Considerations for an In-law Suite

Considerations for an In-law Suite

Multigenerational families living in the same home are very common and growing in popularity. More than ever before, an aging mother or father, in-law, college grad, or even a grandchild is living in the same home for various reasons. It could be to save money or for health reasons, among others. Garages, basements, attics, spare bedrooms, and other rooms are creatively renovated into comfortable living spaces to accommodate additional family members. These spaces are commonly referred to as in-law suites, mother-in-law suites, guest houses, granny pods, Ohana suites, or secondary suites.

Locating And Creating The Right Space

There are many things to consider when transforming an existing space into an in-law suite. You want to accommodate the different needs of those living there. Take a look at a few questions to answer:

  • Is The Space and Area Private? Is the room nearby a bathroom, other family members’ bedrooms or common areas? What is the noise level throughout the day? Is there a door that can provide additional privacy? What floor of the home is the space located on, and will the person be able to access it easily? Is it environmentally controlled like the rest of the home?
  • What Are Your Family Schedules? Schedules that include work, school, extracurricular activities play a role in whether or not the location is suitable. For example, if the space is located by the front entrance of the home or over a garage, this may cause disruptions to sleep and create a stressful situation.
  • What Decor And Storage Space Is Needed? The design and decorative elements of the space will be different for seniors than for young adults. Creating a space that meets the preferences of those who will live there will create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. What are their storage needs? Providing space nearby for personal items is thoughtful and appreciated.

Is The Space and Area Private? Is the room nearby a bathroom, other family members' bedrooms or common areas? What is the noise level throughout the day? Is there a door that can provide additional privacy? What floor of the home is the space located on, and will the person be able to access it easily? Is it environmentally controlled like the rest of the home?

Renovation To An Existing Structure

If a home has limited space, and your budget allows, adding room is a consideration. This will create a larger and personalized apartment-like living space, but it will also increase your property values. Take a look at some questions to answer :

  • What Are The Zoning Ordinances? The first thing you must do is contact your local borough or courthouse office and ask if the area’s zoning allows adding on to an existing structure. If it is allowed, what rules are in place that you must follow and what permits must be filed?
  • What is the Best Location? Consult with a contractor to discuss where the best place on your property is to add on or add up? For example, if your attic is suitable, could it be expanded or is an area in the back of the home better for your situation?
  • How Much Space is Needed?  The space will be configured differently for a widowed parent than it would be for a growing family. What is the lifestyle of those living in the new addition?
  • How Can You Create A Flexible Space? How can you visualize the room’s use when your loved ones no longer live there? How can you create a flexible in-law suite that accommodates other activities like a home gym, office space or game room?

We are certified aging in place specialists helping families throughout the East Cobb area create a home that will meet your changing needs and help to ensure you can continue living in your home today, tomorrow and well into the future. Contact us today to get started.

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