A project of the Santa Clara County Planning Collaborative

A project of the Santa Clara County Planning Collaborative

How do I find an architect or designer?

Most homeowners choose to work with some type of design professional to plan their ADU and help throughout the process. Bringing on a professional early in the process is often key to getting your ADU approved quickly, managed efficiently, and built cost-effectively. Relevant experience and fit will be critical.

There are a variety of types of designer, and they may be an architect, builder, “designer,” design/build, or a modular/prefab company. If you’re hiring a local individual or team, they’ll likely start the process by visiting your home and talking to you about your ideas and goals. If it seems like a good match, they will prepare a proposal detailing their services and fee. Professionals typically charge for an initial consultation or proposal.

Note that if you’re not using a licensed architect to design your ADU, your plans may need to be stamped by a licensed engineer. Check with your City early on.

See our Exercises for a list of questions to ask a potential architect or designer, our Glossary to be clear on terms, and our Guidebook for more details.

Get all your questions answered.

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