Are you looking to add a space to your home for guests, family or just a place to work or enjoy your hobbies? A casita (or guest house) may be exactly what you are looking for. San Diego has undergone some great changes in how they treat accessory dwelling units, think granny flats, to help combat the housing crisis.
What is a Casita or ADU?
In Spanish, casita means “little house”. In the home remodeling and home building world, casitas are essentially small guest houses (typically 600- 1500 square feet) and include a separate entrance, bathroom and small kitchen or kitchenette. Granny Flats can be detached or attached to the main house, and are typically found in the front of properties, but can also be located in the backyard. AUDs are often referred to as Mother-in-law-Quarters, guest houses, or granny flats and can be a great way to make your home work for multiple generations.
While you’ll likely find casitas in higher value homes (a quick Zillow search reveals that homes with advertised casitas average will over 2 million dollars), anyone with the space, need and budget should consider adding one. This is especially true in areas and price ranges where a guest house is expected. Areas like Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Del Sur, Poway, Fairbanks Ranch, Carmel Canyon, and La Jolla Farms all come to mind.
How Much Does it cost to Add a Casita or Guest House?
Costs vary greatly for any remodeling or addition project, depending on size, materials, finishes and location. Costs could range from $200 – $500 per square foot. Because casitas are standalone structures, they require new foundations, new walls, plumbing, electric, heating and cooling and a separate roof. As such, it’s extremely important to hire a company with significant experience building stand alone structures like casitas. Fortunately, Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling is one of San Diego’s leading full service remodeling companies. Give us a call or fill out our contact form for more information.
Special Considerations for Casita Additions in San Diego
There are two major types of zoning definitions that casitas can fall into per the county of San Diego. Guest living quarters and Accessory Dwelling Units. Each has a different set of requirements and stipulations.
Accessory Dwelling Units – According to San Diego county zoning requirements, most casitas are considered accessory dwelling units(ADU). An ADU is any attached or detached structure that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons including provisions for living, cooking, eating, sleeping and sanitation. ADUs may not exceed 30 percent of the main homes sq ft. up to a maximum of 1,200 feet. If you plan to include a kitchen or bathroom in your casita or rent it out, it qualifies as an ADU.
Guest Living Quarters – If you just want to add a separate place for family and friends to sleep, with no plumbing or kitchen, then it may qualify as guest living quarters. GLCs cannot exceed 30% of the square footage of the main house, up to a maximum of 600 feet. They may not be rented and are not intended for guests over 30 days.
Can a Casita (or any detached structure) be Included as Part of My Home’s Square Footage?
For the most part, casitas cannot be included in the overall square footage of your home. According to the American National Standard for Single-Family Residential Buildings, any finished areas not connected to the main residence by a finished hallway or stairway must be listed separately. If you have to leave the house to enter the structure, it cannot be included.
However, if your casita is attached to the main house and you can enter it from inside, then you may include it. This may help you decide on the layout and location for your casita or guest house.
Remember, every project is different and you should not accept cookie cutter options for any home addition. Call the experts at Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling today, 858-271-1005.