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How to Choose an ADU Builder: The Complete Guide for Homeowners

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choose an ADU builder

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are structures on your property separate from your main home, and they’ve seen a sharp rise in popularity in recent years. Believe it or not, homes sold with ADUs rose from 8,000 to nearly 70,000 between 2001 and 2020, and they’re still continuing to rise. Well, if you want to add an ADU to your home, you’ll need the right team on your side. Luckily, we can help with that. Let’s talk about how to choose an ADU builder so you can get your project done right!

Check for Proper Licensing and Insurance

You should never hire a contractor without proper licensing and insurance. This is especially true for building a visible structure on your property, as you’re simply inviting town permitting inspectors to come in and tell you to tear it down.

More importantly, an unlicensed builder likely won’t give you the results that you need. If you’re going to pay to build a new structure on your property, you’re going to want it to last for a while.

Also, verify that the building company has the insurance necessary for the job. Building an entirely new structure requires a lot of work, including framing, roofing, and more. This means they’ll need to use various power tools, nail guns, ladders, and more to get the job done.

Like it or not, that’s dangerous work. That’s why we call on licensed and insured professionals to do the job for us. Don’t neglect this important step.

Verify Experience and Expertise

You don’t just need an experienced builder, but an experienced ADU builder. ADUs require different concepts than building a traditional home. Therefore, you need a contractor with ADU building experience.

An experienced ADU contractor will know how to make the most out of a smaller space and maximize its potential. This is even better if you have a design-build firm that can help you through the entire process!

Check Their Portfolio

Every construction business should have a portfolio on its website. Take a look and see if their portfolio demonstrates what you’re looking for.

Of course, different clients will have different tastes from yours, but take a look at the build quality and see if it lives up to your standards. Even an untrained eye can usually tell a poor build when they see it.

Also, this process can help give you inspiration for your ADU. Rather than scrolling through Pinterest, you can look at the company that made the ADU you want, allowing you to replicate it as best as possible!

Read Online Reviews

How lucky are we to live in a world with access to such a wealth of knowledge at our disposal. Included in this are specific reviews of previous customers, allowing consumers to make informed decisions.

95% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business or shopping online, so why should hiring a construction team be any different?

Before reaching out to contractors, it’s a good idea to vet them and see what previous customers have to say about them. This is an easy first step to take once you start looking around.

Remember, “stars” don’t matter nearly as much as the actual review. Anyone can leave a one-star or five-star review for reasons that may not matter to you at all.

Consequently, it’s important to read through and see what people have to say. Google Business Profiles, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and others can help you gain valuable insights into companies before choosing one. This shouldn’t be your only determining factor, but it’s a great start!

Ask for References

Why ask for references if you’ve already read their reviews? Well, reviewers say what they want to say, references say what you want them to say.

When you talk to a reference, you get to control the questions. Depending on your biggest concerns, you can ask questions such as:

  • How communicative were they?
  • Did you notice any safety issues?
  • Did they complete the job within the time frame provided?
  • Was their original price estimate correct?
  • How is their work holding up now?
  • Were there any other issues you can think of?

The list goes on. References can help ease your mind before going into an expensive process that will last on your property forever. It’s a big decision, so don’t take it lightly.

Get a Quote

If you’ve found a company that meets your needs on paper, give them a call and schedule a consultation. There’s no risk in inviting them over, discussing the project, and getting an estimate.

Once you have a few quotes, you can start comparing ADU construction costs with the other pros and cons you find from this list. 

While you have them there, ask about their estimated timeline and anything else you may want to know before jumping in. However, if you find a team that works for your budget and needs, get started with them as soon as possible!

Choose an ADU Builder Today

Now that you know how to choose an ADU builder, use these tips to your advantage today. Contractors are busy people, so don’t wait to book a spot and get your ADU built as soon as possible. Just make sure you do some initial vetting and compare some companies before jumping into anything.

Stay up to date with our latest tips for homeowners, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to get a quote today!

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