What to Look for in an In-Law Suite
Over the years, society has gone through regular changes. There was a time when multiple generations lived under one roof, so the ages in the home could range from babies to seniors. As people moved to the suburbs and families became more nuclear, this changed. However, the trend is re-emerging as people move their aging parents in with them.
Creating an in-law suite is a great way to accommodate multiple generations in a home, while still allowing the privacy everyone desires. So what goes into creating a great in-law suite?
A private bathroom is a staple of any in-law suite. While you may not want to start out with grab bars in the bathroom, the room should have the necessary supports in the walls for easy installation of handles and safety bars at a later time. Pedestal sinks are easy for people with wheelchairs to use, but they are still attractive. Another option is adjustable height vanities that can be raised or lowered according to your needs. Choose tubs that are wide enough to handle special lift seats in the future, and there should also be dedicated outlets that can power a lift chair or other safety equipment when the time comes. You can also eliminate the tub completely and choose curb-less showers that are easy for people with limited mobility to use.
A kitchenette or kitchen area is another key component of an in-law suite. When designing the space, choose raised cabinets with additional kick space underneath. Look for multi-level, pullout counters that can be used by people in walkers or wheelchairs. Faucets with motion sensors are also a smart investment. Induction cooktops are easy to use and safer. Look for wall ovens that can be mounted at a height that’s comfortable for people in wheelchairs. Choose base cabinets featuring drawers that pull out rather than cavernous cabinet spaces. All of these additions make the kitchen more functional for aging family members.
Overall Living Space
Here are some things to consider when designing the overall space for your in-law suite:
- Include a sitting area that allows for relaxing and taking a break.
- When planning for limited mobility, lever-type door handles are a great choice.
- Dimmer switches allow people to customize the lighting, and spotlights add light to key areas without making the entire room feel too bright.
- Maintain an open floor plan and easy flow or traffic. Remember that wheelchairs need more space, and walkers also require more space to move around. Choose open plans whenever possible, and make sure that hallways are wide enough to allow for a person to walk past a wheelchair.
- Flooring options like cork are easy on the joints without posing a tripping hazard. If you choose carpeting, stick with a low nap that won’t hinder a walker or make wheelchairs harder to move.
At Glickman, we have years of experience working with homeowners to design and build their perfect in-law suite. We are truly passionate about the work we do. We’d love to put that knowledge to work for you and share the possibilities for your home.
To explore photos of our in-law suites, visit our portfolio.