We service San Jose, CA and surrounding areas including zip codes Our team of accessory dwelling unit (ADU) building specialists provides service to the San Jose, CA, area as well as its surrounding communities. This extends to zip codes: 94089, 95002, 95008, 95013, 95014, 95032, 95035, 95037, 95050, 95054, 95070, 95110, 95111, 95112, 95113, 95116, 95117, 95118, 95119, 95120, 95121, 95122, 95123, 95124, 95125, 95126, 95127, 95128, 95129, 95130, 95131, 95132, 95133, 95134, 95135, 95136, 95138, 95139, 95140, and 95148.


Understanding San Jose ADU Requirements

Navigating the intricacies of San Jose’s ADU regulations is a crucial step in realizing your accessory dwelling unit project. At Acton ADU, we’re here to simplify the process. In this comprehensive guide, we break down the essential San Jose ADU requirements, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what it takes to make your ADU project a reality. From zoning regulations to permit processes, we’ve got you covered.

Compliant San Jose ADU Construction

When it comes to ADU construction in San Jose, compliance is key. Our expert team at Acton ADU is well-versed in the city’s regulations and building codes, ensuring that your project aligns with all the necessary guidelines. From unit size and setback requirements to parking and design considerations, we provide actionable insights to keep your ADU project on the path to success.

Premier Collection of Permit-Ready ADU Plans

Acton ADU offers an extensive collection of permit-ready ADU plans, making the process of adding an accessory dwelling unit to your San Jose property simpler than ever before. Our vast library of pre-approved designs ensures that you can select a plan that suits your needs and preferences, while also expediting the permitting process. With Acton ADU, you’ll have access to a wide range of ADU layouts, styles, and sizes, all designed to maximize functionality and comfort.

Choose Trusted ADU Builders in San Jose

Selecting the right ADU builders in San Jose is pivotal to a smooth and successful project. At Acton ADU, we’ve earned our reputation as the trusted choice for ADU construction in San Jose. In this section, we delve into the qualities that set us apart, from our extensive experience navigating San Jose’s regulatory landscape to our commitment to excellence in craftsmanship. Discover why Acton ADU is your ideal partner for compliant and exceptional ADU construction in San Jose.

Reach out to us today, and lets get started on your ADU project in San Jose! We look forward to working with you.


The Construction of an ADU

Getting a high quality ADU built is no simple task. The process of planning and building an ADU in San Jose, CA has its challenges, but also has tremendous rewards.We endeavor to make it as simple for you as possible. . Here is a brief description of how it works:

  • The first step in establishing whether your project meets the requirements for an ADU is to validate it. To ensure your property conforms to all rules, we’ll inspect it. Answer the question of what can actually be built on your property legally.
  • We’ll work with you to personalize your ADU.. There are numerous pre-designed layouts available that can be used right out of the box or tweaked to your needs. There are also many interior packages to choose from, with a variety of design options.
  • Once designed, we’ll acquire your ADU permit and then start building your ADU.Our experienced craftsmen will begin ADU construction to the exact specifications.

The Acton ADU procedure is intended to be straightforward. To ensure that your ADU in San Jose CA, is exactly what you’ve envisioned, we’ll work directly with you at every stage. To start working on your project right now, get in touch with us!


Your ADU Contractors in San Jose, CA

Acton ADU, operates in San Jose, CA as well as many other cities in the Bay Area. We have a group of knowledgeable experts who can work with you to design and construct the best ADU for your requirements. We also understand the applicable code requirements and can secure the required permissions for your project.

Adding an ADU can increase your home’s living space, potential income, and value. An ADU may be used for any purpose you can think of, such as a guest house or a home office. You might utilize additional space on your San Jose, CA, property that would otherwise go unused by adding an ADU. Call Acton ADU right away to get started!

Questions about ADUs in San Jose Inquire Below
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Get All the ADU Zoning & Regulation Details

CITY OR COUNTYSan Jose, California
DATE UPDATED11/24/2020
PD districts subject to approved development standards.
TYPES OF ADUSAttached, detached and garage conversions
Tiny Home on Wheels (THOW) on a lot with single family home. Link to THOW checklist here
THOW an only be added to single family homes that does NOT have a detached ADU. Must have a vehicle license.
STORIESSingle-story and two-story ADUs permitted
MAXIMUM ADU FLOOR AREASingle family up to 9,000 sq.ft.: Detached 1,000 sq.ft., Attached either 800 sq.ft. or 50% of primary residence
Single family > 9,000 sq.ft.: Detached 1,200 sq.ft., Attached either 800 sq.ft. or 50% of primary residence with 1,200 max
Lot with JADU: JADU 500 sf, Detached 800 sq.ft., Attached not allowed
Multifamily: Detached and Attached 800 sq.ft., JADU not allowed
THOW must be at least 150 sq.ft. and maximum 400 sq.ft.
BEDROOMNo min/max, but must follow allowable density guidelines of lot.
STORAGENo min/max
KITCHENRequire separate kitchen facilities (permanent range, counters, refrigerator, sink).
BATHRequire separate full bathroom. Max 1 bathroom.
Note: Drainage and sewer connections should be assessed on a project by project basis.
PARKING1 space required for ADU occupants unless the property qualifies for an exemption under State law. If a garage has been converted, the main dwelling parking space must be replaced, as uncovered or in front or side setback areas. The homeowner may apply for a reduction of one space of required parking. Parking spaces may be configured on-site per state law.
SETBACKSADUs are subject to the setback requirements for a one-family dwelling in the zoning district in which the one-family dwelling is located, as set forth in this chapter except as follows:
1. Attached: Same setback requirements as apply to the main house
2. Detached: 60 feet from front property line, 3 feet rear and side. For second story, 5 feet from both rear and side.
3. Corner lots: 10 feet on street side.
4. Lots ½ acre of greater along riparian corridors: 100 feet.
5. Distance of street curb to all portions of ADU cannot be greater than 200 feet.
FIREIf the main house as fire sprinklers, the ADU must have them, as well. If the project is an attached ADU greater than 500 sq. ft. AND the overall gross floor area with the main house exceeds 3,600 sq. ft., then fire sprinklers are required for the entire house and ADU. Sprinklers may be required for a detached ADU that is built with less than a three-foot setback.
All exterior walls of ADU must be within 400 feet of a fire hydrant. Fire hydrants must have a minimum flow of 1,000 gpm at 20 psi.
Note: Fire Department regulations should be assessed on a project by project basis.
HEIGHTSingle family: Attached same height as main unit, Detached single-story 18’, Detached two-story 24’, Detached on lot with JADU is 16’
Multifamily: Attached maintain same height, Detached 16’
THOW must be no greater than 2 stories and a maximum height of 16ft
LOCATIONDistance from curb to all portions of proposed ADU no more than 200 ft measured along a minimum 3-ft clear path to all sides of the ADU
THOW must be 6 feet from primary home
DESIGNDetached units do not need to meet any specific design standards, provided there is visual compatibility with existing primary dwelling. Attached ADUs and detached ADUs on properties listed on the Historic Resources Inventory must incorporate architectural style and elements of the primary dwelling.
Note the THOW requirements below.
Note: Historic Neighborhoods or Districts should be assessed on a project by project basis.
ENTRYWAYSDoor cannot be on the same street-facing facade as primary dwelling, unless all other locations for placing front door would require pathway that is unobstructed, clear to the sky and extending from a street to front door
TREE REMOVALIf building an ADU requires removal of an ordinance-size or heritage tree, then must obtain a tree removal permit.
THOW DESIGN REQUIREMENTSCladding and trim. Materials used on the exterior of THOW shall exclude single piece composite laminates or
interlocked metal sheathing.
Windows and Doors. Windows shall be at least double pane glass and include exterior trim. Windows and
doors shall not have rounded corners.
Roofing. Roofs shall have a minimum of a 12:2 pitch for greater than 50 percent of the roof area and not be
composed of wooden shingles.
No Extensions. All exterior walls and roof shall be fixed with no slide-outs, tip-outs, nor other forms of
mechanically articulating room area extensions.
Mechanical equipment. Must be incorporated into the structure and not located on the roof.
Parked on a paved or alternate pad that includes bumper guards, curbs, or other
installations that adequately prevent movement of the THOW.
The parking area is paved with hard, durable asphaltic paving that is at least 2 inches thick after compaction,
or with cement paving at least 3 inches thick; OR
The parking area is paved with alternative paving materials that may consist of porous asphalt; porous
concrete; permeable interlocking concrete pavers; permeable pavers; decomposed granite, crushed rock or
gravel; plastic or concrete grid system confined on all sides and filled with gravel or grass in the voids; or other
similar materials that meet the following requirements:
a. Permeable interlocking concrete pavers and permeable pavers that have a minimum thickness of 80 mm
(3.14 inches); and
b. Products and underlying drainage material are installed to meet manufacturers’ specifications. Sub-grade
soils shall be compacted as required to meet the product
RESOURCES>> San Jose, CA City Website
>> San Jose, CA City Housing Element Updates
>> San Jose, CA Post Offices
SOURCE CODEImportant Note: Rules and regulations are updated and changed frequently. It’s one of our jobs to be up to speed and navigate those regulations. Let us know if our website isn’t up to date or if you have any information that could help. Cheers!


Considering an ADU in San Jose, CA? It’s a great way to enhance living space and boost property value. With Acton ADU, you’re partnering with experts who bring your vision to life. From design to construction, we’re with you every step of the way. Reach out today to explore the possibilities.