Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are answers to our most commonly asked questions.
If you have other questions, please let us know!

About ADUs

An ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit, serves as an accessory to the primary home structure. It can take the form of an attachment to the main residence, a conversion of an existing space, or the construction of a new detached unit. In California, ADUs are required to encompass areas designated for living, sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities. Essentially, they must be fully functional and habitable structures. 

ADUs are gaining popularity among homeowners as a means to boost property value, extend living spaces, foster proximity to friends and family, and generate potential income through both long and short-term rentals. Furthermore, their compact size and relatively modest pricing make them an attractive alternative to purchasing existing single-family homes, particularly in states like California. In California, the state has provided incentives for homeowners to incorporate ADUs into their properties, aiming to enhance population density without imposing substantial alterations to the neighborhood's character—a common concern associated with the construction of multifamily properties. 

Site-built ADUs are custom-constructed directly on your property, offering tailored solutions that fit unique site conditions and personal preferences. Prefab ADUs, manufactured offsite and assembled on your land, provide efficiency and quicker installation. Both types maintain Nestadu’s commitment to high-quality materials and exceptional design, perfectly integrating with your home’s aesthetics.

Absolutely! Adding an ADU to your property typically increases its value by providing additional living space that is highly desirable. This addition not only enhances functionality but also appeals to potential buyers, making it a smart investment. At Nestadu, our focus on exceptional design and quality ensures that your ADU complements and elevates your property’s overall appeal.

Investing in an ADU can smartly enhance your property value. Whether you aim for rental income or need extra space for family, ADUs offer flexible solutions. Nestadu ensures each ADU is crafted with premium materials and thoughtful designs, maximizing both functionality and aesthetic appeal, making them a wise investment in today’s real estate market.


California's latest ADU regulations aim to facilitate their construction by allowing them on properties zoned for single-family and multi-family use. While statewide laws have streamlined many requirements, local zoning and specific regulations can vary. At Nestadu, we assist with navigating these local regulations and handle all permitting processes, ensuring a smooth journey from design to completion.

Adding an ADU can positively impact the neighborhood by providing additional housing options without altering the community's character. It can also increase local property values and offer more living arrangements for community members.

Most likely, yes! The latest California state regulations now make nearly all residential properties, encompassing both single-family and multifamily residences, eligible for ADUs. Moreover, under the new California Statewide Exemption ADU rules, municipalities are obligated to permit all ADUs up to 800 sq. ft. in size, featuring 4 ft. property line setbacks and up to 16 ft. in height (if detached). Many municipalities even authorize larger ADUs with fewer restrictions, though specifics differ from city to city. For further insights, you can explore our Resources page on ADU eligibility and our dedicated pages on municipal ADU regulations. 

Our feasibility study thoroughly assesses your property to determine the best options for constructing an ADU. This includes evaluating site conditions, zoning regulations, and utility access. We also estimate project costs and timelines to provide a comprehensive overview. At Nestadu, our goal is to ensure that every aspect of your ADU project is clear and tailored to meet your needs.

Under current California law, ADUs up to 800 square feet follow streamlined state guidelines, minimizing local restrictions on aspects like design and setbacks. For larger ADUs, local rules may apply. Nestadu expertly navigates these regulations, ensuring your ADU project complies with both local and state laws, facilitating a smooth design and build process.

Design & Permitting

Selecting the right ADU design involves considering its use, from offices to guest houses. Nestadu offers over nine design styles and more than 20 floor plans, providing a robust starting point. Our designs can be tailored to match your home’s style, ensuring your ADU not only meets functional needs but also enhances your property’s aesthetic.

Yes, we offer senior-friendly designs specifically tailored for aging in place. These ADUs are designed with accessibility and comfort in mind, featuring no-step entries, wider doorways, and safety-focused bathrooms among other age-friendly features. Our aim is to create a space that not only meets the practical needs of seniors but also enhances their quality of life. At Nestadu, we ensure that your ADU will be a safe, comfortable, and stylish home for years to come.

At Nestadu, customization is at the heart of our service. From the floor plan to finishes and features, we offer extensive options to tailor your ADU to your specific needs and tastes, ensuring it perfectly complements your lifestyle.

Absolutely! At Nestadu, we specialize in designing ADUs that seamlessly match the color and style of your existing home. Our team works closely with you to ensure that every detail, from exterior finishes to architectural features, complements your home's aesthetic. This thoughtful approach ensures that your ADU not only meets your functional needs but also enhances the overall harmony of your property.

At Nestadu, we handle the entire permitting process for your ADU, from initial application to final approval. We work closely with local authorities to ensure your ADU complies with all regulations, simplifying what can often be a complex process.

Sustainability is a priority at Nestadu. Our ADUs are designed with energy efficiency in mind, utilizing green building materials, advanced insulation techniques, and optional solar panels to reduce environmental impact and save on energy costs.


No, you don't have to pay the full price of your ADU upfront. At Nestadu, payments are structured across different project phases:

Site-Built ADUs:

  • Feasibility Study: $250 non-refundable fee
  • Design Services: Payments split into 30% at kick-off, 35% at design completion, and 35% upon permit approval
  • Construction: Payments of 15% at kick-off, followed by 20% increments at major construction milestones


Prefab ADUs:

  • Feasibility Study: $250 non-refundable fee
  • Purchase and Fabrication: 10% at kick-off, 40% before fabrication, and 50% when ready to ship
  • Site Work: 50% at foundation completion, and 50% upon final sign-off


This phased payment approach ensures financial flexibility while your ADU progresses from design to completion.

While Nestadu doesn’t provide direct financing, we guide you through exploring several options like cash-out refinancing, HELOCs, home equity loans, and construction loans. Our partnerships with experienced financing providers ensure you find the optimal solution to fund your ADU project, enhancing your property’s value and utility.

No need to worry if you haven't secured a financing partner yet. At Nestadu, we have established relationships with a variety of financing partners who specialize in funding ADU projects. Our team will guide you through the financing process, ensuring you find a solution that fits your needs. We're here to help make your dream ADU a reality, every step of the way.

You may not need to refinance your existing mortgage to fund your ADU project. At Nestadu, we explore a range of financing options with you, including but not limited to cash-out refinancing, HELOCs, and construction loans, tailored to meet your specific financial situation. Our team is dedicated to finding the most suitable financial solution to bring your ADU vision to life without necessarily altering your current mortgage.

Site Construction

At Nestadu, we use either slab-on-grade or stem wall foundations, depending on the specific site conditions and the type of ADU being installed. Both foundation types are chosen for their durability and suitability to California’s varied climates and soil conditions. Our expert team ensures the chosen foundation provides optimal stability and longevity for your ADU, adhering to the highest construction standards.

Absolutely. At Nestadu, our foundation systems, including both slab-on-grade and stem wall foundations, are designed to be earthquake-safe, adhering to stringent California building codes. We prioritize your safety by using construction practices and materials that enhance the seismic resilience of your ADU. Trust Nestadu to build a secure, durable ADU that stands strong against earthquakes, ensuring peace of mind for homeowners in seismic zones.

At Nestadu, we ensure your ADU is efficiently connected to essential services. Sewer and water lines are typically linked to your primary residence’s existing systems. For sewer, connections are made just outside the main house, while water is accessed through a foundation connection. Electrical services are established either via the primary residence's main panel or through a dedicated panel on the ADU. Our team manages these integrations seamlessly, adhering to all local building codes to ensure reliable and safe utility access.

Identifying factors that might increase your ADU installation cost is crucial, and at Nestadu, we aim to make this process transparent. Additional expenses could arise from:

  • Remote Property Access: Increased travel required for our crews.
  • Local Regulations: Costs associated with additional permits and services.
  • Site Preparation: Expenses related to demolition of existing structures or extensive tree removal.
  • Extended Utility Connections: Required for deep lots or when major re-routing of utilities is necessary.
  • Limited Site Access: Can lead to specialized labor like hand digging.
  • Unforeseen Conditions: Such as unexpected site issues during excavation or permitting.

We’ll guide you through these potential variables early in the planning process, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the project scope and budget.

The construction timeline for your ADU can vary based on the type and specifics of the project. For site-built ADUs, the process generally takes about 4 to 6 months from breaking ground to completion, depending on the complexity of the design and site conditions. Prefab ADUs typically have a shorter on-site construction timeline, usually around 2 to 3 months, as much of the construction is completed off-site. At Nestadu, we ensure that each project is managed efficiently, keeping you informed every step of the way.

The timeline for your ADU project varies by phase. Design and permitting can take 1-3 months, depending on local regulations. Construction timelines are approximately 4-6 months for site-built and 2-3 months for prefab units. We keep you informed at every stage.

After your ADU is completed, Nestadu continues to provide support to ensure your satisfaction. We offer maintenance tips, warranty support, and advice on how to maximize the use of your new space.

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