Curbed Los Angeles — New state rules have made it easier for California homeowners to add accessory dwelling units (otherwise known as back houses or granny flats) to their properties. But many interested homeowners don’t know where to start. Local prefab company Cover has built a new tool that tells LA homeowners what, exactly, they can build in their backyards.
According to Cover CEO Alexis Rivas, the new tool is designed to get homeowners over the first few hurdles for adding an ADU, which otherwise might require hiring an architect to navigate local zoning regulations and property laws. “We’ve taken the zoning logic and translated it into software for every parcel in LA,” says Rivas.
After homeowners input an address and answer a few questions about how the unit would be used, the tool crunches a wealth of city data and lets users know what, where, and how big they can build. After that, should homeowners want to start the process of buying one of Cover’s prefab units, users pay a $250 fee to begin the consultation, which includes 50 to 100 questions and a site visit.
Cover started production on its modern prefab studios last year, with its first unit installed locally in October. A 320 square feet studio costs $110,000, including construction of the foundation, although it doesn’t have a kitchen or bathroom.
What’s most interesting in light of the city’s housing shortage is how quickly Cover is able to deliver and install new, customized ADUs. Rivas says Angelenos who order their units today could expect to see them completed in a little over six months.
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