Cabal Construction's ADU Services

An ADU is a great way to add space and/or value to your home or rental property. At Cabal Construction, we’ve built dozens of accessory dwelling units ranging from 250 to 2500 sq ft. Specializing in ADUs, we are familiar with the requirements set forth by the state and local municipalities. This way we save our clients time and money. Below, please find some pros, cons and general pricing with ADUs. Keep in mind, we build in San Diego County only. The information below pertains to homeowners in sunny San Diego, California

Garage Conversion ADU is defined as a garage converted into an accessory dwelling unit. Converting a garage to an accessory dwelling unit has proven to be the fastest and most cost effective way to add an ADU to any given property.

  • TIME IN PLANNING: If your architect can get away with leaving the existing foundation and roof on from your existing garage- it will take less time for planning to approve, and less time for your builder to complete the project.
  • COST-EFFECTIVE: Garage Conversions are typically completed quicker, with less building materials.
  • LOSS OF GARAGE: Converting your garage means you lose parking and storage space.
  • FIREWALLING NECESSARY: The state of California requires extensive firewalling for shared walls. In some cases, your builder may have to disrupt the existing home to modify the existing shared walls in order to meet fire-rating requirements.
  • DESIGN CONSTRAINTS: Garage conversions typically stay within the confines of the existing garage structure, making design an obstacle versus a fun creative project.
Pricing: Starting at $75,000


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A “Free Standing ADU” is defined as an ADU which is built from the ground up and not attached to any building structure.

  • SOUND PROOFING AND PRIVACY: A detached, free standing ADU is great for privacy and sound blocking.
  • DESIGN IT HOW YOU WANT IT: A detached, free standing ADU gives you much more flexibility to design it the way you want it. Choose from 8’ to 10’ walls and vaulted ceilings.
  • HIGHER COSTS: A detached, free standing ADU tends to be more expensive because it requires a foundation that is typically larger in perimeter. The drain connection to your existing drain line will also be farther away, and therefore requires more material and labor to add drainage for the new ADU.
  • LAND USE: A detached, free standing ADU will need setbacks of at least 6’ from any existing structure. This means you will need to allocate some of the space in your property for setbacks to existing structures.


Pricing: Starting at $145,000


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An “Above Garage ADU” is defined as an accessory dwelling unit that is built on top of an existing garage.

  • EFFICIENT LAND USE: The above garage ADUs are built on top of the existing garage, and therefore do not take away any existing floor space from your lot.
  • KEEP YOUR GARAGE: While you may need to vacate your garage during construction, there will be no need to park or store your items elsewhere once it’s completed.
  • VIEW AND PRIVACY: Elevated position can provide better views and increased privacy.


  • COSTLY FOUNDATION ADDITIONS: May require significant reinforcement of the existing garage to support the additional weight.
  • STAIRS AND ACCESSIBILITY: Requires stairs, which might not be suitable for everyone.
  • HIGHER BUILDING COSTS: In most cases, adding an Above Garage ADU requires a modified, nearly redone, foundation for your garage. This means while you are adding 500 to 600 square feet of new space, you may be actually paying for 1,000 to 1,200 square feet of new space.


Pricing: Starting at $210,000


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A Two Story ADU is defined as an accessory dwelling unit with two floors.

  • MAXIMIZED FLOOR SPACE: Two-story ADUs are a great way to get more square footage on less land. If you have a tight space for building, but need the living space, a two-story ADU solves that problem.
  • FLEXIBLE DESIGN: Can include multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas across two floors.
    GREAT COST PER SQUARE FOOT: Unlike an above garage ADU, the square footage your are building for your two-story will serve as living space, and therefore get you the most value for your building costs.


  • ZONING AND REGULATION COMPLIANCE: Might face stricter regulations and permits due to its size.
  • Longer Construction Time: The complexity of the project can lead to longer construction timelines.


Pricing: Starting at $180,000

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At Cabal Construction, we understand that every homeowner’s needs and visions are unique. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through each step of the process, from design and permitting to construction and finishing touches, ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience. Contact us today to get started on your ADU project and transform your property into a more valuable, versatile, and vibrant space.


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