The Benefits and Challenges of Building a New Garage with an Over-Garage ADU

If you’re in serious need of some extra space but aren’t sure where you could possibly get it, consider building a new garage with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) above it. This intelligent solution could provide you with the space you need without sacrificing storage, living, or outdoor space since you’re building up instead of out. Building an ADU above your new garage is a unique solution to the common problem of needing more living space while providing a safe place to park your vehicle.

Can You Build an ADU Above a New Garage?

Absolutely! Building a new garage with an ADU above it is possible with the right planning and due diligence. It’s an excellent way to maximize your space, especially if you don’t have the extra room needed to build a completely detached ADU. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily an easy or straightforward process. Ron Nelson Builders & Consultants is here to guide you through the process and help you make the right decision based on your property and needs.

Why Build a New Garage with an Over-Garage ADU?

Let’s explore some of the reasons why you might want to undertake this project.

Guest Space: An over-garage ADU can provide a great space to host guests. Your visitors will appreciate having a private area of their own without encroaching on your main living space.

Office Space: With many people working from home, a separate office space is invaluable. An over-garage ADU can be tailored to include everything you need for a productive work environment.

Rental Income: There’s also the potential to generate rental income. Renting out the unit, either on a short-term or long-term basis, can help you earn back your investment and then some. Just make sure to check local rental regulations.

Pros and Cons of Building a New Garage with an Over-Garage ADU


Save Yard Space: By building up instead of out, you don’t lose any room in your yard and maintain your garage space.
Increase Home Value: Adding an over-garage ADU can significantly boost your home’s value, especially if it includes a full bedroom and bathroom.
Private and Cozy: This type of ADU offers a cozy and private spot for guests or family members.


Higher Costs: Building a new garage with an over-garage ADU is more expensive than you might think. The structural complexity and additional requirements can add up quickly.
Limited Space: Depending on your garage’s size, the ADU might feel cramped and be better suited for short-term use.
Rules and Regulations: You’ll need to navigate a complex web of rules and obtain the necessary permits, which can be daunting without professional help.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a New Garage with an Over-Garage ADU?

On average, it costs anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 more to build an ADU on top of a new garage than the equivalent ADU size on a single floor or as a garage conversion. Here’s why:

Structural Complications: Adding an extra story requires significant support to be structurally sound, often involving building up the perimeter of the structure and adding multiple layers of subfloor.
Additional Features: Building a new garage with an over-garage ADU requires stairs and a new roof, both of which can be costly.
Matching Style and Materials: Achieving a cohesive look with the existing structure might require expensive or hard-to-find materials.

Working With the Right Builder

Not all ADU builders are created equal. To enjoy all these benefits, you need to work with an experienced and reputable builder like Ron Nelson Builders & Consultants. Integrating all aspects of development is our expertise. We go far beyond other development companies, offering professional solutions and consulting in architecture, design, engineering, and construction. Bright, functional spaces incorporating the natural surroundings are the hallmark of our designs. Clients are delighted to find that our experience and integrated approach produce structures that are more energy efficient and intuitive.

Ron Nelson Builders & Consultants Is Here to Help

If you’re ready to explore your options for building a new garage with an ADU above it, Ron Nelson Builders & Consultants is here to make your project successful. Based in Woodland, California, we are dedicated to maintaining the highest level of honesty, integrity, professionalism, and attention to detail for every project and every client. Call us today at 707-955-6866 to get started. Building a new garage with an over-garage ADU can be a complex but rewarding project that enhances your property’s functionality and value. Let Ron Nelson Builders & Consultants guide you through every step, ensuring your vision becomes a reality.