Whether you’d like to have an extra guest room when family members visit for the holidays or you have a mom who’s getting up in years and needs to move in with you, an in-law suite addition can work wonders in terms of making your life much less stressful. This type of remodeling project offers additional privacy and space, as well as the peace of mind of having your family member nearby.
Building an in-law suite addition is a fairly major home renovation project. As such, there are a few things you must consider before getting started.
One of the reasons we recommend bringing in an experienced contractor in the early planning stages of an addition is to determine if your house is the right fit for one. In some cases, it may make more sense to purchase a new home instead of attempting to add more rooms into your current one. This is frequently the case if a family isn’t totally in love with their current home or neighborhood, or if zoning restrictions will prevent the type of addition they’d like to create.
Speaking of zoning restrictions, they’re another huge factor of which you need to be aware before you start drawing up plans or having work done. There may be rules against building within a certain distance of your property line, for example, that would prohibit you from adding on that extra wing you’re considering. Other neighborhoods may have rules regarding the maximum height of any home or restrictions on modifying structures visibly on the exterior (this is sometimes the case in areas with lots of historic homes). These types of rules could prohibit you from building up or out, so be sure to look into them before you get going!
The most important thing for a homeowner to do before starting an in-law suite addition is to plan thoroughly — an important step in every home renovation. In addition to understanding zoning requirements as we’ve already mentioned, this includes laying out your specific goals for the addition. Do you simply need an additional bedroom, or should it be a suite with a bathroom? Is the goal only more room, or does the design need to be one that’s user-friendly for an older family member with mobility issues? Sticking to these goals will help you plan out the overall design.
It can be tough to plan out a realistic budget for a kind of project you’ve never done before, which is another reason why meeting with a builder early in the planning process is helpful. They can give you a more exact idea of what the project will run, as well as how you can cut costs by modifying certain parts of it or using one material over another.
Obviously, if you’re adding on because you have an in-law with aging- or health-related issues, you’ll want your in-law suite addition completed as soon as possible. If you’re having an addition done to create more room for family visits, don’t forget to plan the project in a way that it’s as least disruptive as possible. Any home renovation comes with some degree of stress, but you’re practically guaranteed to send the stressometer through the roof if you’ve got workers trooping in and out of your house in the middle of the holiday season, for example. Work with your contractor to plan your addition for a time that’s the most convenient for your and your family. While beginning a renovation project — and especially an addition — can feel intimidating, by working with a skilled contractor, you’ll have access to the best ideas about how to get things done.