While there are many reasons to renovate a home, the increasing demand for multi-generational living arrangements throughout the U.S. often plays a role in the remodeling projects chosen by American homeowners. In fact, 64 million Americans lived in multi-generational homes during 2018. What’s more, the population of senior citizens is on the rise nationwide; with growing healthcare costs to consider, many people are looking ahead for their future needs — whether that means aging in place or moving into a house shared by other family members.
For many, working with design build firms to create an in-law suite may be a viable solution for a common problem. An in-law suite is typically characterized by its separate entrance, bathroom, and kitchen area for residents other than the main homeowners. It can be used as an independently operated living space for aging parents, older children, and even paying tenants — making it a versatile renovation option that more remodeling companies are recommending.
Adding an in-law suite to your home can be a bit more complex than other kinds of renovations. You’ll need to ensure that plumbing and electricity are added or moved correctly, that all zoning laws are followed, and that you’ve included all necessary safety measures in your plans. Working with design build firms can be one of the best ways to ensure all of these details are planned out correctly from the start.
Once you’ve identified your need for an in-law suite, it’s beneficial to determine where the best spot for it will be. There isn’t necessarily just one way to create an in-law suite. Here are three of the most popular options.
Converting Your Basement
Transforming a basement space into an in-law suite makes a lot of sense for many homeowners. After all, it allows you to make use of the square footage you already have while adding value to your home. While you won’t have to break ground on something entirely new, it’s important to note that some zoning laws will allow basement apartments only for personal use (which means you wouldn’t be able to rent it out in the future). However, if your basement is already finished or partially finished, you’ll likely be able to complete this renovation without any trouble staying on-budget.
Building an Addition
In some situations, home additions may be the best way to go. If your existing living space simply won’t accommodate your family’s needs, it might be better to add to your home’s first or second story to add extra square footage. Working with design build firms can ensure that your addition matches the style of your existing home and that the final result is seamless. Remember that if your intention is to provide housing for an aging relative, it’s best to stick with a ground-floor addition; although a second-story addition could address space issues for the rest of your family, a first-floor addition can ensure a separate entrance — along with a sense of independence and privacy — for your loved ones.
Adding a Separate Structure
Another option for homeowners is to add an entirely separate structure as an in-law suite. If you have a larger property and zoning laws allow you to do so, designing a guest house can be a great way to accommodate your family members and other visitors who come to stay. This can add value to your home and be a versatile choice, particularly if you’ve created an outdoor oasis for relaxation, socialization, and entertaining. Although there may be some challenges here (particularly in terms of plumbing and electrical needs), maintaining privacy will be a breeze with this type of in-law suite.
No matter what type of in-law suite you want to add, design build firms can help make it happen. For more information on how our team can improve your home with an in-law suite, please contact us today.