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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can my property have a backyard bungalow?

Most municipalities allow some form of backyard bungalow, depending on their bylaws and zoning your property may be allowed to have one.

How big can I build it?

Depending on municipal bylaws, zoning, and design guidelines, some allow garden suites over 1,000 square feet.

How high can I build it?

Depending on municipal bylaws, zoning, and design guidelines, some allow two stories.

How do you calculate the height?

It depends on the municipality and the type of roof. Some are calculated to the roof peak, some to the midpoint of the roof. Some calculate the starting point from the average grade of the lot, some at the grade at the points of the building, etc.

How do you calculate the square footage?

It depends on the municipality. Some are calculated on the outside of the exterior walls and some are calculated on the inside of the exterior walls.

How can I determine if my property can have a backyard bungalow and the size?

You can review your municipality's bylaws, zoning, design guidelines, and verify with their planning or building inspections departments. This can be a daunting and time consuming task and likely won't provide you additional items to take into consideration when determining if a garden suite would work for you. This is why we provide complimentary property assessments.

Can I have a garage attached to a suite?

Some municipalities allow garages attached to or below a garden suite. Some include the garage in the square footage calculation for the suite and others exclude it.

Can you convert my existing garage to a garden suite?

We can convert certain existing garages to garden suites. Each garage or accessory building requires an assessment to determine the requirements for the conversion.

Do I need extra parking for the garden suite?

It depends on the municipality's requirement. Some do require additional parking, some do not. If additional parking is required, the existing lot may already have the adequate parking, e.g. If you require two parking spots for the principal residence and one for the suite, and already have three parking spots, you may have satisfied the parking requirement without adding an additional spot (depending on the configuration of the three parking spots).

Can I put a garden suite in my front yard?

Depending on municipal bylaws, zoning, and design guidelines, they may be allowed to be in the front yard, side yard, or backyard.

How close can I build to my property line?

This depends on the municipality's bylaws. Sometimes, it's best to provide additional space if possible, e.g. if you're allowed to be 2 ft from a property line but have adequate space, you may want to stay further to allow greater flexibility in design while reducing costs as the fire code requirements would be less stringent.

Do I need to hire architects, obtain permits, buy appliances, landscaping, etc.?

We take care of design, permits, the build, appliances, landscaping and everything in between!

Does a garden suite come with a warranty?

All our new garden suite builds come with home warranty insurance coverage. It's typically called the 2-5-10 warranty as various items are warrantied for various time periods - up to 10 years.

How much does a garden suite cost?

Cost varies on many factors such as square footage of the suite, access to the site, how services such as water, sewers and storm drains are connected, the type of finishes. etc. We can provide a general guideline after we've done a property assessment.

Contact us for a complimentary property assessment

Can your property have a garden suite? How big can it be? Contact us for a complimentary property assessment!


Licensed and warrantied residential builders specializing in small houses and structures in the Greater Victoria Area (Victoria, Saanich, Langford, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Metchosin, Sidney, Sooke and surrounding areas) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Contact us via email through our contact form or call us at 250-858-8800.