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Even though ADUs are smaller homes, they still need a lot of work. Neighbors may complain about the noise, and you may find it bothersome as well when you are having them built on your property. However, there is no need to stress over it when you can acquire pre-fabricated ADUs and save even more time, money, and hassles.

There are two sorts of ADUs

1. Stick-built.

Stick-built ADUs are built on-site utilizing traditional construction techniques such as wood frames.

2. Prefabricated ADUs (Pre-fab ADUs).

Pre-fab ADUs are ADUs that are constructed off-site using factory-made components. While pre-fab homes are sometimes only partially constructed off-site, the rest of the construction is completed on-site.

Manufactured ADUs – Manufactured ADUs are homes that are completely built off-site and transported to your property as a finished home. A prefabricated ADU has a slanted roof and beams, just like most traditional dwellings.

Modular ADUs – The sections of a modular ADU are built off-site, and the pieces are assembled on-site. To put it another way, it’s like putting up a gingerbread home with premade walls and roof. These are constructed in the shape of boxes, with numerous of these box-like constructions being combined to form various rooms of the house. When compared to stick-built ADUs, modular ADUs are often less customizable.

Modular ADU
Modular ADU (Source Facit Homes)

Panelized ADUs – When the external frame of a house is built and brought to the building site, it is known as a panelized construction. This style of ADU buildings provides for a great deal of customization by also being affordable. Furthermore, it makes use of regulated production settings for improved yield and efficiency. When they finish making the panels, the panels are craned or hand-placed at the foundations of the ADUs. Finally, they complete the plumbing, electrical work, insulation, and drywalling. As you can see, panelized ADUs need very little effort to construct off-site. As a result, it mostly qualifies as a stick-built home with a high appraisal value.

To what extent are prefabricated ADUs customizable?

Pre-fab ADUs
Pre-fab ADUs completely built off-site)

ADU house builders frequently encounter challenges in meeting client demands for various sizes and forms. ADUs, unlike ordinary homes, need extensive planning because they are secondary residences built on a limited portion of your land.

Many clients prefer their ADUs to be customized to meet their needs, which can be difficult in some cases due to factors such as obtaining a permit.

Click here to read about how getting a permit to build an ADU can be the biggest challenge:

As previously stated, manufactured and modular ADUs are less customizable than penalized and stick-built approaches. However, you may always have multiple floor-plan alternatives offered by the builders and select whatever suits you best. Furthermore, with fewer configurable options, you will have a greater chance of controlling your spending.

For larger ADUs, the price differences are often minor; stick-built is price comparable with prefabricated houses for large ADUs. However, you cannot declare which choice is the cheapest; you must just ensure that you compare all prices related to the type of ADU you want with your requirements. Permitting, utility connections, site work, transportation, and material costs are examples of such requirements.

Stick-built vs. pre-fab: benefits and drawbacks

  1. ADUs are a terrific way to add value to your home while also providing more living space. Stick-built ADUs often have the greatest appraisal value since they may be more modified to match the design of your principal home. Furthermore, stick-built houses are more durable. The sole downside of stick-built homes is that they take more than 24 weeks to build.
  2. Modular ADUs – Because the pieces are produced off-site and assembled on-site after delivery, modular ADUs can be built in 13-14 weeks, which is nearly half the time of stick-built structures. However, in comparison to stick-built homes, these are less appealing and less customizable.
  3. Manufactured ADUs: These are also a 10% cost savings and are smaller models than stick-built ADUs. It also takes only around 13-14 weeks because these are built off-site and delivered to your land as a finished home. 

Manufactured ADUs do not have an assessment and are classified as personal property. Because it is higher up, it requires steps to access it. These ADUs may also be subject to specific residential zoning regulations, with a maximum size of 430 square feet. These are less durable since they are not governed by CA Building Code Standards, resulting in a minus point in the appraisal value.

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