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What is a Backyard Suite?

Backyard Suites are accessory dwelling units (ADUs), independent living spaces added to an existing single-family homesite.  ADUs are typically smaller than the primary residence on-site and can be attached (usually in a garage) or detached (usually in the backyard).  An ADU can be rented to provide a passive income stream for the homeowner occupying the primary unit while adding an affordable unit to the community.


At iheartgarages, we believe that improving home affordability for both homeowners and renters is essential to stabilizing housing, accelerating financial security, and building generational wealth.  Specifically, we believe that, in most cases, adding a Backyard Suite will reduce housing costs to below 30% of income.  

Wait.  Is that allowed in Orange County?

YES!  Recognizing the shortage of affordable homes in Orange County, our local government has removed many of the restrictions previously in place to discourage ADUs.  Here are some important points to note:

  • Both detached & attached independent living spaces are allowed in Orange County.  An independent living space is recognized as having sleeping quarters, a full bathroom, and a kitchen.

  • ADUs can have up to 2 bedrooms and cannot exceed 50% of the area as the primary dwelling or 1,000 square feet, whichever is less.

  • An additional off-street parking space must be provided. 

  • Homeowners must reside in the primary dwelling; and ADUs cannot be used for transient rentals (leases less than 30 days).


Read the Orange County code to learn more about ADU setbacks and architectural standards.

How do I get started?

iheartgarages is here to assist homeowners interested in building a Backyard Suite.  We will use our network and expertise to provide a roadmap that will simplify the process for you.

Attend an upcoming information session!

We will provide you with a roadmap for you Backyard Suite project!





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