From Idea to ADU

The Granny Flat Construction Process

Let’s get to brass tacks — what does it actually look like to work with GoADU to make your ADU vision a reality? On this page, we will break down the process, step-by-step, so you know what to expect at each stage of the process of building an ADU in Los Angeles.

How long does it take to construct an ADU?

From start-to-finish — including design, permitting, buildout, and final finish-out — the process of building an ADU in Los Angeles usually takes between 8-12 months. The turnaround time can vary, though, depending on the design, the property, and the jurisdiction. We usually budget 3-4 months for the design process, 3-4 months for the permitting process, and 3-4 months for construction. Regardless of how long it takes, GoADU is here for you. When you partner with us, you have a
team of professionals on hand to do the heavy lifting and remove friction from the process, so you have your ADU as soon as possible. Your satisfaction with your ADU is our first priority, and we marshal all our resources and expertise to deliver it.


After we’ve completed a consultation and are confident that we understand your vision for your ADU, we move on to providing you with a quote. We provide high-quality work at a fair price. We also send you a fee schedule and make any other necessary arrangements that will help us to conduct a feasibility study.


Now we can move on to architectural design! To create the design, we will have to see the building specifications and requirements. We’ll present you with this plan in person. This gives space for us to discuss the plan in greater detail and make adjustments if needed.


Next, we make sure you have all the proper documentation for permits and financing. This is crucial to building an ADU that’s compliant. Without a permit, you could end up being forced to pay a huge fee later down the road. Count on us to never cut corners!


Lastly, we compile all the appropriate documents and submit them to ensure you don’t have to pay any more money for building permits than you have to. You can expect us to complete all the right steps to maximize the value an ADU will add to your property.

As soon as we have the permits, you can expect us to start building within the week! Submit your information for a free consultation and we will get back to you ASAP!

Building an ADU in Los Angeles — Step By Step

Step 1 - Free Strategy Session

We put our heads together for the first time to hear your vision and desires for your ADU. We add our expert input and help you flesh out any half-formed ideas. We also collect data and info about your site and give you a preliminary assessment of feasibility and cost for your ADU project. Time: 1-2 days.

Step 2 — Approve The Proposal

We submit a comprehensive proposal of our fee schedule and a preliminary budget for your all-in costs. Once the proposal is approved and signed, we can move forward with the feasibility
study. Time: 1-2 days.

Step 3 — Feasibility Study

Our feasibility study confirms the acceptable building envelope for your ADU based on the site conditions and local regulations. We may uncover constraints based on your HOA and septic
system. Time: 4-6 weeks.

Step 4 — Architectural Design

Once we know our limits from the feasibility study, we create architectural designs to match your vision with feasibility. We may use a standard plan, a previously-used plan, or start from scratch. Time: 4-7 weeks.

Step 5 — Create Construction Documents

Once you sign off on the floor plan and elevations, we convert the plan into a full set of construction and architectural documents, suitable for submission to the city. At this stage we can refine our estimate and give you a more honed estimate of the all-in costs. Time: 4-6 weeks.

Step 6 — Select Designs

At this stage, we begin the fun process of making interior and exterior design choices, so it doesn’t slow us down in the construction phase. You can choose finish-outs from our prepared Look Book or portfolio, pick and choose your favorite design finishes, or we can start from scratch to create a custom look. We also make sure that any design choices are in keeping with your HOA guidelines so there aren’t any nasty surprises at the finish line. Time: 2-4 weeks (concurrent).

Step 7 — Obtain Financing

With the price estimate available to us after the creation of construction documents and design selections, it’s time to lock in financing. Whether it be a HELOC, renovation loan, construction loan, or other alternative, we keep comprehensive track of the financing options available to homeowners for the construction of an ADU in Los Angeles. We can make recommendations and connect you with lenders we have worked with in the past — i.e. lenders with a track record of getting homeowners the money they need for their ADU. Time: 6-12 weeks (concurrent).

Step 8 — Permitting

Now that everything is in order, it’s go time — we submit the plans to the relevant city building department and pull the permits we need. We leverage our experience and connections to make the permitting process as smooth as possible, but the plans still may come back for revisions a few times. Time: 12-18 weeks.

Step 9 — Guaranteed Maximum Price

Once the permits are approved, we can offer you a guaranteed price maximum. Once you
sign off on this maximum, you know exactly what your ADU will cost all-in and it’s full steam ahead. Time: 1-2 days.

Step 10 — Construction

Everything is in place — it’s time to build! We handle every phase of preparation, build-out, and finish-out until you are completely satisfied with your ADU. Time: 14-18 weeks.

Ready to Get Started? Book Your Free Strategy Call Now!