Can you build a guest house, accessory dwelling, in law unit or garage conversion without permits?

The short answer is no.  No you can’t get away with it and no, it’s not a good idea.

Can you bend the rules a little bit though?

Yes.  Some might say it’s your civic duty as an American to push your local ordinances to catch up with what our communities need:)

Approximately 20% of the people building guest homes, accessory dwellings or similar do so without permitting the kitchen. Academic studies have shown that 40,000 people in San Francisco have done this.

The way to build a guest house or in law unit or accessory dwelling with an un-permitted kitchen is pretty simple.

Just call it a laundry room.

Run a gas line for the dryer.  Run a 6″ metal exhaust vent for the dryer.  Add a utility sink and add hot and cold water for the washing machine.

To quote a city planner from the City of Los Angeles:  “It’s really easy to replace a sink.”

To quote the former head of the building departments for two of the larger suburban cities in northern CA:  We’ve never permitted an Accessory Dwelling but we have permitted tons of yoga studios and offices that have a kitchen installed the day after the final inspection.  And that’s exactly what they should do so that we have houses for teachers and firefighters.

After your project passes the final inspection it is really easy to hook up a stove and an exhaust fan above, add some prefabricated cabinets and replace the utility sink with a kitchen sink.

To discuss other permitting processes or for detailed budgets, floor plans or to use the free New Avenue project management system you can sign up for free here: Get Started

Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.