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Two Story ADUs – Complete Guide

two story adu los angeles

Two Story Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are generally secondary rental spaces built to accommodate tenants above a main home or commercial store. Since the passage of new ADU legislation in the Los Angeles area, this type of dwelling has become increasingly popular among homeowners looking to add a source of income or expand their living space. Furthermore, local governments typically offer incentives such as grants to help offset the cost of construction.

Two-story ADUs are becoming trendy in Los Angeles. These units provide LA homeowners with an additional living space that can be used for multiple purposes, such as extra storage, a home office, or a guest suite.

If you are interested in installing a two story ADU Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to contact ADU Builders. We have years of experience in the construction industry and are more than capable of creating a functional unit that meets all of your requirements. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your desired outcome.

In this guide, Los Angeles homeowners looking to build a two-story ADU will find all the information they need to make an informed decision about whether an ADU is suitable for their property.

Basics of Two-Story ADUs

The basic elements of a two-story ADU include a main structure, or dwelling unit, along with an attic and staircase. Typically, the ground floor of the ADU contains a kitchen, bathroom, and one or two bedrooms. The attic is often unoccupied, but you can use it for storage. The staircase to the attic is an enclosed structure, usually a winder staircase that bends around a corner and is generally made of wood, although other materials are in use for an ornamental look.

  1. Permitting Requirements

The permitting requirements for two-story ADUs can vary vastly from one local jurisdiction to another. Generally, the local authority in charge of permitting must approve any construction plan, which usually requires turning in drawings and plans to the local building authority and allocating the construction to a licensed contractor. It is critical to check the local regulations to ensure all arrangements comply with local ordinances; failure to do so may result in costly fines or other legal consequences.

  1. Costs

While ADUs may be an excellent choice for adding additional income or living space to a property, the construction cost can be considerable. Generally, the cost of constructing a two-story ADU can range from a modest amount to a runaway price, depending on the size and complexity of the structure. Besides, certain unexpected costs may arise due to fluctuating local ordinances, such as the cost of obtaining permits or inspections. It is essential to factor in these potential costs in the planning stage itself and consult an expert like ADU Builders where necessary.


Fortunately, there are several benefits to building a two-story ADU. For instance, the surplus rental income generated from the ADU can be used to defray some of the construction costs aside from offering an additional source of revenue.

Moreover, since most ADUs are quite small and occupy minimal space, they can be built to blend into the existing structures surrounding the main house and provide functional and aesthetic improvements to the property. Furthermore, certain local governments may provide grants or other financial benefits to encourage ADU construction.

Design Considerations

When designing the structure of a two-story ADU, there are several factors to consider. The stairs must meet the local safety requirements to prevent falls and other accidents. Further, an ADU should withstand the climate, such as heavy rains or high temperatures. Besides, there are certain aesthetic aspects to consider, such as colors and materials that will compliment the overall visuals of the property. Last but not least, it is essential to allocate enough space in the ADU for any additional occupants, should they choose to stay.


Two-story ADUs are a great way for Los Angeles homeowners to add a source of income to their property. Also, you can use them to expand living spaces or offer extra housing for relatives or friends. Before construction, it is critical to research the local ordinances, costs, and design considerations to ensure a successful and legal outcome. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to consult an expert such as ADU Builders if any questions or issues arise. With the proper research and planning, a two-story ADU can be an ideal choice for any homeowner in Los Angeles.

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