There are many battles out there over who’s the best. I was listening to the radio last week and there was a heated discussion about if In-N-Out hamburgers were better than midwest hamburger franchise Maid-Rite. Then when I went to visit some friends, they were passionately discussing the pros and cons of Peet’s Coffee versus Starbucks. And I’m not even going to go into detail about the trash talking on social media concerning whatever sport is in season and which team or player is best.
We get so fired up over a $5 cup of coffee, a $10 burger meal, and weekly sports events that are forgotten a week later. How much more should we be invested in finding the best ADU company in the area? Afterall, an ADU is an important real estate investment that will impact not only your financial future but how your family or tenants will use it. So how do you find the best ADU company?
Do Your Homework
You’re reading this blog, so obviously you’re doing your online research and this is the perfect place to start. There are several reputable companies in the Bay Area but we need to narrow down our search to the best ADU company for YOU. There are several things you need to find out before you hire a crew.
- Are they general contractors or a specified ADU company? The difference is akin to going to a general practitioner as compared to an optometrist or dentist. A company that specializes in ADUs is better equipped to give you the ADU that you are looking for with less surprises and budget overages. Remodeling a home or building a shed is much different than constructing an ADU. Plus blueprints, permits, and tying the new property in with the old takes experience and skill.
- Building an ADU involves more than just construction. The best ADU company will know how to navigate city permits, they’ll understand the California Department of Housing and Community Development ADU laws and regulations, and they’ll partner with lenders, landscaping companies, real estate agents, and insurance professionals to ensure that their clients are well educated, protected, and receive the best full service experience.
- Know the right questions to ask. The closest company isn’t always the best, but proximity to your home is definitely something to consider. How well do they know your community? Where are they located and how do they plan to monitor construction (many parts of the project may be outsourced). What technology do they use to track progress and stay in communication with their clients? How many ADUs do they build at a time? Are they over extended? Is there a waitlist? With past COVID supply chain issues, many companies could still be facing challenges with keeping up with demand. What is your timeline for completion and can the company meet your deadline?
- Trust your gut. Recently my husband and I moved into a new build community and talking with our neighbors and interviewing landscaping and pool companies have taught us so much! (Which I will definitely write a full blog on.) Here are the three main things we learned: 1) if someone is slow to get back to you before the project starts, they’re going to drag their feet during the project and at the end of the project, if problems need to be fixed, you’re going to have to nag like crazy. If they show up to fix their error, it’s going to be a miracle. 2) Choose someone who treats you like you’re their only project. We all know that contractors and companies are busy, but what I care about is my project. And more importantly than my project is that this investment will have a huge impact on my finances and my family. I’m not a job; I’m a person. The best ADU company will respect you, your finances, your time, and your goals. 3) We also interviewed seven landscapers and learned a lot about the interview process. Some were great in person but never got back to us. Others over promised AND overpriced us. Our pool company didn’t listen to our budget or our design edits and they didn’t share important details with us (like don’t choose the glass tiles, they scratch easily when the gunite is applied – so why do they even sell them?!?!). Alas, we went tens of thousands of dollars over budget and had to eventually complete the landscaping ourselves. If your gut says “Warning!”, then move on.
The Best ADU Company to Choose
Obviously the best ADU company to choose is the one that can answer your questions knowledgeably and quickly, tells you what you need to hear and not always what you want to hear (“In my opinion, your ADU would fit better in your backyard than your side yard for these reasons…”), doesn’t constantly try to upsell you with bigger units and more expensive finishes, and puts you first.
So who is the best ADU company in my opinion? I would choose ADU Warehouse, hands down. Why? ADU Warehouse focuses on building ADUs. Better yet, they don’t just have their company’s models but they represent a variety of ADU companies. This means that you have more options for your needs, space, and budget! Secondly, when they assessed my property, they gave me the information of their preferred lender, insurance company, real estate agent, and landscaper so I could have a full understanding and financial estimate before we started the project.
This means that there are few if any big surprises during the project and my budget can stay intact. I could also plan accordingly for future expenses like if I had to increase my insurance coverage if I had a renter, how much rental income could I possibly obtain, and how would my property taxes be affected. These were topics that I never even considered or knew where to look for the answers. ADU Warehouse pointed me to professionals who took the time to explain the process, drew out detailed explanations of what I could expect, and were great to work with.
Choosing to build an ADU was the easy decision. Hopefully now you know the best ADU company to build it!