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‘Build an ADU in a day’ | How one Vista company gets it done

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are an innovative and effective option for adding much-needed housing in California.

VISTA, Calif. — The boom in accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, across San Diego County continues as more and more people are applying for permits to build them in their backyards or garages. 

On Thursday, CBS 8’s Brian White drove out to one Carlsbad neighborhood where Proteus Homes was building an ADU. 

Crews operated a massive crane to hoist 700-lb wall panels into place.

“We’re lifting over the house into the backyard,” said Ryan Jantz, co-owner of Proteus Homes, which has been in business for two-and-a-half years. “Most ADUs go in the backyard, so this is a typical setup.”

The wall panels are prefabricated at their factory in Vista, and one by one, they’re lowered in and set into place.

“We build a whole house in about six hours,” said Luca Brammer, the other business co-owner. “The whole structure’s built like Legos on a much bigger scale.”

Each wall panel is placed and bolted in, and holes are cut for plumbing for particular walls.

“We have to cut the bottom plates so the plumbing can come through,” said Jantz.

From there, it’s a streamlined process.

“We do the house in order,” said Jantz. “So we’ll keep doing the exterior walls, and we’ll do the interior walls.”

The last wall panel was placed a few hours into the job.

“It went pretty smooth,” admitted Jantz. “Now, we’re going to get everything lined up and plumbed up so we can get ready for the roof.”

The roof panels, weighing over 1,000 lbs each, are hoisted up by the crane, lowered onto the structure, and fastened into place one board at a time.

“To watch a house get built in just a few hours is awesome for all of us, including those who have been in the industry for a long time,” said Brammer. “It’s just great to watch that process happen so quickly.”

After the walls and roof are secured, it takes another two months to finish work like painting, floors, and cabinetry. From start to finish, including the permitting process and laying the foundation, it takes about 6-8 months. Proteus Homes offer an array of floor plans and customized options too. The one-bedroom constructed in Carlsbad on Hillside Drive was 497 square feet and cost about $230,000.

“Four or five hours and the house is built,” said Jantz. “It feels good.”

WATCH RELATED: Learn more about tiny homes at TinyFest California (2021)


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