ADU Buiders

Pacific Beach

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10 min read

Ensure a smooth project with an experienced ADU builder in Pacific Beach.


Exploring the construction and rental process for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Pacific Beach, San Diego, requires partnering with adept ADU builders. Understanding local construction regulations, rental market dynamics, and the permitting labyrinth is pivotal to the success and compliance of your ADU project. This guide will navigate you through the intricate process of constructing and renting out an ADU in this vibrant community.

Essential ADU Rules for Pacific Beach

What you can build

  • Maximum size

    Detached ADUs can be up to 1,200 sq ft. JADU size is typically determined in relation to the primary residence's size.
  • Side / rear setbacks

    Minimum of 4 feet from side and rear property lines for ADUs. Additional considerations for two-story structures and properties in coastal zones.
  • Two story

    Permitted, adhering to local height limits and zoning regulations.
  • Building separation

    Minimum 6-foot distance is required between the ADU and any existing structures.

Permitting timeline

  • Standard

    4-6 months.
  • Coastal

    Required for ADUs in coastal zones.

Choosing the Right ADU Builder in Pacific Beach

Selecting an ADU builder experienced with Pacific Beach’s nuances is critical. Local zoning knowledge, design finesse, and regulatory efficiency are paramount. Better Place Remodeling excels in these areas, offering a comprehensive, in-house, one-stop-shop solution. Our intimate familiarity with Pacific Beach’s unique ADU requirements ensures a streamlined, compliant, and efficient construction process, making us the premier choice for your ADU project.

Pacific Beach ADU Construction Process

Building an ADU in Pacific Beach follows a structured process, encompassing crucial phases to ensure compliance with local regulations and project success:

  • Initial Assessment and Feasibility Study

Collaborate with a seasoned builder such as Better Place Remodeling to evaluate your ADU project’s viability, considering zoning laws, property layout, and requirements.

  • Design and Planning

Partner with design experts to craft a comprehensive plan that optimizes space, meets regulations, and reflects your vision. This phase involves material, finish, and fixture selection.

  • Permit Application

Submit detailed plans to the city for evaluation. Address feedback and ensure compliance with requirements to facilitate a smooth approval process.

  • Construction

With permits secured, construction kicks off. This phase is meticulously managed to adhere to the agreed timeline, budget, and quality standards. Regular inspections are conducted to ensure compliance.

  • Inspection and Finalization

The last stage involves city inspections to confirm adherence to building codes and regulations. Upon passing inspection, the ADU is deemed ready for occupancy.

Building Your ADU in Pacific Beach

Two-story ADUs in Pacific Beach are permitted if they meet the city’s height regulations. For ADUs above accessory buildings, flat-roofed structures must not exceed 21 feet, while sloped-roofed ones must stay under 30 feet, with limits based on the zone’s height restrictions.

Yes, in Pacific Beach, property owners can convert existing non-livable spaces, such as garages, storage areas, or similar structures, into ADUs. This is in addition to the allowance for detached ADUs, and there is no limit on the number of such conversions as long as they comply with local zoning and building codes.

Detached ADUs in Pacific Beach can be up to 1,200 square feet. This size limit applies regardless of the size of the primary residence on the property.

ADU Size & Building Constraints in Pacific Beach

A detached ADU can be at least 16 feet high with reduced setbacks of zero on the side and in the backyard. However, you can build higher than 16 feet, subject to the height maximums for the underlying zone, which typically range between 24 feet and 30 feet, with some areas allowing up to 35 feet.

No, Pacific Beach does not permit the construction of roof decks on ADUs, following the City of San Diego regulations, which also restrict such constructions on detached ADUs.

The square footage of any attached ADU in Pacific Beach may be up to 1,200 square feet. This size limit is not dependent on the size of the primary dwelling, providing flexibility for homeowners.

ADUs in Pacific Beach must match the primary dwelling’s exterior design, follow setback regulations (with a minimum 4-foot distance from property lines), and meet landscape criteria if the property already has two ADUs or JADUs, necessitating trees at a ratio of one tree per premises for every 5,000 square feet of lot area.

Yes, ADUs in Pacific Beach can have separate mailing addresses. The process involves coordination with the City of San Diego and the United States Postal Service (USPS). Property owners may need to provide documentation, such as a site plan, and the city will coordinate with USPS to update their records with the new address.

Renting Your ADU in Pacific Beach

Renting out your ADU in Pacific Beach opens avenues for additional income or provides a cozy space for loved ones. Local market insights reveal a high demand for rental units, promising rental income potential. Landlords must navigate legal requirements, including rental agreements, utility considerations, and ensuring separate or shared addresses align with city guidelines. Partnering with Better Place Remodeling can simplify these complexities, ensuring a profitable and compliant rental venture.

Neighborhoods: Bay Ho, Bay Park, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach.


Calculate Your ADU Cost in Pacific Beach

Curious about the cost of your ADU in Pacific Beach? Find out quickly with our interactive calculator. This tool is designed to give you a rough estimate.

Attached ADU


Estimated Cost


*The costs we are calculating here are an average for time and materials. This calculator is meant to provide an estimate to educate you on the ADU building process, please note that this is not a final quote.

Detached ADU


Estimated Cost


*The costs we are calculating here are an average for time and materials. This calculator is meant to provide an estimate to educate you on the ADU building process, please note that this is not a final quote.

Garage ADU


Estimated Cost


*The costs we are calculating here are an average for time and materials. This calculator is meant to provide an estimate to educate you on the ADU building process, please note that this is not a final quote.
Discover the possibilites


Constructing and renting out an ADU in Pacific Beach, San Diego, offers substantial benefits, from enhancing property value to contributing to the local housing supply. Success in this venture demands an in-depth understanding of ADU regulations, a strategic partnership with experienced builders like Better Place Remodeling, and a keen insight into the rental market. By meticulously navigating these aspects, homeowners can transform their properties into thriving investments. For custom advice and the latest regulations, consulting with local planning authorities is recommended.


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