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3 Ways to Build an ADU Unit in the Bay Area – Expert Ideas

Making greater use of a garage or an unused space on your property by building an ADU unit in Bay Area is a logical option given its growing popularity. It can materialize if you require more living space or as an extra source of income.

The most popular methods for constructing these ADUs are framing packages, prefabricated units, and standard stick framing. You can select one of these techniques as per your budget, convenience, and property location. Besides, you have the freedom to select the best ADU contractor, like ADU Specialist Bay Area. Their experts can help you decide which category of ADU is best for you.

  1. Standard Stick Framing

When a builder purchases lumber from the local hardware store conforming to conventional industry specifications and assembling it on-site, the process is known as stick framing. It is the more traditional approach, which has been used for many years. Each material piece is measured, cut to the requisite proportions, and fitted using the prescribed fastening techniques.

Standard stick framing requires more supervision and longer project duration. A lengthy time frame involves higher overhead costs, the possibility of seasonal conditions, and additional safety risks. Since all “sticks” would be split on-site, site hygiene is another consideration. Stick framing still delivers the most design and layout options for the ADU despite these drawbacks.

This option probably has the greatest benefit if you want to completely transform an established garage into an ADU or even attach it to existing building.

  1. Framing Package

The term “framing package” describes that all or some of the framing elements have been pre-cut in the manufacturer’s place before being shipped to the property owner’s place. These structures can either be delivered in sections of floor, wall, and roof frames that need to be put together on location or loose components with specified assembly instructions. A framing engineer receives the ADU structural plan prepared by a structural engineer to establish how individual components are to be fabricated.

Combining traditional stick framing with frame package manufacturing techniques is becoming extremely popular. The frame packages may cost more initially. However, keep in mind that by purchasing pre-cut sections, the time and work required to assemble the frame on your project are much reduced. As more businesses offer these frame sets, prices are coming down. Limiting waste, maintaining the workplace, and reducing manufacturing errors are other advantages of this technique.

  1. Prefabricated Units

Prefabricating your entire accessory dwelling unit is another choice to consider as a substitute for traditional stick framing if you’re planning to create a new ADU virtually from scratch. Although it has the fewest layout and customization possibilities, this option renders you the convenience of having your ADU entirely manufactured in a reputable local factory and delivered to you in the same structural shape or with very minimal assembly. For months, no one will be entering or exiting your property, disturbing your schedule, your neighbors’ privacy, or your sense of security.

Prefab, as it is popularly known, is typically more affordable than stick framing and frame packages since prices get decided early on, even before construction begins. The costing method involves very rare fluctuations.

Weather patterns and other elements that are linked to long-exposure construction sites get immensely reduced or even altogether avoided. Adequate quality control measure is carried out by the vendor that will be shipping you the finished ADU. The fact that your structural engineer can check your ADU during and after manufacturing and before delivery is a notable feature of this ADU type.


Regardless of the technique you choose for your Bay Area ADU, building permits and other statutory obligations are mandatory. You have now gathered a reasonable understanding of what each procedure entails and its possible benefits or drawbacks. The best thing is to revert to your building contractors who have done it before and are knowledgeable about new technologies and cost-effective energy solutions.


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