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January 2023

© Max Vakhtbovych Photo

What is an ADU?

What is an ADU? 1155 765 Tessa Maristela
Photo Credit to © Max Vakhtbovych

Demand for housing in California is at a steep incline in ratio to its production rate. The fraction of houses built is less than 50% of what has been necessary in the last ten years. The increasingly unfulfilled demand forcibly influences housing costs, which consequently collide with affordability, and becomes a challenge to renters and homeowners alike.

An ADU is an alternative housing that addresses these challenges and provides benefits that both renters and homeowners can enjoy. ADUs stretch the bracket of housing categories to increase the endorsement of affordable housing for renters, while providing supplemental income and value to a homeowner’s property with extra square footage.


An ADU or accessory dwelling unit is an additional living space to a primary residence that provides self-sustaining amenities. Utilities are conventionally connected to the single-family structure within the property. An ADU has its own kitchen, living/dining room, bedroom, bathroom and an exclusive entrance.

ADUs have a few diversities:

  • Detached: The unit is not connected to the main house. It could be a new building or a detached garage conversion.
  • Attached: The unit is an attached first floor/second-story addition to the main house.
  • Converted Interior Space: Also known as a JADU (junior accessory dwelling unit), the space is an existing part of the primary residence converted into an independent living unit. An attached garage, attic apartment or master bedroom are ideal conversions.


Homeowners build ADUs for flexible reasons, including provision of habitable space for visiting guests or independent living to senior relatives, in-laws and grown-up children. The more prevailing reason why homeowners build ADUs is to create a stable source of auxiliary revenue. Renting ADU spaces establishes additional financial gains for mortgage payments or covering other living expenditures.


Is a building permit required for an ADU? Absolutely. Local governments require a permit to legitimately build any habitable space within your property.


In July 2022, the California Department of Housing and Community Development updated ordinances, allowing for an ADU to have a maximum unit size of 850 square feet, or 1,000 square feet for ADUs with more than one bedroom. Local bureaus without any existing ADU laws in place permit a maximum unit size of 1,200 square feet for “a new detached ADU, and up to 50% of the floor area of the existing primary dwelling for an attached ADU (at least 800 square feet).”

A statewide exemption ADU is an ADU consisting of up to 800 square feet with a four-foot rear and side setbacks, and a structure height of 16 feet.

A JADU or junior accessory dwelling unit conversion should not exceed 500 square feet.


Beside the additional monthly income derived from renting a space, an ADU appreciates the property valuation with the expansion of extra square footage. Given that a property owner selects the right model, manages his budget wisely and hires the right building professionals, an ADU can justifiably turn out to be among the most profitable investments for a homeowner like you.

* Photo Credit to ©Max Vakhtbovych

2023 Leading Home Renovation and Remodeling Trends

2023 Leading Home Renovation and Remodeling Trends 1920 1280 Tessa Maristela

On the threshold of 2023, we look forward with high hopes and fresh expectations. With projects already lined up at the start of this year, we see inspiring movements on the upsurge, signaling another year of promising residential transformations.

For the past three years, we have learned to adapt and changed the way we live through the pandemic and inflation of commodity costs. As home owners, our priorities for comfort and practicality redirects the significance of  our home renovation decisions.

Here are this year’s projected residential renovation trends:


Working from home has been on the rise. Businesses conducted through online communication not only conform with the social distancing mandate but also deliver a more relaxing and less rigid working environment. The attic, den, garage or a guest room are ideal spaces for renovation or conversation into a home office.

Home Office of Residence on Argyle Avenue


Kitchens and bathrooms have high-traffic volumes, exposed to frequent use more than any other rooms in your home. With a broadening attention to practicability, there is a growing demand for kitchen and bathroom upgrades in 2023. Upgrades are as simple as replacement of vanities or countertops, plumbing or hardware accessories, cabinet refacing or refinishing, or major kitchen and bathroom remodels.

Kitchen of Residence on Argyle Avenue

Bathroom of Residence on Curson Avenue


More owners are investing in increasing the square footage of their homes. With a growing need for space, the addition of living spaces has become essential. Extension constructions can be as small as adding a bay window in the living room, a full-size pantry to a kitchen, a walk-in closet to a bedroom or an outdoor kitchen. Major additions, such as a covered sunroom, a dormer in the attic, a second story above a garage or an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) for guest accommodation/rental intention, are gaining popularity in construction.

Walk-In Closet of Residence on Pebble Beach


We have been cooped up in our homes during the pandemic. It is projected in 2023 that homeowners look forward to expanding their living spaces into the outdoors to enjoy multifunctional activities for relaxation, dining or barbecue cookouts. Outdoor renovations such as new patios, balconies and garden decks are foreseen to accelerate this year.

Balcony of Residence in Argyle Avenue


We have seen an increase in exterior facelifts in construction. The popularity of  exterior upgrades and mixing of exterior finishes in 2022 migrates into the new year. With the production of new materials and innovative ideas for combined use of textures, exterior remodels will see an incline in demand.

Exterior Poolside View of Residence on Ramirez Canyon Road in Malibu

Whatever upgrade you are contemplating to give your home a new look this new year, we would love to hear from you. Contact us for a free consultation now.