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Junior ADU: A Solution for Homeowners

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As cities are becoming denser and more expensive, homeowners are exploring various solutions to increase the income from their homes. One popular solution is accessory dwelling units (ADUs), a small living space that is added to the property and rented out.

However, constructing an ADU can be expensive and time-consuming. That's where the Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) comes in. Let us explore what a JADU is, the benefits of having one, and how to get started.

The Basics of Junior ADU

What is a JADU?

A Junior ADU (JADU) is a self-containing living space that is up to 500 square feet in size, with a maximum of two occupants. JADUs can be built in an existing structure, like a garage, or as an extension to the house. JADUs have their own kitchen and bathroom and comply with all the building codes of the local area. Unlike traditional ADUs, a JADU does not require a separate parking space. JADUs are designed to be integrated into an existing living space or garage and offer the same amenities of a traditional ADU.

How to get started with a JADU

The first step to adding a JADU to your property is to check with the local zoning codes and building permits. The zoning code will determine if JADUs are permitted in your area, while building permits ensure that the building process stays compliant with the local building code. Once you have an idea of what permits and zoning codes you need, the next step is to hire a contractor who specializes in building JADUs. Choosing a contractor that has experience building a JADU is crucial since they will have knowledge of the specific requirements and regulations for constructing a JADU.


A JADU is an excellent option for homeowners who want to increase their income, provide extra living space for family and guests, or downsize while maintaining an income-generating property. A JADU can be a great investment, but make sure to do your research and consult with a qualified contractor to ensure that you're complying with local regulations and building codes. If you're considering building a JADU, explore your options and realize the many benefits that come with a JADU.

Building a Junior ADU: What You Need to Know

JADUs are smaller than traditional accessory dwelling units or ADUs and usually come with less stringent permit requirements. These units are perfect for those planning to downsize, those wanting to provide additional living spaces for family members, or those in need of a home office. If you're considering building a junior ADU, there are several requirements you need to know.

Check Your Local Building Codes

Before starting a junior ADU construction, it is essential to check with your local building department and zoning codes to know the requirements and limitations. ADUs need to follow city codes to ensure the units are safe, legal, and fit for habitation. Some building codes that you should be familiar with include fire safety requirements, electrical wiring standards, and plumbing codes.

Determine The Space Required

The space requirements for junior ADUs vary according to your location and zoning laws. The size of the ADU you can build will depend on the size of your lot, your local zoning laws, and water and sewer system capacity. Typically, the maximum size limit for junior ADUs is around 500 square feet, but this can vary from city to city.

Choose A Plan That Matches Your Needs

When building a junior ADU, you're free to choose a design plan that suits your needs. You can either create a custom design or get an ADU design plan through online resources or through a qualified designer. Several companies now offer JADU plans which can be modified for specific site requirements.

Budget Planning

Building a junior ADU is not cheap. Factors such as your city's permit fees, land preparation, and building materials can contribute to its considerable cost. Getting a quote from a reliable contractor or estimating the costs yourself will give you an idea of how much money you'll need. You can also consider applying for a home renovation loan, which may assist in covering the costs.

Hire A Reputable ADU Builder

Building a junior ADU requires careful planning, expertise, and the right skills, so finding a reputable home builder is crucial. The builder must be familiar with zoning and building codes in your area, experienced in constructing ADUs, and licensed. Before choosing a home builder, you need to check their portfolio, ask for references, and ensure they have a proper license and insurance.


Constructing a junior ADU is a significant investment, and it requires careful planning, attention to detail, and expertise. Before starting construction, it's essential to understand local ordinance and zoning rules, determine the size, choose a suitable builder, and set a realistic budget. Overall, building a junior ADU can be a great way to expand living space and maximize potential income streams. With the right planning and resources, you can create your dream living space and add value to your home.

Benefits of Junior ADU

Let's explore the benefits of junior ADUs and why you may want to consider adding one to your property.

Increased Flexibility

A junior ADU is typically a small, self-contained unit that includes a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette. Because of its size, it can be placed in a variety of locations on your property, including in a detached garage or as an addition to your main home. This flexibility means that it can be used for a variety of purposes, including a guest house, a rental unit, or as a place for aging relatives to live.


Junior ADUs are typically smaller than traditional ADUs and therefore less expensive to build. They are also easier to finance than larger ADUs, as they do not require as much money upfront. If you are looking to generate rental income or add value to your property while keeping costs in check, a junior ADU may be the way to go.

Increased Property Value

Adding a junior ADU to your property can increase its overall value. In addition to providing an extra living space, it can also make your property more attractive to potential buyers in the future. This can be especially valuable if you are planning to sell your home in the near future.

Increased Privacy

Junior ADUs are typically located away from the main house, providing added privacy for both you and your tenants. If you plan to rent out your unit, this privacy can be a key selling point for potential renters.

Reduced Footprint

If you are looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact, a junior ADU can help. These smaller units have a smaller environmental footprint than larger living spaces. In addition, they can be designed with sustainability in mind, including features such as solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and low-flow fixtures.


In conclusion, adding a junior ADU to your property can offer a host of benefits, including increased flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and property value. Whether you are looking to add rental income or an extra space for aging relatives, a junior ADU can be a smart investment. By working with an experienced contractor, you can design a unit that meets your specific needs and adds value to your property for years to come.

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