In-law suites, also called mother-in-law apartments or secondary suites, are becoming increasingly common in the United States, up 30 percent from 2000 to 2016. These kinds of suites are created when grown children build private space on their own property for their aging parents. Legally, an in-law suite is called an accessory dwelling unit, an additional separate living space located on a property where only one unit would normally be. An in-law suite addition is usually not part of the home’s original design and is added to existing parts of the home.
Before You Build!
With the type of space you want to build in mind, it’s time to look around your home for the best place to build or convert. Permits allowing, you can transform your garage or porch area into in-law suites. If you’re looking to create a new addition to your house, look for an area along the first floor next to a room you underutilize and can use a space near an existing bathroom. If you convert existing rooms, you can combine two rooms to make a suite: think formal dining and living areas you use only for guests, etc. Now they can house more permanent guests. You may want to consider keeping your addition on its own separate power, heat, and A/C source. It will help in the future should you decide to charge an occupant rent, but more importantly, you can shut the unit down when it’s not being lived in. If your relatives aren’t planning to move in permanently or they won’t move in for a while, it’s important to keep everyone in mind with the decor of your addition. Keeping things neutral, from flooring to curtains to wall color, will allow whoever lives there to add their personal touches on top of this basic groundwork.
Time to Enjoy
Having a parent move into in-law suites to live with you may seem daunting at first, but many families who are interviewed about it say it’s been a blessing and many wish they’d done it sooner. Sure, there are the logistical benefits of cut care costs, but the biggest benefit is spending more time with your entire family and taking care of those who once took care of you, what can be a better reward than that?
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