There’s been a major rise in multi-generational homes, but how do people all fit under one roof?
Many factors have lead to parents or even grandparents moving in with their adult children. It could be the up and down economy or simply that people are just living longer. Either way, more and more extended families are shacking up.
But, as nice as it can be to have everyone together, you don’t want to be living on top of each other.
This is why if you’re considering moving in a parent, you need to build an in-law apartment in your home. This is the best way to keep all members of the family living together happily.
An in-law apartment doesn’t have to be for just family either. If you make a secure private residence, you can rent out this space to tenants.
In-law suites are great for aging relatives and homeowners looking for extra income. These renovations or additions won’t break the bank either. Start building your own with this guide to adding an in-law apartment.
First Things First: Are You Even Allowed to Have an In-Law Suite?
In many cities, there are certain zoning laws for additions or renovations of your home. Before you get too excited about this project, you need to check with your local municipality to make sure it’s legal.
Converting a space not attached to the house is usually the hardest job to get approved. This could be your garage or a new stand-alone structure. If you have your heart set on this type of set up, then be sure to consult with your city ASAP.
Don’t waste money on a project that could eventually get you fined!
Figure Out Your Long Term Plans
You’ve got the go-ahead for your project. Now it’s time to figure out the plans for your in-law apartment. First, think about how your new space will be used in the present and the future.
If your parents already live with you, then you most likely want to get this project done yesterday.
However, if you’re planning ahead for the future, maybe before they move in, you can rent the space out. That way you can recoup some of the costs of building it.
Can You Afford an In-Law Suite?
Some people get ahead of themselves in home renovations. They are so excited to get it done that they don’t even consider if they can afford it.
If you’re strapped for cash but desperately need an in-law apartment, there are options for you.
Look into federal home repair grants. If you qualify, you can have someone do the renovations fully paid for or subsided. With most of these grants, you will have to invest in green energy.
However, that will be another way to keep your costs down in the long run. If you have the opportunity to save money and the environment, why wouldn’t you go green?
Where Will Your In-Law Suite Be Located?
Many factors in the cost and use of your in-law apartment will be determined by where you place it. If you have the free space, you have many options throughout your home.
First and foremost, you’ll need a great door to secure the apartment. For more info on the best doors consult the experts. The following are some options for where that door will go.
This the most logical destination for an in-law apartment. Especially if your basement is already finished. You just need to hook up some amenities and create a space for the bedroom.
Adding a separate exterior entrance will give your family the privacy they desire. If your basement is not finished this could turn into a bigger project. But since it’s already below the house, it’s a great start.
Whether your garage is attached or not, it’s a great apartment option because it’s a stand-alone structure. Most likely your garage isn’t finished, but it probably already has water and gas hookups.
Plus, with its height, a garage lends itself to building a lofted bedroom. This opens up the floor space considerably. You just need to figure out a safe way to get your potentially elderly parents to their bed.
Like the basement, the attic is a great option if it’s finished. Even if it’s not, unlike basements, attics usually have a wood set up for easy drywalling.
Most attics cover the entire span of the home so there is a lot of floor plan options here.
Again, like the lofted garage, an elevated space means your parents will have to be mobile enough to climb stairs. If they aren’t, you would have to invest in an elevator which could be a big expense.
Make Your New Space as Spacious As Possible
You want your in-law apartment to have all the amenities one needs to live. That means you’ll have to potentially find space for a bathroom and a kitchen. If you have a small space, this may become very complicated.
Another option would be to have a separate entrance that gives them access to a shared kitchen and bathroom. However, this will limit your potential of renting to someone not in the family.
You want to make this a comfortable, happy home for your parents. If you can afford it, give them all the amenities they deserve. They did the same for you when you were growing up.
Start Building Your Own In-Law Apartment Today
You love your family, but you also want your privacy. An in-law apartment is the perfect compromise.