Having a place for your in-laws or your parents to stay at your house is an important thing for many homeowners. If you want your parents to settle down or retire on your property but still want your own space, then you need to consider a mother-in-law suite. A mother-in-law suite is a private living facility in or on the property. This space provides privacy and comfort for the occupants. If you are ready to build this space for your parents, then check out this guide on creating the ultimate mother-in-law suite.
Follow Building Codes
Anytime you build anything, there are codes, rules and ordinances you must follow. Every location is different, so you need to research the building codes in your town. In general, you will be limited to a small bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and sitting room. A full-sized option for any of these areas requires special permits. Other common restrictions or rules for in-law suites include:
- A main house or residence on the same property as the in-law apartment.
- An outside entrance into the suite, separate from the main house.
- Separate water and sewage connection.
- Access to off-street parking (garage, carport or driveway).
Pick the Right Spot
When you are planning your mother-in-law suite, you should pick the right spot for it. Typically, you want a location on the ground level, so your parents do not have to worry about stairs. You also want an area that gives you all privacy and comfort yet the availability to reach each other at a moment’s notice. Most people either build onto their home, in their home or place a small building next to their property.
Look at Floor Plans
Before diving into the build, you should really look at some floor plan options out there. You want a comfortable, efficient and simple floor plan for this space. You can add on or remove based on your parents’ age and physical abilities. Imagine a small or studio apartment when drafting or looking at different floor plans. A contractor like Valor Home Services can walk you through varying floor plans that work for your parents and space. We also want you to know that you will be spending at least $30,000 to create this space. So keep that in mind when picking a floor plan.
Keep Separate Utilities from the Main House
Having two large areas use the energy or utilities from one residence will quickly drain or damage things like sewage pipes, plumbing, HVAC and other important appliances. Having separate utilities also allows you to turn off the space that is not being used. This is great if you have temporary tenants, or your parents only visit during specific seasons or months of the year.
Consider Your Parent’s Needs
Since you are creating this suite for your parents, you should really consider what their needs and wants are. Do your parents need a wheelchair/walker-friendly space? Are they bringing along any pets? Do they have special medical equipment or other devices they need to live? Before building or moving them in, meet up with your parents to discuss what they need and want. From there, you need to make sure all their needs are met. After that, you can then add on as many of their wants that fit.
Install Safety Measures
Safety should always be a priority for you when working or building anything on your property. If people are using the space, it needs to be safe. No questions about it. Safety measures you should add include:
- Fire and carbon monoxide detectors
- Home security alarms and alerts
- Rails, banisters and ramps
- Rubber mats in bathrooms
- Emergency service contact information
- Extra lighting
Depending on your parents, you can add more safety features.
Other Instances an In-Law Suite Can Be Used As
Just because it is a mother-in-law suite does not mean it can only be used for your in-laws. Here are a few ideas on other ways you can use this space:
- Guest space
- Airbnb/bed and breakfast spot
- Home office
- She shed/man cave
- Rental apartment
- Residence for children
You do not have to create the ultimate mother-in-law suite on your own. Instead, work with a team of contractors and remodelers who create stress-free experiences every time you work with them, like our team at Valor Home Services. For more information, please contact us today. We would love to help you on your journey of creating the perfect space for your parents.