ADU Knowledge
June 11, 2024

How much does ADU Permit cost in Tulare, CA

Argi Avetisyan
Argi Avetisyan
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How much does ADU Permit cost in Tulare, CA
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How Much Does an ADU Permit Cost in Tulare, CA? Your Complete Guide

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners in Tulare, CA. These small, self-contained living units offer a versatile solution to housing needs, whether you're looking to create space for extended family, generate rental income, or increase the value of your property.

In this blog post, we'll explore everything you need to know about ADU permits in Tulare, CA. We'll cover the permit process, factors influencing costs, and offer strategies to manage and reduce expenses. We'll also share some real-world case studies to give you a clearer picture. Let's get started!

What is an ADU and Why Are They Popular in Tulare?

ADUs, also known as granny flats or backyard cottages, are smaller dwelling units located on the same property as a primary residence. They can be attached to the existing home, built as a separate structure, or converted from existing spaces like garages or basements.

Growing Popularity of ADUs

The demand for ADUs in Tulare has soared in recent years. This trend is driven by several factors:

  1. Affordable Housing: ADUs provide an affordable housing option in a market where property prices are steadily increasing.
  2. Versatility: Whether you need extra space for family members, a home office, or a source of rental income, ADUs offer a flexible solution.
  3. Property Value: Adding an ADU can significantly boost the value of your property, making it a worthwhile investment.

The ADU Permit Process in Tulare

Before you can start building your ADU, you'll need to obtain the necessary permits. Let's break down the permit process in Tulare, CA.

Essential Requirements and Steps

To get your ADU permit, you'll need to follow these essential steps:

  1. Research and Planning: Understand the local zoning laws and regulations that apply to ADUs. This includes size restrictions, setbacks, and parking requirements.
  2. Pre-Application Meeting: Schedule a meeting with the Tulare City Planning Department to discuss your project and get initial feedback.
  3. Submit Application: Prepare and submit your ADU permit application along with required documents such as site plans, floor plans, and elevations.
  4. City Review: The city will review your application to ensure it meets all zoning and building codes. This may involve multiple departments, including planning, building, and public works.
  5. Permit Issuance: Once your application is approved, you'll receive the necessary permits to begin construction.

Factors Influencing ADU Permit Costs

ADU permitted design

The cost of obtaining an ADU permit in Tulare can vary based on several factors. Understanding these factors will help you better estimate your expenses.

Size of the ADU

The size of your ADU is a significant determinant of permit costs. Larger units typically require more extensive reviews and higher fees.

Zoning and Location

The zoning of your property and its location within Tulare can affect permit costs. Properties in certain zones may face more stringent regulations and higher fees.

Utility Connection Fees

Connecting your ADU to existing utilities such as water, sewer, and electricity can add to the overall permit cost. These fees vary depending on the complexity of the connections required.

Detailed Breakdown of ADU Permit Costs in Tulare

To give you a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of typical ADU permit costs in Tulare, CA.

Application Fees

Expect to pay an application fee when you submit your permit application. This fee covers the initial review and processing of your application. Typically, this ranges from $500 to $1,000 based on the project's size.

Development Impact Fees

Development impact fees are charges imposed by the city to fund infrastructure improvements necessitated by new development. These fees can range from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the size and scope of your ADU project.

Other Associated Expenses

In addition to application and impact fees, you may incur additional expenses such as:

  • Architect and Engineer Fees: Hiring professionals to design your ADU can cost between $5,000 to $9,000.
  • City Fees: These can vary significantly but generally range from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the project's complexity.

Strategies for Managing and Reducing ADU Permit Costs

Managing and reducing permit costs can make your ADU project more affordable. Here are some strategies to consider:

Design and Construction Tips

  • Opt for a Simple Design: Keeping your ADU design simple can reduce architectural and engineering costs.
  • Use Pre-Approved Plans: Some cities offer pre-approved ADU plans that can expedite the permit process and reduce costs.

Financing Options

  • Home Equity Loans: Leveraging your home equity can provide the necessary funds for your ADU project.
  • Government Grants and Incentives: Research local, state, and federal programs offering financial assistance for ADU construction.

DIY Approach

If you have the skills and experience, taking a hands-on approach to certain aspects of your ADU project can save money on labor costs.

Real-World Case Studies

ADU - Backyard Cottage

To give you a practical sense of what to expect, let's look at some successful ADU projects in Tulare, CA.

Case Study 1: Backyard Cottage

A homeowner built a 600-square-foot ADU in her backyard to accommodate her aging parents. She spent $6,000 on architectural fees and $8,500 on city fees. By using simple, functional design elements, the homeowner kept costs manageable.

Case Study 2: Home Office

a Family converted her detached garage into a 350-square-foot ADU to use as a home office. She managed to keep her permit costs under $7,000 by utilizing pre-approved plans and handling some construction tasks themselves.


Building an ADU in Tulare, CA is a fantastic way to enhance your property’s value and create versatile living space. Understanding the permit process and associated costs can help you plan your project more effectively.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a call with our experts.

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