Building an In-Law Suite
What to Know Before Building an In-Law Suite
About 20 percent of the United States lives in a multi-generational home, meaning at least three or more generations live within the same household. As assisted living costs continually rise, elderly people are choosing to move in with their children and grandchildren, specifically into their own private in-law suite. An in-law suite is a private space for in-laws/parents that’s usually attached or located on the same lot as their children’s home. The most common spaces that could be converted include garages, basements, and even stand-alone guest houses. The cost of building one of these suites will vary, depending on type, size, and how much work is needed to make the space livable. Ideally your suite should include everything needed for independent living, such as a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living area.
Take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider before building an in-law suite:
5 Things to Consider Before Building
Check Your Local Building Codes
Your local building codes will determine what you can and cannot add to your suite. If you’re building an addition to your home, you’re usually limited to a bedroom, bath, small kitchen and sitting area. If you plan on adding a full kitchen or separate unit from the main home you will most likely need separate permits, you may even be banned by local zoning rules that prohibit residential areas from building rentable properties.
Other common requirements for in-law apartments include:
- Living on the property where the suite will be built.
- An outside entrance into the dwelling separate from the house.
- Separate water and sewer connections, though most municipalities allow three total plumbing connections with one sewer permit.
- Access to off-street parking, such as a garage or driveway.
Find the Right Spot for Your Suite
Location is key when building an in-law suite. Depending on what your city allows, you can convert your garage, attic, or basement into a suite. For home additions, it’s best if you build off an underused room on the first floor, ideally located next to an existing bathroom.
Separate the Suite’s Utilities From Your Home
Separating your in-law suite’s utilities from the main house will allow you to switch them off if the space ever goes unoccupied for a long stretch of time. And if you end up renting it out to another occupant down the line, you can easily split the bills.
Consider Your Parent’s Current and Future Needs
If your new guests have any special needs, you may want to consider including wheelchair friendly entryways or grab bars for the tub. Remember your in-laws are probably going to be aging in the next place they move into, if that space is your in-law suite, it needs to accommodate them. Install pull out drawers, shower seats, adjustable sinks and other appropriate amenities.
Find a Certified Contractor
When building your in-law suite, you’ll need to hire a certified contractor to help you with the renovations. Look for a contractor who has done in-law suites before, and is certified with references. The National Association of Home Builders has a searchable database of members who have earned their CAPS designation, allowing you to easily find a specialist near you.
We hope you’ve found this post helpful when building your in-law suite. Remember during the renovation you may need to rent a dumpster for the debris. Call us at Waste Solutions 123 for an affordable roll off dumpster, perfect for all of your home renovation needs!