Addition to an Existing Single-Family Home


  • There are a variety of zoning requirements that will apply, including standards for building setbacks, building height, lot coverage, and parking. Refer to the Zoning Guidance below
    • For example, if you are adding an additional bedroom, an additional parking space may be required
  • School Facilities Fees will be assessed on additions of 500 square feet and larger
  • Additions which encroach into a yard may require a survey prior to plan approval. Refer to the Building Guidance below
  • Your Homeowners Association will likely have its own approval process. Review your HOA policies and procedures before proceeding with your design plans
  • You will need to submit a copy of the approved design plans from your HOA as part of your application
  • After you have completed and gathered all of the required documents, you will need to submit your permit application and plans electronically through the IrvineReady! Online Plan Submission Portal

Zoning Guidance

To find the zoning for your property, you may refer to the Zoning Map or to the Online Parcel Search. You may also contact the Planning Counter at 949-724-6308.   

Requirements for each zoning district are outlined in Chapter 3-37 of the Zoning Ordinance. For your convenience, zoning requirements for two of the most common residential zoning districts are linked below.

Zoning requirements for the 2.2 Low Density Residential Zone

Zoning requirements for the 2.3 Medium Density Residential Zone

Setback General Notes

  • The front setback (measured from the face of the street curb) is typically 15 feet for many single-family properties
  • Side setbacks are typically five feet, but may be greater for corner lots, properties adjacent to non-residential properties, and residences in Shady Canyon
  • The rear setback is typically 10 feet, but can vary
  • A six-foot setback is typically required between buildings
  • There are special setback requirements for buildings near certain streets


  • Typically fifty percent (50%), but can vary
  • Lot Coverage Calculation:
    • (Existing First Floor Living Area + Existing Garage Square Footage + First Floor Addition Square Footage + Any Additional Fully-Enclosed Space on the Ground Floor (such as an accessory structure)) ÷ (Lot Square Footage – Easement Square Footage) = LOT COVERAGE


  • Typically 35 feet for single-family homes, but can vary


  • For homes approved before August 9, 1983, two (2) onsite covered parking spaces are required. An exception may occur, as provided in Zoning Ordinance Section 4-3-4.
  • For all other single-family homes:
    • If home has three (3) bedrooms or fewer: two (2) covered (garage) parking spaces are required
    • If home has four (4) or more bedrooms: three (3) parking spaces required, two (2) of which must be covered (garage)
  • For required driveway and garage dimensions, click here

Contact the Planning Counter at or 949-724-6308 to confirm setbacks and additional zoning requirements.

Building Guidance

What Documents Will Be Required?

Please refer to the file size and formatting information available through this link

  1. Application Package. Includes:

  • Building Permit Application
  • Residential Take Off Sheet
  • Electronic/Digital Signature Disclosure
  1. School Facilities Fees form (required for Additions only)

  2. Recycling and Diversion of Construction and Demolition Waste Form

  3. Architectural and Structural Plans, including the following:

  • City of Irvine Title Sheet for Residential Additions or Remodel (fill out all applicable references including the Site address, Scope of Work, and home fire sprinkler information) 

Residential Remodel Title Sheet in DWG format

Residential Remodel Title Sheet in PDF format

  • Architectural Site Plan depicting the following:  
    • Building footprint with dimensions and setbacks. 

    • Identification of all exterior fences/walls

    • Identification and labeling of all easements of record (i.e. easement to neighbor or water district easement, etc.)

      • Include the following note in the site plan and complete when confirming that no easement(s) exist on the property:

I, ____________________________, (print name as appropriate) property owner/authorized agent confirm the property depicted herein contains no easements restricting the proposed construction as shown in these plans.                                               

_______________________________,   ______________________
     (signature)                                                    (date)

Note: Projects including additions which encroach into a yard may require a survey prior to plan approval. For more information see Information Bulletin No. 302.

  • Architectural plans that include existing and proposed floor plan layouts and roof layout, existing and proposed exterior elevations, sections cut through addition and existing structure, applicable details.  Identify in plans rain gutters on any eave, dimension on the plans, the measurement (width) of the eaves measured from the face of the wall to the end of the face of the eave including any rain gutters.
  • Structural plans that include foundation plan and details, floor framing and/or roof framing plan (as applicable), structural details.
  • City of Irvine Green Building Standard Notes-Residential for additions that increase the conditioned space only. Click on Forms Catalog and enter 66-113 in Form Name or Number Box, then click on Search Icon. Download Standard Notes Residential Construction - 2022 California Green Building Standards (4.0). 
  • PDF copy of the Engineer's Structural Calculations

  • PDF copy of Title 24 Energy Calculations. Plans shall include:

    • All corresponding compliance forms

    • A complete list of required Installation of Certificates, Certificates of Acceptance under the heading “Construction Certificates Required” 

  • A survey prepared and signed by a Land Surveyor or Civil Engineer licensed to practice land surveying in the State of California is required per Information Bulletin 302 for any proposed addition designed to extend into an existing side yard or to come within one foot of a required front or rear yard setback.

  • If your project requires a geotechnical report (as outlined in Information Bulletin 220), the report shall require the below, prepared and signed by a qualified civil or geotechnical engineer. 

    • A plot showing the location of all test borings and/or excavations.

    • Descriptions and classifications of the materials/soil encountered.

    • Elevations of the water table, if encountered.

    • Recommendations for foundation type and design criteria including bearing capacity, provisions to minimize the effects of expansive soils and the effects of adjacent loads.

    • Expected total differential settlement between the existing foundation and the proposed addition.

  1. Copy of Design Approval Plans/Letter from Your Homeowners Association 
  2. IF HOME WAS BUILT BEFORE 1980 AND PROJECT INVOLVES REMOVING WALLSSouth Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1403 Notification Number Report

Please note, depending on the specifics of your project, additional plans, details, forms, exhibits, or support documents may be requested through the plan check process.

Submittal Instructions

READY TO BEGIN? Your application must be submitted online using the IrvineReady! Online Permit Submittal Portal. We recommend keeping this webpage open in a different tab so you can refer to the information below.

IrvineReady! works best on Google Chrome, rather than Safari or Microsoft Edge.

When you click the button below to go to IrvineReady, you will first be prompted to create an account, or to log into an existing account.

Video Link: How to Create an Account in IrvineReady!

After creating an account and logging in, click the green plus button to the lower right-hand side of the window to start a new submittal.

In the “Project Type” drop-down menu, select “For Permitting--Other” as the permit type.

Video Link: Preparing Documents for Upload into IrvineReady!


Next Steps

  • After submitting your plans, City staff will review the information for completeness within approximately two business days. If additional information is needed, you will be notified.
  • You will be emailed a link to pay required fees. Visit the Fee Schedule page for additional information and current fee rates
  • After payment is received, your project will be assigned for review.

In general you should anticipate five (5) business days for the initial plan check; if corrections are required, you will be notified.