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Can I Build an ADU on My Property? A Comprehensive Guide

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Have you ever wondered about expanding your property’s potential with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? The concept of adding an ADU to your property is increasingly popular, offering homeowners a multitude of benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the process, regulations, and considerations involved in building an ADU on your property in Sacramento.

What is an ADU?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is essentially a secondary living space on the same property as your primary residence. These units, also known as granny flats or backyard cottages, can be attached or detached from the main dwelling and come equipped with living, sleeping, kitchen, and bathroom facilities. ADUs provide a versatile solution for maximizing property use.

Benefits of ADUs

1. Increased Property Value

2. Rental Income Potential

3. Multigenerational Living:

4. Design Flexibility

Sacramento Regulations and Considerations

1. How many ADUs can I build?

How Many Can I Build? The City of Sacramento allows a total of two ADUs on a single lot/parcel that can be attached or detached. There must me an existing (or proposed) primary residential structure on the property (i.e., house, duplex, etc.). The total square footage of detached ADUs on a single lot/parcel shall not exceed 1,200 ft2.


For example, two detached ADUs (400 ft2 + 800 ft2 = 1200 ft2). 

2. Site Assessment

Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your property to identify potential ADU locations, considering space availability and access.

3. Cost Budgeting

Evaluate the costs associated with building an ADU, including construction, permits, and potential returns on investment, to create a realistic budget.

4. Permitting Process

Understand the steps involved in obtaining permits for ADU construction, ensuring compliance with local regulations.

5. Consult Professionals

Engage with architects, contractors, or ADU specialists to discuss feasibility, design options, and the overall process.

Sacramento Building Permit Fees and Impact Fees

1. Impact fees are waived for ADUs less than 750 ft2 (SB 13).

With a growing population and housing demand in Sacramento, ADUs offer a practical solution to address this need.

2. School Fees

School District impact fees apply for ADUs. For more information please contact your school district directly CDD-0226.

Elk Grove Unified: (916) 686-7711 x7231

Twin Rivers Unified: (916) 566-1600 x36219

Robla Elementary: (916) 649-5248 x502

Natomas Unified: (916) 567-5468

Sacramento City Unified:(916) 643-7435

San Juan Unified: (916) 979-8629

For an approximation of ADU fees based on different sample square footages please refer to form CDD-0419. The Building Division offers a building permit fee estimate service.

There is a $164 estimating fee associated with this service.

You can request an estimate by completing form CDD-0278 and emailing the completed request to

Your Path to ADU Possibilities Begins Here!

The prospect of building an ADU on your property holds immense potential for maximizing space, generating income, and meeting diverse housing needs. While the process involves navigating regulations and considerations, the benefits can significantly enhance your property’s value and functionality.


At Imkat Homes, we specialize in guiding homeowners through the ADU construction process. Contact our team for expert advice, assistance with regulations, or to explore design options. We’re here to help you unlock the possibilities of building an ADU on your Sacramento property. With the right knowledge and guidance, your journey to creating an ADU begins here!

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