The In-Law Suite. Returning The Favor.
After their parents put a roof over their heads for years, many adult children are considering returning the favor. Recent data shows that approximately 20% of the U.S. population lives in a multi-generational home, meaning three or more generations share the same household.
Creating a distinct space at home for an aging parent to move into, whether it’s a separate backyard unit, a new addition, or a converted basement is a major undertaking. But with its added peace of mind, potential savings and investment value, flexibility and emotional reward, it’s an undertaking that may be worth the effort for your family
What Is an In-Law Suite or Apartment?
An in-law apartment is a private space for in-laws and parents that is usually attached to or located on the same lot as their grown child’s house. Many in-law suites are custom-built home additions, though converted garages, basements and stand-alone guest houses are also common. These types of dwellings are also referred to as “mother-in-law” suites or granny apartments.
Choosing the Right Spot for Your In-Law Apartment
You could convert your garage, attic, basement or even your porch into a suite. For home additions, the best spot to build off is an underused room on the first floor, ideally located near an existing bathroom.
A Checklist for Building a Mother-in-Law Suite
-Full-time residence on the property where the suite will be built.
-An outside entrance into the dwelling, separate from the main house entrance.
-Access to off-street parking, such as a garage or driveway.
Mother-in-Law Suite Plans
Planning out a simple and efficient design for your in-law apartment is the best way to keep your loved one safe, while also maintaining their independence and privacy. Providing this space in your home’s basement is usually the most cost-effective way to add a living space. But, depending on your parent’s age and abilities, having a walk-out basement or garage level apartment might be ideal to avoid troubles with stairs.
For a comfortable living space, the three key in-law suite rooms to include would be a bedroom, full bathroom and a full kitchen or kitchenette area, if possible. This will give your parent the autonomy to still bathe and cook on their own accord without overlapping with your family’s different schedules.
What Accessibility Concerns Need to Be Addressed?
As a certified aging-in-place specialist, Glickman|Design Remodel Build has had decades of experience working with clients to ensure homeowners recognize and remedy any potential home hazards or challenges for aging residents, whether it’s for their own safety or the safety of a live-in relative.
When adding an in-law suite, Glickman will work with you to think through everything from including reinforced walls and grab bars to choosing mood-boosting paint colors. And it’s easiest to make these adjustments early on in the process, even if a parent doesn’t currently have mobility or cognitive problems.
Following the principles of universal design will also help incorporate pieces and structures that everyone can use now and in the future. Other aging-friendly design choices include low texture flooring, minimal clutter, doors and hallways that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers and curbless showers. Your in-laws probably plan on aging in place once they move in. Be proactive and make sure their new accommodations are made to age with them.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an In-Law Suite?
There is one financial constant to consider: The cost of building a custom in-law suite is always less than paying for assisted living
In-Law suites vary by the type of space and how much work is needed to make that space livable. Ideally, your in-law suite should include everything needed for independent living, such as a separate bedroom, living area, bathroom and kitchen. Glickman|Design Remodel Build has built In-Law suite additions in almost every conceivable design and price range. We’ll work with you and with-in your budget to design and build what’s right for you and your family.
Contact Glickman|Design Remodel Build
Glickman has been building In-Law suite additions in the DMV for over 40 years. We are certified aging-in-place specialists, and this designation can will be immensely helpful to you during the building process because we can provide advice and design ideas to make your in-law suite as functional as possible.
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Washington, DC: (202) 792-7320