Placer County offers free accessory home building plans

Published on May 12, 2021

Placer County is now providing free building plans to homeowners interested in constructing an accessory home on their property, saving thousands in building costs, while helping to increase the county’s stock of affordable housing. The county recently launched an accessory home resource website where homeowners can view the free plans, calculate building costs and income potential and learn everything they will need to build an accessory home. 

The free building plans include three sizes – 496, 599 and 749 square feet and are pre-reviewed by Placer’s building team for those in the unincorporated areas of the county. The plans include 13 variations and come with an accessible option to allow for wider doorways. 

“Placer County has stepped up to the plate to assist with creative solutions for affordable housing options,” says Deputy Director of Placer County Community Development Resource Agency Shawna Purvines. “An accessory home can be a great option for a homeowner to boost their monthly income if they decide to rent it. They can also serve as a flexible guest space or a home for aging family members.”

An accessory home goes by many names such as granny flat, in-law suite, converted garage, backyard cottage, basement apartment or ADU but all are self-contained homes that are smaller than the main house and legally part of the same property. An accessory home may be up to 50% of the primary structure if attached, and no larger than 1,200 square feet if detached. 

Recent state legislation has reduced or eliminated fees for constructing an accessory home and homeowner associations (HOAs and CC&Rs) can no longer restrict the construction of these units.

Learn more about Placer County’s accessory home program by visiting