Expand Your Home with a JADU in San Diego: What You Need to Know

share Share

11 min read

Discover how to maximize your San Diego home’s potential with a Junior ADU, boosting both space and value.


A junior ADU San Diego property can offer you more livable space in your home. JADUs are becoming increasingly popular in San Diego as a way to provide affordable housing for families, create rental income, or accommodate aging parents. But building a junior ADU comes with different rules and regulations surrounding it.

Regulation of JADUs in San Diego

You need to understand the legal requirements before constructing a JADU in San Diego. In San Diego, JADUs are regulated by the local zoning ordinances and building codes. The regulations vary depending on the zone and the specific characteristics of the property and include:

  • Setbacks

Setbacks are the minimum distance that a structure must be located from the property line. The setback requirements vary depending on the zone and can range from 0 to 25 feet.

  • Size

The maximum size of a JADU is 1,200 square feet or 50% of the existing primary dwelling, whichever is smaller. The JADU must also have a separate entrance, kitchen, and bathroom.

  • Parking

JADUs are not required to provide additional parking if the primary residence has a garage or a dedicated parking space. However, if the primary residence does not have any parking, then one off-street parking space must be provided for the JADU.

  • Maximum Height

The maximum height for a JADU is 16 feet, and it must comply with the height requirements for the zone in which it is located.

How to Build a Junior ADU in San Diego

Building a JADU can seem daunting, but with the right information and resources, it can be a manageable and rewarding project. Here is a more detailed overview of the steps involved:

  • Obtain Permits

You will need to obtain the necessary permits from the City of San Diego before building a junior ADU San Diego property. The type of permits you need will depend on the scope of your project, but generally, a building permit for a JADU in San Diego will cost between $2,000 to $6,000.

  • Work with Junior ADU San Diego professionals

As ADU builders in San Diego, we will help you with the permit process, ensure all work is up to code, and complete the project on time and within budget.

  • Choose the Right Type of JADU

There are several types of JADUs to choose from, including attached JADUs, detached JADUs, and garage conversions. Consider the size of your lot, your budget, and your specific needs when choosing the type of JADU that’s right for you.

  • Consider the Costs

The cost of building a Junior ADU San Diego property will vary depending on several factors, including the type of JADU, the size of the unit, and the materials used. On average, a JADU in San Diego can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000. However, a JADU can also provide rental income and increase the value of your property, making it a smart investment in the long run.

Type of JADUPotential ROI
Garage conversion8-12%

Junior ADU San Diego Permits

The types of permits you need to obtain will depend on the scope of your project. In general, a building permit is required for construction work that involves altering, adding, or removing structural elements of a building. Additionally, if the JADU is rented out, a business license may be required.

The cost of permits for building a JADU in San Diego will depend on the scope of your project. Generally, a building permit alone can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000. Electrical and plumbing permits can cost an additional $500 to $1,500 each, while a mechanical permit can cost around $100.

Collaborate with our Junior ADU San Diego specialists

When considering building a JADU, it’s important to do your research and consult with experienced professionals such as licensed contractors and permit expediters. Our Junior ADU San Diego experts at Better Place Design & Build will work with you from start to finish for the best ADU property. Just take the first step and contact us today.


Yes, but the size and type of JADU that you can build may be limited by the size of your lot and the zoning regulations in your area.

On average, it can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to complete a JADU in San Diego.

No, JADUs are only allowed on residential lots. You cannot build a JADU on a lot that is zoned for commercial use.

No, there are no income restrictions for renting out a JADU in San Diego.

There are no tax incentives at the federal level, but some state and local governments may offer incentives for building accessory dwelling units.

It depends. If the lot has a historic designation, you may need to get additional approvals before building a JADU.


Get more stories from us in your inbox.

    Your information will be used in accordance with Better Place Remodeling

    More Blogs

    Share via

    Facebook Gmail Twitter WhatsApp