In-Law Suite: Privacy. Accessibility. A Fresh Start.

A need to combine funds, broken retirement nest eggs, declining health, or a desire to be nearer to family and their children are just a few of the reasons more Americans are considering moving in with their adult children.

The benefits of inviting relatives to cohabit include combining incomes to maintain a single household, shutting down homes in the off-season to save on utility and maintenance costs, and creating a sense of permanence for seniors. It’s important, however, that this new living space allows privacy and independence for all.

Define priorities when establishing an in-law suite.
There’s no strict definition of an in-law suite, but generally, it’s a private living area within a house. Glickman| Design Remodel Build suggests that it should have a private full bathroom and a door that separates it from the rest of the home. The addition should also have a separate entrance and kitchen, especially if the living situation will be long-term.

Find space around your home, or create it. In-Law Suite Remodels

-The garage or a porch that can be enclosed and transformed into living space are two possibilities

-Basements can be made liveable if they have adequate outside egress.

-Combining two bedrooms to create a suite

-An upper floor or a bonus room over the garage can become an in-law suite

In-Law Suite Additions
If there’s not enough room in the existing footprint of the home, an addition can create a new master suite. Another possibility is to convert the third bay of a garage into a separate apartment-type living space with its own access.

Design spaces within the in-law suite.
Once the space has been chosen, decide what can be included. A separate bathroom and adequate storage in the bedroom sitting area are essential. Separate washer- dryers (stackables are a good option here) might be included in the bathroom closet area.

Design tips when creating a versatile, livable in-law suite.
A few tips from Russ Glickman: “Remember that accessibility in the new living area will ensure that the occupants can remain independent and grow into the space”.

Here are some other essentials to keep in mind:

-Make areas of the suite as spacious as possible.
Incorporate universal design principles not only in the suite but also throughout the house if possible. These designs can include no-slip flooring, considerations for height and reachability, wider doorways, grab bars, and handrails.

-Make sure the suite has some relationship to public areas of the home.
Install separate light, heat, and air-conditioning controls as well as smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors.

-Choose easy-open door and drawer hardware and install overhead and hand-held showerheads. Place electrical outlets on both sides of the bed.

-Install a separate phone line, Internet connection, and cable jacks, and perhaps a stereo system unique to the suite.

-Consider installing emergency call buttons or at least a jack.

-Choose materials that ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants.

How to get started creating an In-Law Suite
We encourage you to research, ask your friends and family and noodle a bit over how you would enhance your home to truly make it “Your Home For Life”. Then call
Glickman |Design Remodel Build. We’ve been helping homeowners just like yourself in the DMV for over 40 years with creative design and premium quality construction.

Please contact us or call us at the numbers below.

Maryland: (301) 444-4663
Virginia: (703) 832-8159
Washington, DC: (202) 792-7320