ADU Builders San Diego

The City of San Diego ADU Guide

San Diego, CA, USA

You’ve found the ultimate resource for building a granny flat in San Diego, California. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to maximize flexibility for family or an investor planning to add units, our comprehensive guide is here to assist you every step of the way.

Also known as accessory dwelling units (ADU), granny flats, casitas, and in-law suites are easier and cheaper to build, with no minimum lot sizes or side and rear setbacks.

Read on for more on what you can build in San Diego, rent rates, and to see completed & active ADU projects we are building in the City of San Diego. You can also access detailed ADU cost & floor plan information, plus check out homeowner stories.


What you can build

Maximum size: 1200 square feet

Side/rear setbacks: 0 feet (4 feet preferred and for two-story)

Two story: Yes

Permitting timeline

Standard: 4-6 months

Coastal: 5-8 months

San Diego Projects

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Our ADU experience in San Diego

SnapADU is a leader in the San Diego ADU market, with a portfolio that includes dozens of completed and ongoing granny flat projects. Our team’s in-depth knowledge of the city’s ADU regulations and our established relationships with local permitting offices streamline the process for our clients. We’re committed to leveraging our experience to navigate the complexities of each project, from initial design to final construction, ensuring that every ADU we build meets the unique needs of homeowners while complying with local guidelines.

Of note, San Diego promotes the building of more ADUs through the affordable ADU bonus program.

San Diego ADU Regulations & Permitting Requirements

Want to learn more about what kind of ADU you can build in San Diego? Check out our in-depth resource guide San Diego Regulations & Permitting Requirements outlining the ADU building code requirements. We also include what we have learned about how the city will interpret code based on actually designing & building in the city. You can also set up a consult if you want our advice on what you can build.
San Diego ADU Regulations

How long does it take to get a permit for an ADU in San Diego?

Obtaining a permit for an ADU in the City of San Diego typically takes 3-5 months, thanks to improvements in the city’s review and approval process. This is a significant decrease from the previous average of 8-10 months at the height of their staffing shortage in 2022 and early 2023.

Projects located within the coastal zone or those applying under the Affordable ADU Bonus Program may experience longer timelines due to additional regulatory reviews and requirements. Our team at SnapADU works diligently to anticipate and mitigate these potential delays, ensuring a smooth and timely permitting process for our clients.

How much will an ADU rent for in San Diego?

Below are median rental prices by zip code and bedroom count. Be sure to run comps for your specific area or check with a realtor.

92102San DiegoGolden Hill222528004325
92103San DiegoHillcrest240037004475
92104San DiegoNorth Park242530753450
92105San DiegoCity Heights197528003450
92106San DiegoPoint Loma272534754425
92107San DiegoOcean Beach242534004725
92109San DiegoPacific Beach270035505025
92110San DiegoOld Town230035754550
92111San DiegoLinda Vista255032254100
92113San DiegoLogan Heights190025253200
92114San DiegoEncanto190024503025
92115San DiegoCollege Grove190027253750
92116San DiegoNormal Heights220030254425
92117San DiegoClairemont220028753750
92119San DiegoSan Carlos210026753425
92120San DiegoGrantville197529503800
92121San DiegoSorrento Valley250034754300
92122San DiegoUniversity City247533754700
92123San DiegoSerra Mesa255033254250
92124San DiegoTierrasanta227531503975
92126San DiegoMira Mesa240030503925
92127San DiegoRancho Bernardo235028503900
92128San DiegoRancho Bernardo222529253800
92129San DiegoRancho Bernardo202529003800
92130San DiegoCarmel Valley277537254125
92131San DiegoScripps Ranch250030004150
92139San DiegoParadise Hills200027003350

Source: Rentometer March 2024

How do I get my USPS address for my ADU in San Diego?

San Diego’s approach to ADU address assignment involves more direct involvement from the homeowner compared to other cities. Read more in our Guide to ADU Addresses.

ADU Builders in San Diego

Full Accountability. ADU Expertise. Proven Results.

Our own team is responsible for delivering on our promises, from the first time you contact us to the time we hand you the keys to your new ADU home.

As experienced ADU builders, we will anticipate the pitfalls that less seasoned or less integrated teams will miss. And the volume of ADU jobs we handle means we have gained an incredible amount of expertise that we are excited to bring to your project.

We’re 100% focused on being the best ADU builders in San Diego.

Zip Codes: 92101, 92102, 92103, 92104, 92105, 92106, 92107, 92108, 92109, 92110, 92111, 92113, 92114, 92115, 92116, 92117, 92119, 92120, 92121, 92123, 92124, 92126, 92127, 92128, 92129, 92130, 92131, 92139, 92140, 92145, 92147

Neighborhoods: Black Mountain Ranch, Carmel Valley, City Heights, Clairemont, College Grove, Encanto, Grantville, Hillcrest, Kearny Mesa, La Jolla, Linda Vista, Logan Heights, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley, Navajo, Normal Heights, North Park, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Pacific Beach, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Paradise Hills, Point Loma, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Sabre Springs, Scripps Ranch, Serra Mesa, Sorrento Valley, Tierrasanta, Torrey Hills, University City