The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process

The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process

The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process for home owners and contractors  on Oahu continues to evolve. After making such a big splash all over the island in the last year, the city and county have had to adjust and improve to become more effective and efficient in issuing approval. Take a look below to review the most recent changes and how to start your ADU project with Homeworks Construction.

What is an ADU?

ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit which means to add another fully livable dwelling on properties that meet minimum requirements and are not considered an Ohana unit, Duplex or CPR. This unit must include a full kitchen, a bathroom (s), living areas, its own private entry and an on site parking stall (which is touched on below). You may build either a detached or attached unit ranging from 400-800 Square Feet to your home to depending on your lot size and the square foot coverage of your exiting home. When building an ADU remember to consider the connection for electricity and water and how that will be handled.

(For more information on your ADU connections check out Homeworks Free ADU Seminar Tuesday, November 1st).The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process

How to apply for ADU approval:

This process has had the biggest transformation since the bill was passed last September. Before, all you needed was to fill out a “Pre-Check form”  and turn it into the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) and they would route it through the necessary departments and let you know at the end whether your lot qualifies or not. This process would take about a month but there was no set time frame for when they needed to return the form to you. Because of the number of inquiries and pre-check forms turned in, city and county decided they needed to do something to encourage only those that are serious about building a new unit to apply. The NEW process involves having a bit more work done before requesting approval for an ADU. Here is what you need to turn in along with your pre-check form:

  • Pre-Check Form – (Print now)
  • A Basic layout Drawing of your existing home on a Plot Plan (Must be to Scale!)
  • A Plot Plan including your idea for the ADU you plan to build on your property (Must be to Scale!)

All approved Pre-Check Forms and ADU plot drawings must have started work within 210 otherwise form in invalid and you must re-apply.

Homeworks will run ADU Pre-Check Form with necessary drawings for a $500 fee. You get this money back when signing a Design-Build Contract with Homeworks.

The Permit for an approved ADU will take no longer than 60 days for notice of approval or revision to the drawings.

These Fees have been waived for new Detached Structures only: 

  • Building Permit Fee
  • Plan Review Fee
  • Waste Water Fee

Parking Stall Rule for ADU’s

  • You must provide an additional parking stall on your property for your New ADU
  • A spot on the Grass will NOT be approved.
    The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process
  • Your new additional parking spot must be on an “All Whether” Surface
  • No Space for a new Stall?

The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Process

These changes can be tough to keep up with on top of the stress of thinking about construction on your property. Homeworks’ goal is to make this process as informative and stress free as possible, with our teams working cohesively and efficiently to finish your project.

Join us for a FREE ADU seminar  Tuesday, November 1st as we’ll discuss all of these topics and answer all of your questions!



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