PETALUMA (CBS 5) — Families in Sonoma and Mendocino counties have an option when it comes to caring for elderly or disabled relatives.

Both counties are now allowing residents to install “home care cottages” on their properties that require minimal permits and hookups.

Steven Marshall sells the homes at his company in Petaluma, Little House on the Trailer.

“We’re serving two communities, grandma and a place for her. We’re also serving families that have adult children that are handicapped and need some independence,” Marshall told CBS 5 ConsumerWatch.

Marshall said homes are custom-made and usually start at $60,000. He sells a 120 square foot model that goes for $20,000.

Sonoma and Mendocino counties both started allowing the cottages about three years ago and are intended for a relative who needs care or their caretaker. Homeowners must reapply every year and must present a doctor’s note to prove need. Marshall estimates the initial cost of installation around $1,000.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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