Building a Guest House? Here’s What to Know

As rent and real estate prices continue to rise throughout Southern California, building additional or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) is becoming more and more appealing to homeowners. For those who have someone in their family that requires extensive care, ADUs can be essential as they offer extra living space and serve to accommodate live-in caretakers or family members.

At A-List Builders, we work with Los Angeles families for the long term. We’ve seen the increased need for additional space for older generations and their caretakers, or for younger family members who need a place to land when life throws the unexpected their way. We’ve provided some considerations to make and questions to ask yourself below if you plan on adding a guest house in your backyard or anywhere else on your property. 

Small House With a White Picket Fence

To Renovate an Existing Space or to Build Your ADU From Scratch? 

The biggest problem that homeowners may run into when they’re considering building a guest house in their backyard is if the property lacks the space or acreage for additional structures, or existing garage or shed structures get in the way. Fortunately, existing structures don’t have to prevent you from building an ADU on your property as there are two different courses of action you can take to achieve this goal! 

If you have plenty of space in your backyard, building a guest house in backyard space is as simple as finding a design that works best for the space available. If, however, you may not have enough space to dedicate to a guest house, you could also choose to renovate your garage or turn another area in your property into an independent living space. 

This brings us to our next point. 

Types of ADUs to Consider 

Interior of a tiny home

While certain ADUs, like detached units or converted garages, may be the most popular choices, there are multiple ADU options that you should look into when you decide that you require additional living space on your property. Some of these ADU options include:

  • An attached ADU that is connected to the main home but still allows for independent living
  • An interior ADU that is located in the upper section of the house, such as the attic
  • An interior ADU that is located in the lower section of the house, such as the basement
  • An attached ADU that is built above an existing structure like the garage

While building a guest house in backyard space is one of the most desirable ADU concepts, the type of ADU that you choose will depend upon your individual needs, what you plan on using your ADU for in the future, and how comfortable you are with another individual living in the main house. Keep these things in mind when reviewing what ADU options you have at your disposal.

Additional Considerations to Make When Researching ADUs

Although the decision to build an ADU on your property is one that may be non-negotiable for some at this point in time, there are still important considerations to make before you undertake this kind of project. To help you become clearer on your goal, here are a few questions that you’ll want to ask yourself. 

  1. What Is My Budget for This Project? Your budget will ultimately determine the type of ADU you choose. Set aside some time to do further research into how much this project will cost, what your budget is, and how you can make this project a reality. 
  2. How Long Does an ADU Take to Build? Understanding the amount of time that it takes for this type of project is crucial to ensuring you have your building prepared when you need it. For example, if you’re looking to provide housing for a live-in caregiver, you’ll want to ensure that the ADU is prepared for them by the time you enlist the help of such a professional. 
  3. What Do I Need to Take Care of in the Meantime? Chances are,  there are other tasks you can take care of while you’re planning on establishing a guest house in backyard space. This could include finding new furniture or deciding which of your furniture you want to move to your ADU, seeking out the new tenant for your ADU beforehand, and coming up with plans for the interior design. 

Start Your ADU Journey With Us

With a better idea of what you’re looking for out of your ADU, all that’s left to do is reach out to A-List Builders to help you design your ideal space. Our team of designers and contractors work with you every step of the way to ensure that you’re receiving the best service possible from conception to completion, regardless of whether you decide on building a guest house or renovating an existing space. 

If you’re ready to add your own guest house in backyard space, schedule a discovery call with us so that we can learn more about your needs, help you come up with a design and a timeline, and begin the construction of your new guest house!

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Here is what a few of them say.

  • Kobi R.

    It’s been years since I’ve done any work to my home so I was nervous about the whole project. Thankfully, I found a company that not only provided me with a patient ( I am very particular) and punctual contractor, Rani, but the job came out better than I expected. After doing such an amazing job on the kitchen, I expressed to Rani that I would like to do some more work with him but money, unfortunately, doesn’t grow on trees. Fortunately, Rani found an affordable way for me to redo all the bathrooms and flooring throughout the house.

  • Beverly S.

    Our initial meeting with Rani was excellent due to him giving us information and ideas we hadn’t thought of. He returned a week later with a presentation for our kitchen. Again, we were surprised at his additional ideals and his presentation. We had previously had two of the big-box stores come out so we had an idea of cost. Rani was more reasonable and offered us better and more creative ideas. Our kitchen is completed and we feel we qualify for Better Homes & Gardens. We would recommend our experience and job to everyone.

  • Warren M.

    After about a year and a half after we remodeled our bathroom, we had some minor electrical issues and reached out to A-List Builders. Ben followed up consistently and in a timely manner until my needed repair work was done.

  • Debbie W.

    Everyone was professional, nice and knowledgeable. I am so happy with their work and I will be using them again for my next project. In addition, I will be referring them (which I don't do unless I completely trust a job well done) to my family and friends. Thank you, again, for such a positive experience.

  • Deborah B.

    I hired A-List for a large restoration project. The project involved wall replacement with framing & drywall, stucco, exterior & interior painting, foundation reinforcement, a new exterior gate, fence repair, brick & tile walkways. Ben was the only contractor I interviewed who recommended that an engineer inspect the foundation as part of the evaluation process. Megan cheerfully worked through the process with my insurance company. All of the on-site workers were a pleasure to work with. They arrived early, were professional, & kept the work-site clean & organized...even the city inspector commented positively about A-List's knowledge & organization. A-List Builders did a great job & their follow-up was excellent.

  • Lou D.

    Like so many people in LA we bought a fixer upper. Over the last 5 years we have searched intently for a contractor we could trust. Never has a contractor come on our property that affected us the way Ben and Megan from A-List Builders have. They immediately understood our needs and made brilliant suggestions. They answered every question, every call, and it was such a difference dealing with them than any company we've ever hired before. They did not waste a minute of our time, nor did they try to get us to do more than we wanted. Their pricing is more than fair. They are so good at what they do and completely trustworthy and make hard things much easier. There actually IS a really good General Contractor out there and a company that does all that it promises and more.

  • Anonymous

    I used A-List Builders for my Bathroom Remodel and my bathroom is more beautiful now than I could have ever imagined...I met with Ben who gave me a free estimate for the job and knew right away that A-List Builders was the company I was going to use for the job. Their estimate was fair, and their communication throughout the entire process was fantastic. I always knew there was going to be someone else on the other line if I needed to get a hold of them for any reason. Their workers were true pros that did an immaculate job, excellent craftmanship and very good at keeping the renovation area very clean. I absolutely love my new bathroom and have already recommended them to two of my friends. Truly a great experience!

So, what do you think?

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