License and Experience
You never want to use unlicensed and inexperienced contractors or handyman. Only local, licensed general contractors are qualified or equipped to do this sort of construction. Always confirm they have experience with ADUs. You’ll want to hire a contractor who has recently built ADUs or garage conversions
Use the Contractors State License Board website (link example, California’s CSLB) to check and confirm a valid and active contractor’s license. You will also see if the contractor has any past or pending disciplinary actions. Make sure they’re insured and get a copy of their insurance certificate. Ask your contractor for at least two references you can call. Lastly, read their reviews online on Google and Social Media.
DECISION 1 – PLUMBING
Where do you want your water heater to be, and what type of water heater do you want
(tank or tankless; gas or electric)?
DECISION 2 – HVAC
Are you willing to pay for a full home HVAC system, or do you want a smaller unit that is cheaper but services a smaller area?
DECISION 3 – ELECTRICAL
Where and how many outlets, lights, and switches do you need/ want?
Don’t forget to discuss what kind of electrical panel you’ll need for the ADU with your contractor.
- Does the garage need to be re-roofed?
- Will you be painting the exterior of the ADU?
- How about new fencing or landscape work in the yard?
- Is any concrete work needed (footpath, driveway, etc.)?
- Is there any termite or water damage?
- Do you prefer flat or vaulted ceilings?
- Will your garage floor need to be leveled?
- Do you want a bathtub or just a shower?
- What will your kitchen design look like?
- Are your appliances included in the bid?