Five Tips for Adding an In-Law Suite to Your Home
In-law suites are a great addition to any home that needs to accommodate a few extra guests. Whether you are looking to make room for the grandparents to move in permanently, want to convert unused floor space that you can rent out or need to add space for a live-in nanny, in-law suites are a great option. Here are four things to think about when choosing an in-law suite design:
1. Choose the right style suite.
The size of your in-law suite will reflect on how independent you want your in-laws, live-in-help and other guests to be from the rest of your home. You could easily build an extra bedroom will full bath, use the same design but add a small sitting area to give your in-laws more space, build a small “apartment” with kitchenette or even design a whole suite with a separate entrance. The size and style of the suite often reflects how long you intend your guests to stay and how private you want their living quarters to be. The size of your new in-law suite, along with the quality of materials used, will also directly affect the overall cost of the project, which is something to keep in mind.
2. Addition or renovation?
How are you going to make room for your new in-law suite? Aging parents might not be able to navigate stairs easily, so a converted basement or bedroom on the second floor might not be the best options. Instead, consider using any unused first floor space, like formal living rooms or dining rooms; this can easily be remodeled into an in-law suite for grandparents and older guests. If stairs are not a factor, an enclosed porch or extra garage space can also be turned into an in-law suite.
3. Install separate light, heat, and air-conditioning controls.
In order to make your in-law suite more comfortable for guests, consider installing separate light, heat, and air-conditioning controls that are theirs to control. If you are renting out your in-law suite as a small apartment, this will make it easier to protect your own energy bills from your tenet’s usage.
4. Add design elements to make a small space seem big.
An in-law suite probably isn’t going to be much bigger than a studio apartment, which might make long terms guests feel cramped after a while. In order to open up the space, consider adding higher ceilings, tall doors and high windows to your in-law suite design. This will allow for lots of natural light and will make the small space seem much bigger. Something like a large, French door overlooking a garden or the backyard will make nature much more accessible and add dimension to the suite.
5. Add a Freestanding Garage
Freestanding garages also provide your new household members with additional privacy and independence, and can even be rented out as separate apartments. You could also combine two bedrooms and remodel them for independent living or add a completely new master bedroom to your home’s design.
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- Joanne Loftus