5 Tips When Considering Adding a Mother-in-law Suite

As the holiday season is approaching, we should be counting our blessings for what we have and who we have in our lives. That being said, now would be the perfect time to start discussing the future of your parents, and in-laws, rather than when the need arises. You can establish a living situation in your home that enables both privacy and independence for them, and for you, while they can still feel they are part of the household.

“Mother-in-law suites”, “in-law suites” or “multigenerational homes”, as they are now being called, is on the rise as people are living longer, and the cost of senior housing and healthcare is skyrocketing.

1. Consider how much space is needed and the location for the best fit to build or convert into suitable space. The quarters should ideally be on the main floor or where special stairlift can be added, these can include a separate kitchen, living area, and/or entry or simply be a bedroom and bath. A room or space that is currently underutilized such as spare bedroom, dining room, basement, garage or patio that can be enclosed with plumbing/bathroom nearby could be ideal.

2. Keep the occupants current and potential future needs in mind. Issues such as access and egress, assisted baths, no-curb showers, handrails, steps, non-slip tiling, etc. are important things to contemplate, as well as the aesthetics of their living space.

3. Before you start, check with your city to see if there are zoning issues and building area codes that can limit what you can do. Most zoning laws limit additions to having a bedroom, bath, sitting area, and kitchenette. When adding a kitchen it can be considered a rentable apartment, therefore it would no longer be viewed as a single dwelling and may require separate permits.

4. Check your septic permit as many septic tanks can allow for only three bathroom connections. So you would have to increase the size of your system if you exceed that amount.

5. If space is a separate apartment, you may want to consider providing its own separate power, heating, and A/C source, so in the future should you decide to charge an occupant rent, or shut the unit down when it’s not being lived in.

Mother-in-law jokes aside, it is true, having a parent/in-law move in may seem daunting at first. However, being able to spend more time with the whole family and taking care of those who once took care of you or spouse, makes it all well worth it. Additionally, you will most probably save money in the long run and increase the value of your home.

Roche Painting is not just a painting contractor, we provide exceptional home renovations and remodeling services. Let us can provide your loved ones with a comfortable, beautiful and safe living environment.

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