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Sign up for the You Do ADU newsletter course from the Los Angeles Times.
(Jess Hutchison / Los Angeles Times)

Southern Californians are racing to build ADUs, or accessory dwelling units — small, fully equipped homes on the same lot as a larger house. But building an ADU isn’t a quick project; nor is it cheap. So before you break out the shovels and start applying for loans, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

That’s what You Do ADU is for. This six-week newsletter course will help you make the right decision for you and your property.

Your host

I’m Jon Healey from The Times’ Utility Journalism Team, the group that helps you sort through the issues you’ll face living in Southern California. Like building an ADU! Before you ask, no, I have not built an ADU. I converted my garage into ... a better garage.

Jon Healey
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Joining me on the project is Lisa Boone, a feature writer who regularly pens stories about ADUs and home design. Having interviewed several homeowners about their experiences building ADUs, she will share their insights in the last installment of this series.

Roughly half a million lots in Los Angeles alone could have “backyard homes,” according to Elizabeth Timme, an L.A.-based designer and proponent of ADUs. If you’re a Californian thinking about adding one, You Do ADU is the place to start.