Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is special about an Elbow Room?
An Elbow Room is a traditionally constructed climate-controlled detached structure. Our company is different from other accessory structure and accessory dwelling builders in our superior level of quality and service. Elbow Room is built to municipal code for your specific lot. A formal process is undertaken so that our customers know what to expect all along the way. This also results in a consistent high quality building.
Elbow Room also completely manages the project. Don't worry about the permitting fees or undertaking the process of submittal and revision. Breathe easy knowing that Elbow Room will schedule and respond to all inspections, as well as run our own third party inspections. Not only will the end product provide value to your property, but your most precious commodity is valued. By that, we mean your time. We handle all the nuances of construction, planning, vetting, scheduling, permitting, building, and quality control. We make our process as easy for you as possible, so that the construction will be almost as fun as getting the keys to your new Elbow Room.
Plus, we make pricing easy. It's easy to understand and fair for everyone. Price of Elbow Room + Utility Connections = True Cost
How long does it take?
Building an Elbow Room can take as little as 4 weeks to as much as 12 weeks of on-site construction. The process leading up to the actual build is sometimes lengthier due to permitting. Luckily, the permitting fees and all of the submissions and revisions are handled by Elbow Room.
How much does it cost?
Your cost is the listed price of the Elbow Room, the cost of utility hook-ups, and a (possibly) destination fee. Change orders may incur additional costs.
Do I need a permit?
The answer is that it depends. Most municipalities allow for small structure construction without permitting. For example, in San Antonio, accessory structures can be 300 square feet or less without a permit. In Austin the square footage is limited to 200 square feet. Water and sewage hook-ups almost always require a permit regardless of size. Elbow Room will clearly communicate updates and timelines throughout the permitting process.
How do I get a utility quote?
During your initial site visit, we will take some measurements and ask a few general questions. Based on that information we can give you our best estimate of the costs. Once an agreement is signed, we will send the utility companies to your site for a formal estimate that may increase or decrease depending on your specific lot.
What kind of foundation comes with it?
Home Rooms use an engineered in-ground pier and beam foundation. This is the strongest and most accessible foundation for larger buildings. Wiggle Rooms use a block foundations. These foundations are accessible, allow for sloping land, and are extremely durable.
How do I buy one?
Give us a call at 210-854-4023 or build your own Elbow room using our Design & Price tab. We'll answer all of your questions, schedule a site visit, and conduct a showing of current build. Inform your sales rep when you are ready to move forward to the next step. We will send you a Sales Agreement with an invoice for $1000. This gets you a spot on our calendar and an appointment to verify your selections and upgrades. You'll then receive a final contract that specifically outlines your individualized purchase.
How does your payment plan work?
We process payment according to milestones at a 30/30/30/10 plan. After an initial deposit of $1000 which is used to secure a spot and cover any expenses determining feasibility, we implement the plan. The deposit is refundable less expenses if you choose not to move forward. Otherwise, it is applied to the remainder of the balance. Once the contract is signed, there is an invoice for 30% of the balance. Completion of the foundation marks the next 30% payment. Prior to electrical and plumbing rough-in, you'll receive a third invoice for 30% of the contract price. Once construction is complete and all inspections are passed, the final 10% of the balance is due. Should you decide to take ownership of the structure during the build process, 100% of the balance is incurred.
Do you offer financing?
We have a partnership with Frost Bank to assist in financing. They offer both Home Improvement loans and HELOCs. We are happy to introduce you to a Frost Bank representative!
Can I just buy the shell?
Elbow Room only builds completely finished structures.
Explain why permitting is important?
Permitting is required for structures that are over a specific square footage or that are livable. Permitted structures are officially documented as additional square footage to your property. Structurally engineered foundations, architecturally stamped plans, and multiple inspections must be submitted and passed to issue a permit that allows construction to begin or move on to the next phase. This can be an expensive and time consuming process. Elbow Room includes associated fees and service costs for permits. We submit necessary documents, revisions, and co-ordination of inspections that is are required to obtain permits for your build. A Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completeness is issued upon final inspection. Accessory structures that do not require permitting will still be inspected by a 3rd party to adhere to Elbow Room quality standards.
What comes with a kitchen?
Every kitchen or kitchenette has special electrical and plumbing rough-in requirements that we complete. Kitchens come with two walls of lower cabinets in an L-shape, as well as upper cabinets. A full-sized refrigerator, oven with stove-top, microwave, deep-set sink and faucet, and dishwasher are included. Kitchenettes come with lower cabinets on one wall. A mini-fridge or wine-fridge is included, as well as a deep-set sink and faucet.
What comes with a Bathroom?
Elbow Room full-sized bathrooms come with a walk-in shower, vanity with sink and mirror, and an elongated toilet. They are prepared for plumbing connections.
What's the difference between a Home Room and a Wiggle Room?
The main difference between the Home Rooms and Wiggle Rooms are plumbing, permitting, foundation type, and available options. Wiggle Rooms do not require any permitting and have a durable block foundation made for smaller buildings. Home Rooms require permitting, have a structurally engineered in-ground pier and beam foundation, and architecturally stamped plans. Several options such as bathrooms, kitchens are available in Home Rooms. James Hardie lap siding is standard in all models.
Can I add plumbing to a Wiggle Room?
Wiggle Rooms do not allow for plumbing. The reason is two-fold. First, Wiggle Rooms don't require permitting, because they are small enough to fall under the guidelines for non-permitted structures in most municipalities. Plumbing always requires a permit. Second, we don't think that a block-foundation is appropriate for plumbed structures. We do not recommend plumbing in Wiggle Rooms, even after it is built for this reason.
How is it built?
Elbow Rooms are "stick-built" like traditional home construction. They are not pre-fabricated or modular in nature.
What materials are used in building?
We use pressure treated lumber and specific techniques for framing and foundation. Zip panels are used for sheathing along with fiber insulation. 30-year shingles or galvanized metal is used for the roof. We use Behr paint or color match to your home. James Hardie lap or panels is standard for siding. Other options include Vesta and pine wood siding. Elbow Room doors are pre-painted Therma-Tru and traditional single-hung windows are by MI. Folding glass and stacking glass doors are ordered based upon availability. One brand that we use is Euro-wall, although substitution may be required.
Is there a warranty?
There is a one-year warranty on craftsmanship. All manufacturers warranties are transferrable. Engineered foundations have a 10-year warranty.
Can I use it for a short term rental?
You can use it for a short term rental, so long as you are in compliance with your municipal codes.
Are ADUs good investments?
ADUs are fantastic investments. They can add as much as 35% to property value and can be an excellent source for passive income. The purposeful use of accessory structures are often invaluable in themselves.
Can I live in my Elbow Room?
Home Rooms are built with living in mind. They include the options for kitchens and baths, as well as being built to livable codes. Wiggle Rooms are built on block foundations and do not offer options such as kitchens and baths.
What upgrades are available?
We offer upgraded siding, flooring, decks, roofing, and options such as kitchens and baths. Slab foundations are available on a case by case basis for an additional price. Raised rooflines and lofts are available on the Home Rooms. We also offer upgraded folding and stacking glass doors. Consideration will be given to special requests, although they are not guaranteed and may incur additional costs.