Placer County presents free accent dwelling constructing plans


Homeowners interested in building an annex

Placer County is now offering free blueprints to homeowners interested in building an annex on their property. This saves thousands of construction costs while also helping to increase the stock of affordable housing in the district. The county recently launched a website with additional household resources where homeowners can view the free plans, calculate construction costs and income potential, and learn everything they need to know to build an additional home.

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

“Placer County has come out on top to help with creative solutions for affordable housing.”

Shawna Purvines

Shawna Purvines, associate director of the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, says, “An annex can be a great option for a homeowner to grow their monthly income if they choose to rent it. They can also serve as a flexible guest area or as a home for aging family members. “

A side house has many names such as granny flat, suite-in-law, converted garage, backyard house, basement apartment or ADU, but all are independent houses that are smaller than the main house and are legally part of the same property. An outbuilding can be up to 50% of the primary structure when installed and no larger than 1,200 square feet when removed.
Recent state legislation has reduced or eliminated fees for building an additional home, and homeowners associations (HOAs and CC&Rs) can no longer restrict the construction of these units.

For more information on Placer County’s range of accessories, visit