Get started with your ADU Design using the Housable ADU Marketplace
The Housable ADU Marketplace helps homeowners, property managers, and professionals to connect to get ADU projects built. The Marketplace is free and easy to use. We help homeowners source local builders who are interested in bidding on the ADU projects we design and draft. Please let the Housable team know when you’d like to start working with a contractor so that we can facilitate this process for you.
For Homeowners and Property Managers
Once you’ve determined that you’d like to work with Housable to draft your ADU design, we can help you find a general contractor or a design-build firm to build your ADU. You will want to keep the following in mind when looking for a contractor:
- Most contractors need at minimum a site plan, a design concept, a timeframe, and a project budget to provide you with an accurate bid or to take your project on.
- Some contractors prefer to work with homeowners first before they have plans drafted so that the builder can provide feedback regarding onsite conditions.
- If you want to find a contractor before you have a completed set of plans this may limit the contractors that will consider taking on your project.
- Contractors in dense urban areas may not travel more than 5-10 miles from their primary office, while contractors in suburban and rural areas typically service projects within a half hour of their office. Contractors will sometimes travel farther if you include travel in your budget or if the project is larger and more complex. Larger construction companies often have wider service areas with multiple offices but may be more expensive.
- The lowest bid isn’t always the best bid. Look for clauses regarding cost overages, completion dates, and other factors that might increase the cost of the final project.
- Find a builder with experience in the design style of your ADU but try to find someone that you enjoy working with as the project will take several months to complete.
- Select a builder that is responsive, professional, with time to take your project on, and consider choosing a bid that is close to market rates. Market rate bids show that the contractor is paying their crew fair wages, is not going to cut corners with cheap materials, and the final project will likely be closer to the bid when compared to the lowest bid. If all your bids are near market rates you can ask your builder about their process for addressing unexpected snags or cost overruns.
- In the same way you should expect professional behavior from your builder, you will also need to provide the same courtesy to your builder. Stay on top of their questions so they can move your project along quickly.
- Stay informed of materials and construction costs. Reputable builders will be clear and upfront, but as materials costs can fluctuate, don’t assume cost overages are the result of poor planning. Be prepared with a contingency plan for cost overruns.
For Construction and Design Professionals
The Housable Marketplace is where our homeowners look for builders to complete their projects. If you’re interested in bidding on these projects, you can sign up and create a listing for free. In general, our verification process includes a thorough search for reviews (good and bad) and we make sure contractors in our Marketplace have an active general contractor’s license as well as have completed an ADU project in the previous two years. Here are some things to keep in mind when building your profile:
- Homeowners and property managers may not have as much industry experience as you so they may have a hard time distinguishing between contractors. The best way to showcase your work is with images. Add as many ADU images for projects you’ve worked on as you like, but be sure to include the address so that you’ll show up in our search tool (don’t worry, the address is anonymous to homeowners and only general neighborhood locations are indicated).
- Upload information about the types of ADU projects you’ve worked on so that your profile will show up when people search for nearby contractors.
- Include information about how you like to be contacted as well as about your bidding process. Make it easy for homeowners to reach out to you.
- We’re happy to work directly with you to get your ADU projects drafted as well. Please feel free to reach out to us if you’re in need of ADU plan permit sets.