Why Pay for Custom ADU Plans and Permitting?

Are custom ADU plans and permitting really worth it? If you want to save money and time, and end up with a higher quality ADU, then yes! Read on to learn more.

Last updated 
September 8, 2022
Why Pay for Custom ADU Plans and Permitting?

Why Pay for Custom ADU Plans and Permitting?

With so many free and cheap resources for ADU development and ready-made plans available online, you may wonder why anyone would pay several thousands of dollars for custom ADU plans.

Are custom plans that much better? And is it really worth it to pay someone to submit my permits for me?

The resounding answer to both questions is “yes!”

In the following blog post, we’ll share the top four reasons why it’s best to let an ADU professional like Otto handle your ADU plans and permits.

1. Permitting time can be faster

Pre-approved plans still require some level of customization to the site and considerations for the unique property it will be located on. Often times this leads to customization, and voids the pre-approvals.

For unique plans, City Planning departments rarely (if ever) accept building applications on the first submittal, as they always seem to find corrections that need to be made before issuing a permit. For someone unfamiliar with the process, this can mean several rounds of back-and-forth with the city. Permitting delays can push the whole project back, adding several months to the overall development process.

Otto’s extensive experience designing ADUs in the Los Angeles area means we’re already very familiar with the jurisdiction’s requirements, and our plans are designed with these specifics in mind.

And when corrections do come up, we address them promptly and come up with a coordinated response that minimizes cost while still maintaining the design integrity of the ADU.

In short, hiring ADU experts to handle your plans and permits minimizes corrections and streamlines the correction response process, which moves the permitting phase along at a much swifter pace. In turn, your ADU is finished faster than it otherwise would had you submitted the permits yourself.

2. It saves you money in the long run

You know the expression, “penny wise and pound foolish”?  If you choose the cheapest ADU plans you can find, you may save some money in the short term, but it’ll inevitably end up costing you down the line.

As we mentioned above, your original permit application will likely come back with redlines (i.e. corrections). You’ll need your architect to make the necessary changes—and the less experience your architect has with ADUs, the more corrections there will be. Architects charge by hour, and even small changes to ADU plans can add up quickly. In addition to speeding the process along, Otto’s ADU plans are optimized for each city’s Building Department and City Planning Department, which saves you money and time.

Furthermore, ADU specialists like Otto have builder expertise, and our plans are designed to save on construction costs. Our early stage design work is directly informed by our permitting and construction knowledge. We are integrated across all phases of the ADU process, meaning that our phase one design work is already addressing issues that would have otherwise become problems during permitting and construction.

For example, if your construction drawings aren’t perfectly coordinated, the General Contractor might build something incorrectly. Or if your drawings don’t anticipate what a building inspector wants to see, your GC could be forced to do additional work (and charge you for it).

3. It also saves you time and stress

Communicating endless revisions with City Planning can be confusing, stressful, and frustrating. Hiring ADU permitting experts like Otto saves you the trouble.

4. You’ll get a much higher-quality ADU for the same price

As any fashion expert will tell you, a garment designed and tailored to your measurements will fit, look, and feel better than something off-the-rack. Accessory dwelling units are no different: hiring ADU experts to design your unit will result in a better overall granny flat, designed to fit your property and needs.

When planning an ADU, there are many site considerations to consider—such as utility placement, privacy, and natural light. Standard plans don’t account for specific site conditions, but custom plans from an expert do.

In addition to site-specific concerns, Otto has a streamlined process for common design upgrades, and can integrate customizations to create an ADU that has everything you need. Like a modern kitchen with panel-ready appliances. Or an age-in-place unit with safety features and accommodations for caregivers. Or a home office with a minimalist kitchenette. Whatever your intended use may be, Otto can design the perfect custom ADU to fit your lifestyle and goals.

If you’re ready to entrust your ADU plans and permitting to industry experts, contact Otto today for a free consultation.

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