Accessory Dwelling Units

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a second building built next to your home. They’re popping up all over because the possible uses are endless. Depending on what you want, an ADU is ideal as a private guest home, rental property, home office, mother-in-law apartment, craft room, party space — almost anything you can dream up. Whether you build it for personal use or as an income-generating dwelling, you’ll be amazed at how functional and beautiful these small units can be.

ADUs require a number of permits and approvals and can take some time*. As one of Utah’s leading ADU builders, we know the process inside and out. It’s part of what sets us apart — that, and working personally with you to create a custom dwelling that looks great and meets your needs.

If you’ve been thinking about an ADU, let’s talk about what you envision, then walk your property and start discussing the possibilities.  

*We suggest everyone considering an ADU check out our ADU design process summary below. Also, you can click here to see a list of Utah cities where ADU are permitted.

OUR OFFERINGS

adu sample designs

Each ADU is unique*, but they’re typically one to three bedrooms and include a full bathroom, kitchen, and comfortable living space.  
*We don’t build from a kit.
View Designs

Building a custom ADU is typically a lengthy process due to city permitting and approval processes, which can take over three months. We recommend all of our clients read thoroughly through our design process page. Being fully prepared will make the process move much quicker.

We can build any type or style of ADU to match your home. Our ADUs are all one of a kind, we do not build out of the box structures. They are designed to fit your needs specifically and can accommodate most areas throughout Utah. Contact us today to learn more about building and pricing Accessory Dwelling Units.

City Side Haven
Roosevelt adu
Architect: Brach Design Architecture
Design: Built By Design
Completed 2020
Sugarhouse Getaway
Windsor Place ADU
Architect: Brach Design Architecture
Design: Built By Design
Completed 2021

ADU Design and Build Process

There are many steps that must be taken in order to design and build an ADU in the Salt Lake City, Park City and surrounding area in Utah. We have created an easy to understand two phased approach that allows our clients to get through the design and city approval process as quickly as possible.

The first phase of the process is about understanding our clients goals and creating the necessary drawings to turn into the city. The second phase of approval is submitting an application along with these drawings in order to begin construction. We are experts in this process and are happy to answer all of your questions during our initial kickoff meeting.

ADU's are currently permitted in the following cities:
Alpine City
Bountiful City
Cedar Hills City
Cottonwood City
Enoch City
Heber City
Holladay
Midvale City
Millcreek
North Ogden City
Park City
Payson City
Provo City
Orem City
Sandy City
South Jordan City
Taylorsville City
phase 1
1-3 weeks

kickoff meeting, drawing plans, & goal setting

In phase one, we complete your application for the city. It begins with a conversation in which we discuss your goals and work to understand your needs. We walk your property and gather the information we’ll need to create the Schematic Design & Project Site Plan. With this, we are able to create the Custom Conditional Use Drawings, both of which are required for your application to the city.

phase 2
3-6 months

Applications, Project Planning & City Permitting

Phase two is the application submission phase, which takes anywhere from three to six months. This needs to be completed before construction can begin. Below we outline six detailed steps all applicants must complete, but the application process generally goes like this:

Once submitted there is a 45-day public input period in which city departments review the information and the planning division (is this supposed to be commission???) reviews compliance. Once complete, a public hearing is held to inform the planning commission’s decision. If there are any disputes, there willl also be an appeal process. Once your application is approve, we will receive the building permits necessary to begin construction.

Step 1: Application & Conditional Use Drawings submission

Documents are submitted and the applicant is assigned a planner.
If application is not completed, applicant will be provided a list of missing information. Step 2 will not begin until application is resubmitted.

Typically 7 days

Step 2: Forty-five day public input period

Documents are submitted and the applicant is assigned a planner.
If application is not completed, applicant will be provided a list of missing information. Step 2 will not begin until application is resubmitted.

Typically 7 days

Step 3: Any necessary updates to the application are made

Documents are submitted and the applicant is assigned a planner.
If application is not completed, applicant will be provided a list of missing information. Step 2 will not begin until application is resubmitted.

Typically 7 days

Step 4: Staff report is created

City departments review comments. Step 4 will not begin until applicant resubmits updated information.

Typically 1 day

Step 5: Public hearing is held + Planning Commission makes a decision

There is a 10-day appeal period for all Planning Commission decisions.

Typically 10 days

Note: If an appeal is made, it will add an additional 60-90 days.

Step 6: Application & Conditional Use Drawings are approved

Building permits may now be acquired to begin construction.

Timeframe determined by the city’s building services

FAQs

how do i begin the adu building process?

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how long does the adu building process take?

Building a custom ADU is a complex process — which is why we focus so strongly on the relationships with our clients. It typically takes several weeks to understand your needs, determine the scope of the project, and makes we’re a good fit. After that, we move to the first steps in the process — permitting and planning— which can take anywhere from three to six months alone.

where can i learn more about slc building rules?

You can always ask us, but there is also a lot of information online. Visit SLC.gov’s Building Services FAQ for more information. You can stop in to the permits and zoning office in the city and county building. Contact us and we’re happy to meet you there. The permit office is located at 451 South State Street Room 215, SLC.

Start Your Project Today.

Built by Design Construction is a full-service construction company specializing in premium custom homes, ADUs, and large-scale renovation projects. With over 10 years of experience as custom homebuilders and a combined 30 years in real estate and renovation, we walk our clients through every step of this vitally important process.

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