Greater Pacific Construction - Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs): Boom and Boon

Accessory Dwelling Units: Boom and Boon

Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) must be something you’ve heard of quite a lot these days. Are you also toying with the idea of improving a part of your property? How about building your own accessory dwelling unit (ADU)?

Accessory dwelling unit (ADU), also known as granny flat or in-law suite, is an additional living space within a property apart from the main house. The ADU is not exactly a new idea but is certainly seeing a good revival these days.

Think of an accessory or additional dwelling unit (ADU) as an adult playhouse. It’s within our parents’ backyard but our own space? That is what essentially is an ADU in the eyes of grown ups. It is an adult dwelling place separate or attached to the main house but a complete living space on its own.

The attractiveness of having ADUs is driven mainly by the fact that it’s compact and commands a lower price rent. As such, quite affordable housing options are made available to the public.

Accessory dwelling units also bring forth an invisible or gentle density, wherein the number of residents grows without necessarily building large structures. The increase in density brought about by the availability of ADUs reduces the costs associated with extending utilities to new dwelling units.

There are many reasons for building the additional dwelling unit. Some of these are:

  • Additional space needed to use as a studio or private space
  • Guest house
  • Short or long-term lease for tenants
  • Intimate space for elder family members to live on their own but nearby

In California, 3,917 accessory dwelling unit permits were issued in the first seven months of 2018 and 1,384 in the Los Angeles-Orange Counties, according to The OCR. The popularity of having additional dwelling units is undeniable and as such, the government of California passed the State of California Accessory Dwelling Unit Law: AB 2299 and SB 1069 which govern building an ADU.

There are different types of accessory dwelling units as defined by the City of Santa Ana Planning and Building Agency. For your future planning needs, these are the types of accessory dwelling units:

  • Attached accessory dwelling unit: the additional dwelling unit is attached to the main house (internally or externally) and has its own living quarters including cooking and sanitation facilities
  • Detached accessory dwelling unit: a housing unit that is completely separate from the main house and includes a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living area, and efficiency unit as defined under the California Health and Safety Code section 17958.1

ABCs of ADUs

With the increasing appeal of building ADUs, communities need certain requirements to fulfill to make sure their structures are in accordance to California laws. Keep some of the following in mind:

  • Primarily, the lot must be zoned for single- or multi-family use only
  • The ADU is not for sale individually or separately from the main house
  • Located on the same property either as attached or detached dwelling
  • The total floor area should not exceed 1200 square feet
  • Floor area of the attached ADU should not be more than 50 per cent of the existing living area of the main dwelling unit
  • Compliance with the local building code requirements especially with regard to detached dwelling units

To avoid any unnecessary expense and inconvenience, check first with your local city on what is allowed before embarking on a major construction for ADU. There may be differences when it comes to parking, setbacks, height, landscape, areas of coverage, and others depending on the city.

Benefits of having ADUs

Creating something out of an unused or empty space is always a good thing. Granted that you are qualified to build an accessory dwelling unit as set out by the law, here are some possible gains for you or the community from building an ADU:

  • Additional local housing supply especially in areas where rent is astronomical
  • Reduce property development pressures and somehow preserve neighborhood character
  • Denser communities also allow for less carbon footprint
  • Rental income for homeowners
  • Low-cost housing for adult children who are not yet able to afford high rental rates in particular areas
  • Increase property value
  • Expanding livable space

Potential Drawbacks

Your property’s development is a good thing for you and your family. However, a few snags in building an additional dwelling unit may arise, such as:

  • Neighbors complaining of “strangers” in the community
  • Possible rise in crimes or vandalism
  • Higher maintenance cost of the property
  • Increase in tax payments
  • Restrictions on sale of property
  • Decrease or even loss of usable space within the property

Cost of Building ADU

Having studied your options, you may still come to a conclusion that building an additional dwelling unit in your property is the best option. Typically, an ADU could hover in the area of $45,000 to $100,000 depending on the scale of your construction – whether attached or detached ADU.

Building an ADU could be a major investment and so finding the right partner in terms of financing and great contractors is a must. There are financing options available like home improvement loans, unsecured personal loans, and others that could depend on the equity of your home or income.

Depending on your family or financial goals, building an additional dwelling unit’s long-term benefits may outweigh the initial heavy cost. It may be more cost-effective in the long run to provide a private home to an elderly family member or the potential of rental income to boost your coffers.

Once settled on the source of funds, it is equally important to find the right partner in building your ADU. In Orange County, it is but proper to choose a contractor that has an impeccable track record in delivering projects on time.

The General Contractor:

There are many designs that you could think of for your ADU but there’s only so much you can do if you don’t choose the right contractor. An experienced general contractor in Orange County can do these additions constructed in the least time possible, with the least discomfort or inconvenience to your family and neighbors.

Greater Pacific Construction in Orange County is of great reputation and experienced general contractors. Currently, they have quite impressive portfolio of Home Renovation and Home Remodeling projects completed successfully and to the utmost satisfaction of their clients in Orange County.

Greater Pacific Construction Blog - Benefits of Hiring a Custom Home Builder

DIY Custom Home vs Hiring a Custom Home Builder in Orange County

Whether to raise a family or for retirement, most Americans dream about building their own custom home on their own from the ground up. It’s an admirable, ambitious and daunting undertaking. Whatever the reason, planning and working with an experienced, bonded and insured custom home builder make a big difference when it comes to making your dream home a reality.

“Finding the right team to work with makes building your dream custom home a fulfilling project and a great achievement,” shared Kaveh Zabeti, a highly-experienced general contractor and President of Greater Pacific Construction, one of the leading custom home builders in Orange County. Hiring a contractor to build your custom home can save you time, money and a whole lot of grief.

Challenges of Building Your Own Custom Home

Building your own custom home can seem very adventurous and exciting. After all, building your home from scratch is something that not many people are capable of doing or experiencing at all. However, going it alone can be fraught with challenges. Here are the some of the biggest challenges we see homeowners face when trying to build their dream home on their own.


Building a custom home can take anywhere from six months to one year or longer. Several things can impact the time frame, such as the size of the house, complexity of design, availability of materials, weather, unexpected delays and more. The key to a successful custom home construction is patience and planning.

Budget or Cost

Even with proper planning, sometimes the cost of custom home construction balloons beyond allotted budget or estimates. Thorough research and sticking to timeline, design and materials based on first estimate will help keep the project on budget. New ideas that pop up while in the middle of construction add up faster than you expect.

Priorities and Focus

Most people who decide to build their own custom home struggle with too many choices for materials and design. It can be overwhelming when you’re faced with too many options for tiles, finishings, colors, and so on. The simple solution is to gather ideas and photos of your ideal home and create a mood board or a scrapbook. This will help you stay focused and keep the project within timeline and budget and not spiral into different directions.

Benefits of Hiring a Custom Home Builder

When deciding to hire a custom home builder or not, it’s still worth considering the benefits of working with an experienced custom home contractor. Tapping the expertise of a contracting company can be costly, but it may outweigh the cost and guaranteed to make your vision a reality. Let’s face it, building an entire custom house is not quite the same as repairing or remodeling an existing house. If you are considering building a custom home in Orange County area, take a moment to consider these benefits of hiring a professional custom home builder like Greater Pacific Construction.

Years of Experience, Knowledge and Expertise

Custom home construction is a profession and most custom home builders have mastered the best practices for construction with years of working building multiple homes. Only experience can teach how to avoid mistakes or handle unexpected mishaps, which could easily add unnecessary cost to the project due to wasted materials and/or delays. Most importantly, a well-established custom home builder has a streamlined process that ensures your custom home is built on time, within budget and done right the first time around.

Mitigate Challenges

Hiring an experienced custom home contractor can help mitigate these challenges and help you manage all aspects of the project . By having a general contractor on your team, you can leave them to attend to the more tedious task and have you focus on the enjoyable part of building your custom home–watching your dream home come to life.

Increase Home Value

The experience and expertise that a custom home builder bring to the project will help increase the value of your home. The professional finishing, high-end materials, fine design and quality craftsmanship will construction

those fine construction materials and modern design elements all increase the resale value of your home. They may have cost you some at first, but pay you back a great deal in the end. Those high-end materials and new appliances will last for years, saving you money too on home maintenance and repairs.

Plus, you won’t be spending more on remodeling your home later down the road. It’s already exactly how you want it, with all the updated features that new homebuyers will be looking for when you want to sell.

Save Money

Custom home builders build homes day in, day out. They develop relationships with vendors and suppliers and they get discounts and the best prices for wholesale purchase of fixtures, materials, fixtures, equipment rentals, etc. at leading construction supply stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes. Someone who will do a single DIY custom home project will not be accorded the same discounts and will most likely pay the full price for the same things.

Save Time

Building a custom home construction is a time-consuming undertaking. It will take time away from your family, job and other aspects of your life. This can translate into missed bonding moments with your spouse and children and lost income, which all adds to the entire cost of the project. Building a home is a custom home builder’s job. They have the resources and all the time to commit in managing all aspects of the custom home project.

Network of Skilled Sub-Contractors

Experienced general contractors and home builders have spent years cultivating relationships with sub-contractors who have exceptional skills that can be useful for completing your custom home. This poses less risk than working with a contractor that’s new in the business. Generally, sub-contractors choose to work with more experienced and established general contractors who have built a solid reputation and known for delivering high-quality of work and sticking to best business practices.

Greater Pacific Construction is a full service general contracting company with decades of experience in building custom homes in Orange County. To help make your dream home a reality, call us at (800) 469-1922 or fill out our Contact Form.

Greater Pacific Construction - DIY Home Renovation versus Hiring Professional Home Renovators

Home Renovation DIY vs Hiring Professional Home Renovators

Home renovation lists cost as one of the major considerations. In such cases, some homeowners would weigh in on doing a do-it-your (DIY) own home renovation or hire a residential contractor.

Let’s have a look at the advantages of opting for a DIY or hiring a residential contractor to do your renovation.

What exactly is a DIY? DIY is defined as an activity of decorating or repairing your home by yourself rather than contracting someone to do it. The Internet offers a myriad of suggestions on DIY projects from simple to complex. A DIY person may not necessarily have the skill to handle a home renovation project. Painting a wall is something most able person can carry out. However, if the project involves plumbing or electricity, then it’s best to have a professional work on it. In short, when doing a DIY, think about time, level of difficulty, and safety.

A residential contractor is a professional who builds and renovates homes or manages such projects from beginning to end. They are typically responsible for securing permits, overseeing labor, and hires construction specialists such as electricians and plumbers. It is the responsibility of the residential contractors to inspect the project from time to time for progress or any issues that may arise and must be remedied. In Orange County, Greater Pacific Construction is a premier residential contractor with numerous successful home builds and renovations.

Let us list down what must be considered between DIY versus hiring professional residential contractor.


  • Time. A DIY home renovation will definitely cost you hours more than cash itself. So if you only have the weekends to install wood flooring yourself, how much time would it take you to complete it?
  • Skill. Watching a video on how to change flooring is different from the actual application. Can you align the hardwood floor? No matter how expensive your flooring materials are, it will look cheap if it’s poorly done.
  • Cost and Savings. When you have estimated your potential savings from DIY renovation and the time involved, just divide the savings over the time and that’s potentially your cost savings for each hour of work. This is often overlooked by DIYers thinking that they get to save on labor costs when they don’t hire professionals. Would you be willing to work for that rate (especially if you miss out on work because of your project)?
  • Safety. Is it safe for you to carry out a renovation on your own? Ask yourself what the worst thing that could happen to you if you do the job. If it could potentially harm you because you’re not skilled enough or the work is too dangerous for you, then don’t.
  • Home value. Will it damage your home or potentially lower the value of your property? Think about that bathroom renovation. Will you be able to properly install bathroom fixtures? An ill-fitting fixture could result to years of weakening if unnoticed and a leak could damage your wall. Some buyers would want to know renovations or repairs done on the property and would factor the work of a licensed general contractor versus a DIY.

Residential Contractor

  • Cash. Money is the biggest investment when hiring a residential contractor. It is always best to compare your costs by trying to ask at least two contractors for estimates. Consider the contractor’s reputation, past projects, and recommendations when deciding to get one. Do your homework by checking their ratings, licenses, and up-to-date insurances. Sometimes, more than the face value of money, it’s the quality of work that makes it worth your cash.
  • Type of project. How complex is your home renovation? Is it just a room or the whole house? Some projects would also need special permits to carry out. A contractor would be able to take care of needed permits prior to starting the project. The bigger the renovation requirements, the more valid reason why hiring a professional matters.
  • Quality of work. When working with a reputable contractor, home renovation projects are thoroughly executed and supervised. A skilled professional is assigned in different aspects such as plumbing, electricity, ceramic tile or hardwood flooring fitting, HVAC, and others. Consumers who hire professionals do so because the completed projects end up having better functionality or livability.

When faced with the desire to renovate your home, always consider your options. Think about materials cost, length of time to complete, skill sets needed. Be honest with yourself if you really can do a DIY project thinking you save but not realizing that mistakes will cost.

A general contractor for home remodeling or renovation is ready to look into your desire to make necessary improvements to your property. Greater Pacific Construction-Residential in Orange County is of great reputation and experienced general contractors. Currently, they have quite impressive portfolio of Home Renovation and Home Remodeling projects completed successfully and to the utmost satisfaction of their clients in Orange County.