Tina’s ADU Blog #3 – Anyone Have a Great Contractor?

ADU San Diego Blog #3

It’s been three months since I wrote anything at all about the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) we’re building. Well, that’s because it feels like nothing is happening.

That’s really not true, though. So far, the design is complete, and the permits are submitted. Now, we’re just working through the City of La Mesa permitting process.

So, Where Do We Stand?

ADU San Diego

It’s about three weeks late so far. We’ve had to make a few changes to the original design. For instance, we tore down a pretty sweet storage room. We wanted to keep it, but it just didn’t make sense.

The fence dividing the front house from the ADU building site is up and looks great.

Meeting with the Contractor

I met with a contractor yesterday. He was on time and sounded knowledgeable. However, the first thing he said about construction cost was 20% above what the architect budgeted.

I shut that down with a big ‘no’ real quick. If that was the cost, we weren’t interested in moving forward… at least not with him.

He indicated that our site was favorable and that he thought he could get it down. Truth be told, I’m not feeling this is my guy….

HELP! We Need a Referral

My other go-to contractor supposedly sent us a quote, but it’s so far invisible. I have zero confidence it was ever sent. So, I need to find a new contractor! Know someone they can recommend? PLEASE send me an email at tina@dwellwellca.com.

On a more positive note, we have great tenants in the front house. We even got the asking rent on the first day. YAY!

Looking towards the future

ADU San Diego

If the ADU turns out anything like my vision, it will be super easy to rent. We are thinking the rent will be $1500+/mo, and I’m confident we can get that. The two dwellings are completely separate and private with their own parking.

The ADU will have a wall of glass with a pretty view overlooking the rolling terrain of the La Mesa neighborhood.

While we are moving slower than expected, we’re thrilled to be working on a project. I love building and creating a beautiful new dwelling for someone to call home.

It will be gratifying to finally see some digging and hammering, can’t wait.

Again –  if you have any AMAZING recommendations for a contractor, PLEASE send me an email at tina@dwellwellca.com. Also, if you’re toying with the idea of buying a property to build an ADU on it, send me a message. I can tell you one-on-one what I learned so far and what to look for. I also have a list of great homes/lots that are for sale right now that would be perfect ADU properties. 


Tina Dameron
CA BRE 009926347

Written by

How does a mechanical engineer end up as @SDCONDOMAMA? It started with a love of architecture, home design and nesting. Tina would add it’s the process of finding her life’s purpose which is leading the way home. She’s been at it a long, long, long, long time; now, as the boss lady of Dwell Well Realty she leads by example, training others how to help people find their way home. Tina says ‘training the next generation of Master Craftsmen of Real Estate is the most rewarding thing she’s ever done outside of raising her daughters.’ Tina is a born hostess, she spends all of her limited free time with her family: hubby and grown daughters: best over good food, wine on a sailboat somewhere, life is pretty sweet! When Tina is with a client and they find the perfect house, she gets goosebumps, ‘Isn’t it strange when they don’t?’ Born and raised in Santa Cruz she grew up bodysurfing in cold NorCal water and fog. Landing in San Diego part was just plain luck, she loves her city and never looked back. Tina embodies the whole left coast thing, not a Bible belt kind of girl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *