Examples & Costs


Three Examples of ADUs That Do Not Require New Parking

If your ADU does not require adding new square footage to the footprint of your property and is not a new stand-alone unit, you do not need to create new parking.

Stand-alone New Build, Larger Detached ADU

Starting in 2020 you can build a detached ADU up to 850 (one bedroom) to 1,000 (2 bedroom) square feet — and up to 16′ in height, without having to go through the Laguna Beach Design Review process.   One parking place per unit would need to be created, however if your  new unit is within .5 miles walking distance of a public transit stop, you would not need to provide parking. Important: the City has discontinued local bus and neighborhood bus and trolley service, so the only public transit stops are on Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway.


Stand-alone one-bedroom unit in the rear yard, approximately 800 square feet. Maximum height of 16’.
This is the most expensive approach for creating an ADU.  A parking space for each bedroom would need to be provided, but there are exceptions, such as if you live within .5 mile of a public transit stop (bus or trolley). In Laguna, there are only public transit stops on Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road.

A stand-alone backyard ADU example, less than 800 square feet in size.
A creative example of an ADU built inside the existing house (less than 500 square feet; independent entrance).
Garage Conversion


Garage Conversion—a 400 square foot example:

 800 square foot two bedroom, one bath stand-alone unit example, with washer & dryer:

Design examples from Todd Skenderian, Architect


There are typically 4 primary fee recipients related to an ADU project:

1) Laguna ADU ($3,600 all-in)

2) Architect (you negotiate the price directly with the architect)

3) Licensed Contractor (you negotiate the pricing directly with the Contractor)

4) City of Laguna Beach – fees paid throughout the process

The cost of your ADU depends on the type of ADU, the location, size and materials used. Is it a garage conversion, within a carport, located within the walls of the existing house, an attached new structure — or a stand-alone, newly-created unit, built from the ground up?  Note that if an ADU is an attached or stand-alone unit, you will need to have a new concrete slab poured which may require grading. The typical costs to build an ADU in Orange County, CA range between $250 – $600 per square foot, including architectural, engineering and building fees, utility connection costs plus City fees and permits. Garage conversions typically cost from $80,000 to $150,000. The types of materials you choose will play a large part in your expense. It should be noted that building materials have increased dramatically since 2020.  Laguna ADU’s fee of only $3,600 (payable in 3 payments) is included within this range. Your project would be structured by each entity as “pay as you go”, except for City fee payments. When we meet with you, we will have cost breakdown examples prepared for you, that would tie closely to the above-presented floor plan examples.