Why do I Need a Property Survey and Soils Report when Building an ADU in San Diego?

Why do I Need a Property Survey and Soils Report when Building an ADU in San Diego?

In “America’s Finest City”, San Diego, the concept of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) has gained immense popularity due to less stringent regulations in the hopes of mitigating the housing shortage.  As homeowners seek to maximize their property's potential and address the housing shortage, building an ADU can be an excellent solution. However, before taking the plunge, it's important to understand why conducting a property survey and soils report is a critical initial step in this process.

Ensuring Regulation Compliance 

San Diego, like many other cities, has zoning regulations and building codes that must be adhered to when constructing an ADU. These regulations outline factors such as setback requirements, lot coverage, height limits, and more. Conducting a property survey helps you understand the dimensions and boundaries of your property accurately. This information is crucial to ensure that your proposed ADU project aligns with zoning laws and doesn't encroach on any setbacks or restricted areas. In addition, an inspector can stop a project and require a survey if he believes that it is necessary, halting the work. 

Understanding Site Limitations

Every property is unique, and understanding its specific characteristics is important when planning any new construction. A property survey provides insights into factors like topography, existing structures, trees, and utility lines. This information allows your architectural designer/contractor to design your ADU in a way that optimizes the available space while working around limitations. For instance, knowledge of underground utility lines can prevent potential costly construction disruptions.

Assessing Soil Conditions

San Diego's diverse landscape means that soil conditions can vary quite a bit from one property to another. Hiring an engineer to conduct a geotechnical survey, helps determine the soil's composition, drainage patterns, and load-bearing capacity. This information is crucial for designing a solid foundation that will support your ADU's structure. Building on unstable soil can lead to structural issues and potentially compromise the safety and longevity of your new building.

Budgeting Wisely

A property survey and soils report might seem like unnecessary expenses, but they are investments that can save in the long run. By identifying potential challenges early on, you can budget construction and site work costs more accurately. Unforeseen issues, such as unstable soil or property boundary disputes, can lead to delays and cost overruns if not addressed from the outset.

Preventing Legal Issues

Accurate property boundaries are essential to avoid disputes with neighbors. A comprehensive property survey ensures that your ADU is built within your property lines, reducing the risk of conflict. Moreover, having proper documentation can help resolve any disagreements that may arise.

Enhancing Property Value

Investing in a property survey and soils report is an investment in your property's overall value. Prospective buyers or tenants will appreciate the transparency and due diligence that come with having accurate property information. A well-documented ADU construction process can potentially lead to higher resale value and increased interest from potential occupants.

In conclusion, building an ADU in San Diego can be a transformative experience, but it's essential to begin with a solid foundation—both literally and figuratively. Conducting a property survey and soils report provides you with the essential information needed to navigate legal requirements, design constraints, and potential challenges. By taking these proactive steps, you're not only ensuring a smoother construction process but also setting the stage for a successful and valuable addition to your property. 

Let OneStop ADU help you navigate this process. We will refer you to one of our vetted professionals who can perform a property survey and soils report to help ensure a smooth process in making your backyard dream home a reality!

Why do I Need a Property Survey and Soils Report when Building an ADU in San Diego?
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