Project Managing an ADU

Source: Building an ADU

Project managing the development of an ADU is complicated and overwhelming. In this case, I am juggling concrete cutters, concrete contractors (two different specialties), plumbers, electricians, painters, a builder, and two sets of concurrent city inspectors. While I get input from each of them, I must also coordinate their input with the designer’s feedback. The following post is a snapshot into the complexity of managing this project.

Conversions of existing structures is something that a homeowner can do, but it is very consuming. I typically advise homeowners to hire general contractors to manage ADU development, but for very competent and well-organized homeowners, it is possible to manage a conversion, thus saving the cost of using a general contractor.

Each tradesperson I have found is very busy and on very tight schedules. Getting contractors to return a call is tough enough. Getting them to give a solid bid is more challenging. Once you have them committed to do the job, coordinating their schedules is even more challenging. Optimally, they will not be working on top of each other. But, this can be impossible to avoid.

For example, my electricians have been so busy that they have not able to get back to my project to connect up my new electrical panel for three weeks. This means that the awesome ductless mini split heat system that we installed has been out of commission during the extreme 106 degree heat wave we experieced in early August.

Concurrently, I had tried reaching tens of concrete contractor without any luck. Finally, I found one and they were ready to start working on the driveway concrete job immediately. Well, I did not want them to slip away, so I had them begin. Of course, now the driveway looks like a war zone with concrete boulders everywhere. And, now I have to worry that the electricians, the plumbers, and the inspectors who are are scheduled to come next week, will be able to access the garage to do their work without disrupting the concrete contractors.


Alternative Dwelling Units (ADU)Resources
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