard. It is a complicated affair and it is easy to make mistakes.
One cautionary tale comes from the Martel Family who wanted to build their own Granny Unit for their autistic son. They wanted to ensure their son’s future without depending on institutional housing.
They did their research and then refinanced their home to obtain the funds. Unfortunately, miscalculations, delays, and increases in supplies and labor caused them to run out of money before the project was complete. They have an uninhabitable ADU and a lot of extra debt. It is a sad, but common experience.
You can avoid the Martel Family mistakes with a few simple tips.
Avoid Big Granny Unit Mistakes
Many homeowners skip important steps when preparing to build a Granny Unit. They start on the internet and fixate on ADUs that look appealing. Or they make the mistake of using price per square foot as a way of selecting an ADU contractor.
Both of these steps are important, but if you skip the important steps that should happen first, your ADU project might turn into a money pit.
How Will You Use Your Granny Unit?
You probably have a specific reason for building a granny unit, but did you know these reasons can impact a lot of the choices you can make?
For example, if you are building a Granny Unit for, you know, GRANNY, you want a high-quality home that is safe and energy-efficient. In an ideal world, you will want at least a one-bedroom ADU or larger. You’ll probably want the ADU to orient to your own home to create a family compound effect.
But, if you are looking to maximize your cash flow on a rental you might look for the most cost-effective Granny Unit. The size will depend on market rents in your area vs the cost of the unit. And, you’ll want to position and landscape to create as much privacy and separation as possible. Bonus Read: How Much Will My ADU Cash Flow?
A word to the wise. Your Backyard Dwelling should last for decades. Make sure you think beyond your immediate need. Granny won’t always be with you or you might crave more space and privacy as you get older. Buying the highest quality design and construction quality is always a good idea.
Examine Your Granny Unit Financing Options
Now that you have a mental picture of how it will be used it is time to determine the budget for building your Granny Unit.
Most people need financing, but even those who can pay cash should do their research.
You can review our article on How To Finance Your ADU for information on ADU Financing options. If you are a senior (55+) you have additional options covered in our post, How Retirees Finance Their ADUs. The White House is strongly supporting new financing options, so be sure to bookmark our site or sign up for our newsletter for updates!
Convenience Or Custom?
Building a granny unit is exactly the same as building an entire house. You can’t skip any of the steps just because it is smaller. (That is why smaller is more expensive per square foot than a large home- the base costs are spread out over a smaller number of square feet.)
Most people think building a home from scratch is too much – the process seems overwhelming and the potential for BIG mistakes is frightening. It is a mistake to think that building a granny unit is any different.
A custom built ADU or backyard dwelling is like building a custom built home. You must be prepared for a lot of decisions, the timeline and final price is highly unpredictable, and you will need to sacrifice your time and energy over many months to as long as two years to manage all of the moving parts. On the other hand your granny unit will be uniquely tailored to your needs and property.
The most convenient method for building a granny unit is prefab. Our designers will help you pick a model and options that fit your needs and budget- and then you just sit back and relax. We take care of everything from design to permits, from logistics to finishes. The entire process takes about nine months and that includes just 6 weeks of active construction time in your yard.
Choose ADU DIGGS For Your Granny Unit
ADU DIGGS delivers and installs quality prefab Backyard Dwellings (ADUs) that are delivered to your home 90% complete and installs in just a few weeks. Families and individuals living in established neighborhoods love our homes because our styles blend with their existing homes.
An ADU DIGGS is perfect for providing quality housing for seniors and other family members. We are sustainably built and energy efficient.
Ready for a friendly chat to explore our options? Click here to get started.