Cost to Build an ADU in Los Angeles

Having trouble figuring out ADU pricing? Learn more about average ADU construction costs vs "true costs" in this blog post.

Last updated 
June 14, 2022
Cost to Build an ADU in Los Angeles

Cost to Build an ADU in Los Angeles

At this point, you probably already know that adding an ADU is a great investment, guaranteed to increase your property’s value. But you might not know how much it costs to build one. In fact, that’s a bit of a tricky question, as the answer depends on a number of different variables. In this guide to ADU pricing, we’ll break down some of the determining factors, teach you how to understand the true cost, and go over financing options for ADU construction in Los Angeles County.

Determining Factors

One of the most frequent questions we get from homeowners is: “What is the average cost to build an ADU?” The truth is, there is no “average ADU cost” because there are so many variables at play. First, it depends on what type of accessory dwelling unit you’re looking to build. New constructions nearly always cost more than conversions, and detached ADUs tend to be pricier than those attached to the main house. The size of your floor plan helps shape the price as well: naturally, a larger structure will carry a higher construction cost than a smaller one. Finally, the quality of your construction materials, appliances, and fixtures has an impact on the final figure as well.

ADU Construction Pricing

UC Berkeley's Turner Center says the average price of an ADU in Los Angeles is $148,000, and that's just for the construction! Seeing as that's an average, we broke down the costs for different types of ADUs in LA County:

  • $100 - 135k for an attached existing space conversion
  • $135k - 160k for a detached existing space conversion
  • $150k - 350k for a new build

Again, these are averages, so the final price could fall outside the range listed here, depending on the details and scope of your project.

But What is the “Real Price?”

One of the most confusing--and often frustrating--aspects of building an ADU is a lack of pricing transparency. Did you know that a contractor's quoted price for an ADU can be as little as 75% of the true cost? It’s true!

When building an ADU you also have to factor in the costs of building plans, structural engineering work, city permits, Title 24 consultants, quality finish materials, and appliances.

The Otto ADU Way

Otto ADU takes away the uncertainty by providing everything you need to add an ADU. Because Otto handles everything in-house, we're able to deliver ADUs for the average prices you see above, without passing along all the pesky add-ons and fees. If you're interested in having one company handle the whole process for you, sign up for a free consultation with one of our ADU experts.

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