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Fastest ADU Builder in Los Angeles

HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN ADU

How long does an ADU take to build? Neo Builders can build a standard ADU conversion in 6 weeks. 

Learn how to build your own ADU. Keep up-to-date with Joseph Peretz and NEO Builders, video series; How to Build Your Own ADU Garage Conversion.

In these videos you will learn about every step of the process. Joseph will provide homeowners with tips and tricks on how to save money and what to avoid doing. The goal of this video series is to save the homeowner money, time and to direct them in the right direction.


NEO Builders and Joseph Peretz will be uploading daily content on Instagram and Youtube. Don't miss out on the race against the clock!

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1 - DEMO 

Starting with demolition, the demo process includes removing all existing conditions, which can include illegal bathrooms, existing drywall, floors, and kitchenettes. This is the initial phase of demo. Other aspects of demo include: demolishing and hauling away garage doors, excavating under the former garage door to install a new footing, typically 12" x 24”. Ironically, Most garages in California dont have existing footings. 

 

Many times, clients with non-compliant garages ask us to leave the existing shower stall, toilets and kitchen intact, however, local building and safety laws don't always allow this, as they want to inspect the rough and underground plumbing. Therefore, we have a pre-inspection with our resident inspector to avoid any issues before demo begins.

Demo usually takes between one and two days depending scope and size of the project. ​

2 - Underground Mechanical

The next step in the process is underground plumbing. This includes trenching to install new sewer lines, new gas line, and new water lines. Usually, we must run a line to connect to our main sewer line in the front yard. Keep in mind, new sewer lines can connect to the existing lines, but must be at least 5 feet away from the home. This phase usually take 3-4 working days

3 - Foundation

We simultaneously work on our foundation and framing elements because many times the underground plumbing must run through our new footing to reach the new proposed locations of the kitchen and bathroom. At this step you should be pouring concrete and preparing for the framing od the interior of your ADU. 

4 - Framing

When designing your ADU make sure avoid using specialty lumber. Keep the ADU framing simple by using standard 2x4 and 4x4 sitting on 16 inches of wood framing. Do not over complicate the framing of your ADU, be sure to talk to your architect. I cannot stress this enough, you do not need to reengineer what an ADU is, keep it simple and use standard materials.

5 - Doors & Windows

There are three types of windows; vinyl, aluminum and clad. The way to install your windows and doors for your ADU, is to first cut the existing stucco of the garage. Remember, keep as much of the existing stucco as much as possible. This will save you money down the line because rewrapping the garage is expensive. It is important to know that you will not pass framing inspection without doors & windows installed. For the interior of your ADU you have two option; you can either install sliding doors or pocket doors.

6 - Roof

The roof for your ADU garage conversion can be the most expensive part of your ADU project. So it's important you know what conversations to have with your contractor. This specific project is unique because the homeowner had the roof done prior to wanting to build an ADU garage conversion. The roof was only 5 years old, therefore the plywood and shingles were good enough to avoid building a new roof. Note: your existing roof condition should not have any holes, leeks and/or water damage. If there is water damage, the roof is not salvageable, you may have to demo the roof, and start from scratch (you don't want this).

7 - HVAC

If your ADU is small, I recommend installing Ductless Mini Splits. Ductless Mini Splits are perfect for 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom ADUs. If your ADU is reaching 2 bedroom, or potentially 3 bedrooms, I recommend installing central A/C system. The higher the square footage of the ADU, the more likely you'll choose Central A/C.

 

Condensers for your ADU can be installed outside, in the attic, or on the roof of your ADU. I personally like to install the ADU condenser on the exterior of the accessory dwelling unit, with a concrete pad. The reason that I prefer the exterior is because as they age, they shake, this will lead more maintance of the unit. AC unit also need to be a certain distance from the property line, make sure to talk to your inspector before choosing the location. Check your title 24 to ensure you install the correct condenser size.

8 - Electrical

For this ADU garage conversion we decided to upgrade the electrical panel. 1 panel is shared between the ADU and main home. The original panel was 100 AMPs and we upgraded it to 200 AMPs, 60 amps designated for the ADU. The sub panel is located on the exterior of the ADU. Make sure to talk to your inspector to clarify the sub panel location. Remember both panels must be grounded.

9 - Plumbing

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