Flip This House - ADU Above Garage

I am so sorry that I haven’t posted. We finally finally got Final Inspection on the basement and garage ADUs in Paradise Hills at the end of January. We immediately switched over to the new construction ADU in Point Loma.

Flickr group = Flip This House Alicia ADU

I loaded some pictures and the Site Plan (garage is in back off alley) and ADU layout. I changed some windows and moved some windows around. I was not involved in designing the plans and I have found numerous errors all over the place. For example, the plans have a 3 x 3 casement window that cranks open out across the exterior staircase. What the hey??? And a giant 3 x 3 fixed clear window in the dinky shower???

Another issue that came up is obviously nobody went up on that garage roof to see if there was any view. I am all about the view!!! I get up there after roof torn off and there’s a gorgeous corridor view to Mission Bay which is highly unusual for this neighborhood location. Obviously I moved all the windows over to that corner to capture the view.

From the descrpition you will note that this is a studio ADU being built on top of an existing garage on Alicia Dr in the Point Loma neighborhood near Voltaire. The existing garage was newly built in 2014 designed for potential 2nd story. It already had plumbing and electrical out to the garage and the foundation / framing / ceiling was already built to hold a 2nd story. The ceiling even had resilient channels for soundproofing and 5/8" drywall for fireproofing. Unfortunately we have had to open up some of the drywall for various reasons.

We spent a lot of time up front pouring slab and building the detailed exterior stairs that will go up to the 2nd floor. It was my brilliant idea that we could use the stairs to get safely up/down to tear off the garage roof and start framing the 2nd story. But we couldn’t build the 2nd half of the stairs because they had to be built up to the new floor with a ledger board attached to the new rim board. So, we are halfway built :slight_smile: It’s still a lot easier to get up there

I promise I will keep you updated on the budget and schedule. Somehow word got out around town that I am the ‘ADU Queen’, which really isn’t true but I guess I’ll own it. I already have 2 more large ADU projects and a fun ADU remodel on a historic spanish house booked through at least March 2024. And I get at least one more inquiry a month that I am turning down. At this point I won’t have to leave my neighborhood for another year.

Original budget for this 516 sq ft Studio ADU above well-built garage is $96,000. We will probably go over that budget because there are ridiculous things in the plans that I have to follow and it is just too late to go back to the City for plan changes. This owner submitted plans in April 2022 and they finally got approved January 2023. So much for user-friendly City Hall pushing for more ADUs!!!


ADU Queen! Love it. So glad to hear the project is finally moving along!

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Better than being known as the Granny Flat Queen!


I need help finding the photos on Flickr. I put “Flip This House Alicia ADU” into the Flickr search box, and nothing. I also put it in and deleted the spaces. Still nothing. Someone please guide me. Thanks.

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After groups/, enter 14856156@N23/.

Try searching just Alicia ADU.
It popped right up for me.


Worked for me, too!

Looking forward to seeing this progression!

Who designed the plans? Did they even walk the site or figure out what the best views would be from the higher vantage point?

I’m not clear how the Owners connected with ‘Cindy’. She owns a design firm and has an in house draftsperson but most of the plans were done by an engineering firm in Washington State. As far as I can tell the plans were copied from another project. Ridiculous insulation requirements and stuff like Copper gutters, copper flashing and custom built insulated window and door headers. Every bit of these plans are head scratchers.

There was another contractor involved but he called Cindy (the design company) and said he was retiring and could not do the project. My prior owners had used Cindy for their plans so she knew my work. She called up and asked me if I wanted to do the work. Heck Yes! In my neighborhood.

No one went up on garage roof. The owners admitted they didn’t look at the plans in detail or they would have caught the crazy windows.


Oh @coralbrook , the owners must be very happy they have you!


@coralbrook I think you are the ADU queen because you think about things and where to spend money, but more importantly, where to save. People with ADU’s want value… and that’s what you provide.

can’t wait to follow along!

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Poor cb, you are really not getting the best weather for this project!

We have endured a ton of setbacks because it has been raining more than any winter I remember. We cannot imagine how anyone builds anything in Northeast or anywhere else with severe weather. At least once a week we waste hours tarping everything up securely. I’ve been keeping track of the costs and so far it has cost at least $1200 out of the contingency. Not to mention the guys don’t get paid for ‘rain days’ lost

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I know! The builders keep plugging along here in Seattle even when it rains… Our roofers perfected the art of tarping. :laughing: I was absolutely sure our solar guys would be taking a break when it got so nasty but no… they worked under a torrential downpour and finished just a little behind schedule because the weather was slowing things down.

Yep. Rain and more rain projected. Respect to the four seasons building crews out there!

I’m from the northeast. Contractors know what they can and can’t do in the winter. Our solar panels were installed on a very cold day in January…brrr.

@coralbrook hang in there. Looking forward to seeing your magic with this one.


A cold but dry day, most likely!

We are still fighting the weather here. We definitely do not know how to tarp up quickly and efficiently​:grin::grin:. The guys spend a lot of time up at the tippy top of ladders wrangling ropes and giant tarps. We have to keep taking parts off because we are working on the roof plywood, nailing plywood shear panels on, etc. so it’s a constant waste of time and effort

I’m sure crews that are used to constant rain have a much better ‘system’ figured out

We are buttoned up but we cannot put the roof felt paper on until we get a roof nailing inspection. I cannot get inspectorout because he will not be able to get up there. He will refuse to go up 2 stories on a ladder. So we are madly finishing the external staircase and simultaneously I’m trying to get someone to install scaffolding

And we are having a new problem. The local refuse dumps are just arbitrarily closing in the middle of the day because they are full. It’s a crapshoot. They don’t have phone numbers to call ahead. We loaded for dump and then he had to go around to three places trying to unload. He gets to third place and they won’t take cash! Because I didn’t have my car (it’s the truck at the dump) I had to send another guy out to that third dump with a credit card. Waste of time and money.

Holy cow! What an adventure in trash hauling. :confounded: