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Can You Build Your Own ADU Without Permits?

Your neighbors just built an ADU and you have been thinking about building one yourself. However, you are not sure about everything you will need to make it happen. Leading you to wonder “can you build your own ADU without permits.” You can not build your own ADU without acquiring permits.

You need to acquire all the proper permits before you can begin construction or you will face hefty fines and consequences.

What Happens If I Don’t Acquire Permits?

If you don’t acquire the proper permits, you could be faced with large fines, penalties, additional construction costs, and can have difficulty renting out your ADU or selling your home in the future.

Not to mention you could risk harming yourself or others if everything is not approved and up to code. When you acquire permits, they make sure everything is going to be safe for you to build. This important step could save a life if you are new to building and are not quite sure what you are doing.

What Permits Do I Need?

You will need a building permit for your ADU from your local city government. The general process to get one is to:

Submit drawings, calculations, and required documents

Plans are reviewed and sent back with instructions on how to gain compliance with codes and regulations

You will need to obtain clearance from city departments (i.e. water, power, etc.)

Plans will go through final review and permits will be issued

Obtaining clearing from city departments is very important. The last thing you want to do is bust a main water line or find out that you can’t run electricity to your ADU.

How Long Does It Take To Get Permits?

It usually takes around 2 weeks for your permits to come through. Don’t start building beforehand though. Trust us, you will regret it. You can expedite the permit process by having very detailed out plans and by meeting with local authorities to have them review them quicker. The more accurate and correct your plans are, the faster the process will go as well.

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