ADU Alliance

Above Garage ADU In San Diego County: Elevating Your Living Space

The demand for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in San Diego County is on the rise, and above garage ADU in San Diego County present a unique opportunity for homeowners. In this article, we delve into the advantages and considerations of incorporating the above garage ADU into your property. From design to construction, ADU Alliance is your go-to expert for unlocking the full potential of this space-saving solution.

above garage adu in san diego county

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the benefits of above garage ADU in San Diego County.
  • Exploring design and construction options with ADU Alliance.
  • Leveraging additional services like ADU remodeling and consultation.
  • Navigating the regulatory landscape for seamless ADU construction.
  • Realizing the value and versatility of above garage ADUs in San Diego County.

Recent California ADU Legislative Changes

In January 2023, California enacted AB 2221, AB 916, and SB 897 which contained over a dozen impactful changes for ADU laws in San Diego.

Above Garage ADU in San Diego County: Maximizing Living Space and Value

  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have become increasingly popular in San Diego County, providing homeowners with versatile options for maximizing their living spaces. Among the various types of ADUs, the above garage ADU in San Diego County stands out for its efficient use of existing structures.

The Versatility of Above Garage ADUs

  • ADU Alliance specializes in crafting ADUs that align with the unique needs of San Diego County residents. Above garage ADU in San Diego County presents a creative solution for homeowners looking to expand their living spaces without sacrificing valuable yard space. These units can serve multiple purposes, from guest accommodations to home offices or even rental opportunities.

Designing Above Garage ADUs with ADU Alliance

  • Our team at ADU Alliance understands the importance of a well-designed ADU. Our architecture services ensure that the above garage unit seamlessly integrates with your existing structure while adding aesthetic value. Considerations such as natural light, ventilation, and accessibility are at the forefront of our design philosophy.

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Construction Expertise: Transforming Spaces

  • ADU construction can be a complex process, but with ADU Alliance, your vision becomes a reality. Our experienced team navigates the construction process efficiently, ensuring that your above garage ADU complies with all regulations while maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship.

ADU Remodeling and Consultation Services

Navigating Regulations with ADU Alliance

  • Understanding local regulations and permits is crucial for a smooth ADU construction process. ADU Alliance excels in ADU permitting and regulatory assistance, ensuring your above garage ADU in San Diego County complies with all requirements.

ADU Laws in San Diego County: ADU Size Requirements

The maximum ADU sizes allowed depend on whether the unit is attached or detached:

Square Footage of Existing single-family residence (SFD) Maximum Allowed Square Footage for Detached ADU Maximum Allowed Square Footage for Attached ADU (up to 50% of SFD)
Studio or 1 Bedroom ADU 2 Bedrooms  or more  ADU
500 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 850 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
1,000 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 850 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
1,800 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 900 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
2,000 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
2,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,100 sq. ft. 1,100 sq. ft.
3,000 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft.
4,500 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft.

There are no explicit limits on the number of bedrooms in a detached ADU.

Building Permit Requirements

Yes, you need to obtain a building permit before any kind of ADU construction, as per ADU laws in San Diego County. This crucial process verifies your unit meets important health, safety, zoning, and building code regulations.

The County PDS department reviews all ADU permit applications. They ensure your project adheres to regulations around:

  • Maximum size
  • Height restrictions
  • Setback minimums (distance from property lines)
  • Utility requirements
  • Parking rules

PDS also enforces the state’s 60-day application review limit. At a minimum, detached ADUs must provide:

Necessary Amenities
  • Complete kitchen
  • Bathroom (toilet, sink, shower)
  • Sleeping area(s)
  • Separate exterior entrance
Potential Other Requirements
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Parking space(s)
  • New utility meters and connections

Attached ADUs typically have lower amenity thresholds since they can share walls and systems with the main dwelling.

Utility Service Requirements

You will likely need independent utility infrastructure for a detached ADU, including:

  • Separate water line with a meter
  • Independent electrical panel and meter
  • Dedicated gas line, if applicable
  • Individual sewer/septic access

For attached ADUs, you can sometimes share utility connections with the primary dwelling or sub-meter of the ADU usage.

Utility connection costs often reach $5,000+ for detached ADUs but may be far less for attached units. Verify requirements and costs upfront with local utility companies.

ADU Permit Cost Breakdown

As part of a temporary county fee waiver program through January 2024, ADU laws in San Diego waive certain ADU plan check costs. However, you must still pay building permit fees, impact fees, and potentially utility connection and capacity charges.

Typical ADU permit costs include:

Plan Check Fees
  • Review of construction plans
  • $800 – $2,500
  • Waived through January 2024
Building Permit Fees
  • Approval to begin construction
  • $2,500 – $5,000+
Impact Fees
  • Offset community facility impacts
  • $2,000 – $15,000+
Utility Connection Fees
  • Water, electrical, sewer, etc
  • $2,000 – $15,000

Total Budget: $7,000–$40,000+, depending significantly on size and whether utilities require upgrades. You can use ADU cost calculators to estimate expenses. Get proposals from reputable builders to dial in accurate pricing.

experts above garage adu in san diego county

Enhancing Value with Additional Features

  • Consider the array of features available through ADU Alliance to enhance the value of your above garage ADU. From customizable layouts to eco-friendly options, our services are tailored to meet your specific needs.


Unlocking the potential of above garage ADUs in San Diego County involves a strategic approach to design, construction, and regulatory compliance. ADU Alliance stands as your trusted partner in transforming spaces and maximizing the value of your property. Contact us at (760) 456-8747 to embark on the journey of creating a functional and stylish above garage ADU in San Diego County.