How to build a guest house


In the past, guest houses were seen as a luxury just for the wealthy. In today’s time, more and more people are putting great use to the extra space in their backyards to build their own guesthouses, also known as ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units).

Here, you’ll get a few simple steps for building your own guesthouse. Whether you’re planning to fix up an attempted DIY project or looking forward to hiring a contractor to complete the job for you, these steps will help guide you on what you need to know before getting started!

Learn The Local Laws

Before beginning the planning process of building your own guest house, make sure that guest houses are not only permitted on your property, but also in your town/city. Some cities have their own unique zoning laws and homeowner association rules that may not always coincide with one another.

Zoning Laws

Zoning laws determine and regulate how property can be used in a certain area. Ways in which zoning laws can determine how you make use of your property include outlining the maximum number of guests per unit, the required distance between a guest house/ADU and the main house, the number of parking spots, and much more.

Be sure to find your specific housing zone on your city’s development website to get an overview of what is permitted and restricted in your area.

Homeowner Association Rules

Even though the zoning laws for your area may allow the use of a guest house in your city, separate homeowners associations in your area have the power to vote against your plans of building a guest house on your property. Make sure to get in contact with your local HOA to ensure that your plans for building a guest house will not be impacted in the future.

Define The Purpose

Keeping your area’s local laws in mind, you will next need to decide how you will be putting your guesthouse to use.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Whether or not you will be renting out to others.
  • If you will require special accommodations to get in and out of the guest house.
  • If you would ever consider living in your guest house & renting out your main house.

When it comes to rentals, it is wise to keep in mind the extra energy that will be used by guests and invest in appliances that could save you money.

Ramp entrances could be included as an accessible feature, as well as other features to align with your plans for the guest house.

Determine Project Costs & Building Type

How much it costs to build your guest house depends on the type & structure of the house.

The four main types of guest houses include:

  1. garage conversions
  2. detached units
  3. attached units
  4. prefabricated units.

Both garage conversions and attached units are more affordable and add to what you already have. However, a detached unit provides more privacy when it comes to renting, and a prefabricated unit takes out all of the heavy work since it’s already pre-constructed

Hire A Contractor

The last step is hiring a qualified contractor to build out your ADU. Unlike a small bathroom renovation or landscaping project, building an ADU is not something one should take on in their spare time.

Instead, give the team at Bela Development a call to discuss your project.

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