Benefits and regulations around these multi-purpose suites

Can you guess the hottest accessory for spring here at Trilogy? Hint: It’s not those jelly sandals resurrected from the ‘80s, or polka dot bangle bracelets, or even those persistent fanny packs back for another season. It’s the ADU! 

What is an ADU?

Otherwise known as “secondary suites,” ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. These handy little buildings are located on residential properties and can be used as a guest house, a rental unit, a backyard office, and so much more.

Unlike main houses or cottages, they have a smaller footprint but still usually contain a kitchen, bathroom, and a sleeping area. ADUs usually fall into one of three categories:

Benefits of an ADU

Wondering why you should build an ADU? These little units are the Swiss Army Knives of housing. They can be multi-purpose and adapt to different uses and needs. Or you can build one for a dedicated purpose, like generating income or housing an aging family member.

ADU ideas:

Who can build an ADU? 

Luckily for homeowners, the State of California’s ADU guidelines have made building one easier than ever. They even offer a JADU (Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit) option for homeowners who want to build a small stand-alone or attached unit less than 500 square feet. 

What kind of ADUs are allowed in Butte County?

In Butte County, new ADU ordinances allow up to 3 units on a homeowner’s property, with rear yard setbacks of no less than 4 feet. For those interested in building an ADU in Paradise, the town even offers free building plans along with an Informational Guidebook to get you started.

Detached ADUs in Paradise can be:

Just keep in mind square footage maximums are limited by Septic and ADU zoning regulations.

Attached ADUs can be: 

Let Trilogy help you get started

At Trilogy, we always say “If you can dream it, we can build it.” This holds especially true for the ADU!

For over 50 years, we’ve been known as experts at building many different home types, including ADUs! So whether you want to have your very own “she-shed,” art studio, or other special space, we can help you make it happen. Contact us today to find out how! 

“What’s the cost per square foot?”

If we had a penny for every time a potential client asked this, we’d have filled a whole lot of piggy banks by now. And while we’re always happy to answer this question, it’s not always a simple figure. Below, we walk you through the considerations behind “cost per square foot” and some of the most important factors behind the numbers. We hope this helps you make more confident decisions for your new home!

You Asked, Trilogy Answered!

Q: How do you calculate the price per square foot to build a home?

A: A lot of things play into price per square foot. First off, the price per square foot is based on the conditioned square footage of the house. When you hear stats about a 1500-square-foot house, 1500 is the conditioned square footage. If you add a two-car garage, the house is still considered 1500 square feet, but now it comes with additional costs for concrete, walls, drywall, electrical, roofing, etc. on top of the 1500 square feet of the actual house. So suddenly your price per square foot just increased because you're including a two-car garage and/or a covered porch.

Q: Does the location play a role in the price?

A: Absolutely. Price per square foot is also dependent on the terrain of the property—if it slopes quite a bit, for example, it’ll affect the foundation and how much it costs to lay it. Ditto if you’re putting in a septic system and a well. All of these factors can influence the cost.

Q: How about amenities? 

A: It’s equally important to factor amenities into the price. For example, a lot of people want the back patio to be covered so they can barbecue and sit outside. Some folks want a waterfall, custom high-end kitchen cabinets, or other selections that can widely vary in price. If you want a fancy built-in pantry or marble shower, for example, that would raise the cost per square foot.

Q: How does Trilogy determine costs?

A: It’s no secret material and labor costs have gone up not just in the Ridge, but all over California and the country. So when people ask us about the price per square foot, we want to make sure we’re honest with them. Then when the job is completely done with the house, the client can look back at us and say we were fair and told them upfront about what the process will look like, any potential issues we might run into, and what we have to do to get to completion. Our True Quote process, which gives our clients a firm number they can count on. It gives a level of detail not all contractors do.

Q: It sounds like “cost per square foot” might not be the most comprehensive question to ask if I want to build a home. What should I ask instead?

A: While price per square foot is a common starting question in the construction industry, it’s vague, inconsistent across contractors, and most likely won’t get you the exact answer you need. A better question is: “can you build [your dream house] for [this budget]?" Share your wishlist and your entire building budget with your contractor. If you need to stay within that budget, be sure your contractor can build you a home that sticks to it—without any surprises.

Q: So how can I find a contractor who will build within my budget and style? 

A: Consider what kind of builder you want to work with in the coming years. Make sure you choose somebody you’re going to be happily married to for a minimum of 10 years. Especially right out of the gate, you might have questions or structural issues you’ll need to work with them on. 

Q: What questions should you ask when interviewing contractors?

A: Start with, “What’s your relationship like with your subcontractors and vendors?” A good contractor has stable, reliable subcontractors and vendors they trust—not a list of whoever’s available at the moment. Then ask, “How do you communicate?” This is key to the whole project, so make sure they communicate the same way you do. Some people prefer to communicate in a phone call, email, or just job site visits. Know what your preferences are and be upfront about them.

Q: Any final advice?

A: It’s really important to talk about scheduling with both your builder and contractor. Construction loans are typically a higher rate than regular loans, so make sure you understand the terms and if it works with the schedule for the build. If you're going to get a construction loan, the last thing you want to be doing is paying interest on it longer than necessary because of a lax schedule.


At Trilogy, we value the relationships we have with our clients. It’s why we’re always honest about the building process from start to finish. Transparency and trustworthiness are key in our business, and they’re just some of the reasons we’re not just good builders, but good neighbors. Contact us to find out how we can help with your new home!

If you’re in the market for building a home, choosing a contractor is one of the most important decisions you can make. At Trilogy, we believe the key to turning a house into a home is honesty and transparency. Since we’re in the construction business, one of the best things we can do is to help educate potential homeowners about the building process. Let’s take the mystery out of it! With this in mind, here are some of the top questions we’ve been asked as homebuilders. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the maximum deposit on construction a contractor can require?

A: While the amount contractors ask can vary, in California they should not request more than 10% down of the base price or $1,000 — whichever is less.  

Q: How do you pick a reputable contractor?

A: First, make sure they are licensed. Ask to see their “pocket license” (a small plastic card version of their license) and ID, and make sure their trade matches the work you need to be done. You can go to www.cslb.ca.gov to find out if their license is in good standing. If they have a website, check it for reviews. You can also ask the contractor for past client testimonials and to see a portfolio of their work. 

Q: Can the builder put you on a waitlist if permits come in late?

A: Yes. The permit process can be a long one and can experience delays. (Side note: Trilogy doesn’t do this! We currently don’t have a waiting list, and we don’t move you down the list if there are unavoidable delays. Each project is ready at different times, we start when everything lines up.)

Q: Can a home builder raise the price before the house is completed?

A: It’s important to read your contract carefully before signing. Many builders will include an allowance for unexpected costs. Make sure you understand and agree to those terms before you commit to the builder. Furthermore, when a builder uses a “unilateral contract,” they can find a way out of it and cancel. Luckily for our clients, Trilogy will always be transparent in our True Quote process. 

True Quote

Are you concerned about rising construction costs? Many potential homeowners debate whether or not to build a home due to fluctuating prices. But with Trilogy’s True Quote, you’ll know exactly how much your build will cost long before you break ground. We offer total transparency, so you can feel at ease. We think taking the guesswork out of the construction process helps offer our clients peace of mind.

Building a Higher Value

At Trilogy we focus on “Building a Higher Value.” This motto has been the core of our work since 1967, and we’ve incorporated it into every home we construct. It’s why we’re known as a premium option for building custom homes—and now Palisades Homes—in Butte County. Contact us today to find out more!

Farmhouse sinks are still a hot trend in home design, but the reality is these cute and quaint sinks have been around for centuries. Originally created so they could be comfortably used for hours on end, they were built to wash dishes and even babies in them. Some homeowners are drawn to the sinks for nostalgic reasons, their beautiful design, and their functionality. But before investing in a farmhouse sink, it’s important to know the basics. 

White farmhouse sink in a Trilogy-built home
Benefits

Farmhouse sinks are deeper than the usual varieties, and offer easy access since there is no countertop between the user and the sink. Since the sink sits below the countertop, it’s simple to sweep crumbs and liquid right into the sink. It holds large items like baking sheets with ease, and you can find double-sink models that have even more room. 

Challenges

Depending on the material, some farmhouse sinks can be very heavy and weigh upwards of 200 lbs–which means your cabinet needs to be strong enough to support it. Once installed, put a sealant around the edge so water doesn’t run under your sink. Ensure the apron of the sink is high enough and the faucet is positioned right so you don’t splash water all over your floors. Because a farmhouse sink doesn’t have a countertop around the edge, it’s more likely to do that than conventional styles. 

Materials

If you’ve got your heart set on this Joanna Gaines-beloved style, find out what material suits your needs. They come in stainless steel, clay, firestone, copper, cast iron models, and more. While many love the classic white porcelain look, this material stains easily and is hard enough to crack dropped glasses. 

Find Your Best Match

Just like any major appliance, a farmhouse sink can be a significant investment, so take the material, size, and design into account. With a little research, you can find one that fits your lifestyle and taste.

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