An ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) is a rentable residential unit built/converted on a lot with an existing home. Recent changes in state laws now allow for the construction of ADUs on any single family property as long as it meets both state and city requirements. See below for additional information regarding building from the ground up or converting a garage into an ADU in Los Angeles.

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A detached ADU is either built from the ground up or as a first or second story addition to an existing garage which is not attached to the main residence.


* May vary according to local city code

Max Unit Size: 1,200 SF
Setbacks: 5' from the rear and sides
as well as 10' from any existing structure
Parking: 1 additional parking


An attached ADU is a unit that is attached to the main residence. The ADU may consist of the main residence interior, an addition, or both.


* May vary according to local city code

Max Unit Size: 50% of existing living area
or 1,200 SF whichever is less
Setbacks: 5' side setback (for any addition)
Parking: 1 additional parking


Most commonly done as a garage conversion but may be any part of the home, a relatively simple and cost-effective way to add an ADU onto a property.


* May vary according to local city code

Max Unit Size: None (Garage / No Addition)
Setbacks: None (Garage / No Addition)
Parking: No additional parking

Detached Garage conversions must meet the 10' setback from any existing structure.

Additions must meet a 5' setback from the sides and are limited to 1,200 SF including the converted space.


The additional parking requirement may be waived if the ADU is built within a half mile of public transportation (bus/metro stops). 2 parking spaces must still be provided for the main residence, existing driveway may qualify if it meets the city's minimum size requirements.

In Los Angeles, the minimum size of 1 of the spaces must be at least 18' x 8' 6" and 15' x 7' 6" for the second space


An ADU or conversion will not be eligible if it is within 5' of a LADWP utility easement such as power lines. If the new unit or garage is within 10' of an easement, an encroachment permit will need to obtained from LADWP and may take up to 4 months for approval.

If an existing garage is to be converted, is within 5' of a LADWP easement, and if no other locations for the ADU are feasible, one solution would be to remove the portion of the garage that is nonconforming with the option of adding the lost SF onto the front or side.


Each lot is unique, finding the best fitting type of ADU for a specific property is key. Let our knowledgeable ADU and garage conversion experts guide you through and answer any questions that may arise.

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Jinaviv Addition and Remodel
620 S Virgil Ave #417 Los Angeles, CA 90005
(800) 218 2011

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ADU size is capped by state law at 1,200 SF, if the unit is attached to the main residence it may also not exceed 50% of the existing living area although some cities limit ADU size further, to find out size limits for a specific property feel free to reach out to our friendly staff or the city's building and planning department.

Example: If the existing house is 1,500 SF then the max attached ADU size would be 750 SF (50% of the existing living area) and 1,200 SF if detached.
Example: If the existing house is 3,000 SF then the max ADU size would be 1,200 SF (1,200 SF state required limit regardless of whether or not it is attached).

* A Garage conversion in Los Angeles has no size limit except for the already existing garage size.