3 Factors To Consider When Building An In-Law Suite

Whether your parents are elderly or disabled or you just want them closer to you and your immediate family, building an in-law suite onto your home can be a great investment. As a matter of fact, recent surveys showed an estimated 20 percent of buyers would pay more for a home with an in-law suite. This shows the addition will add appeal and value to your home. Of course, having your parents or spouse's parents close to you is also a benefit. The implementation of an in-law suite is easier said than done, though. A good amount of planning will be necessary. Here are a few things to consider when you are adding an in-law suite to your home.

Type of Suite

Depending on your home's current floor plan, there will probably be a few options for creating a suite for your in-laws.

If you have an extra room that is not currently being used, you can renovate this space to make it larger and more accessible for your parents or in-laws. This may require knocking one or more walls down or adding walls to create closets and a bathroom.

If you have a basement, bonus room, or attic space that is not finished, you can finish these spaces to create an in-law suite. However, it is important to remember that these spaces of a home are usually downstairs or upstairs, which could be problematic for aging parents or in-laws.

Finally, you can add an entirely new part onto your home that will be solely used as an in-law suite. If this is the option for you, use a location that is near a bathroom. This will allow your parents/in-laws the opportunity of using an existing bathroom, which can reduce the cost of building an entirely new bathroom.

Electrical, Septic, Plumbing, Heating/Cooling

An addition of an in-law suite requires numerous hookups to ensure the space becomes a functional part of the rest of your home. For example, the addition of the suite requires more than just a few new walls and a door.

Connections for electrical outlets, switches, lighting, and cable will be necessary. Also, your current septic system will need to accommodate the extra bathroom if you are adding one. Plumbing fixtures, such as sink and tub faucets, a toilet, and a showerhead will also be part of the addition. You will also need to decide what the best heating and cooling option for this new room addition is.

If you are adding a completely new bathroom or kitchen sink for your in-law suite, make sure to check your home's current septic system. Some septic systems are only equipped to handle a certain number of bathrooms. Therefore, the addition of a new bathroom may require replacing your septic system with a larger tank.

Zoning and Permits

Before adding onto your home, you will need to contact your city/county government or homeowner's association. Depending on the specific area that you live in, applying for a permit may be required before beginning the addition of your in-law suite. Thankfully, most contractors will apply for the permits on your behalf, reducing any stress or potential wrong-doing that can occur.

Permits are even more crucial if you are adding plumbing or gas hook-ups. For example, if the in-law suite will be equipped with its own toilet, shower/tub, and sink, permits that determine your septic system is capable of handling these additions will be required.

Also, if your in-law suite will have a kitchen area with a dishwasher, refrigerator, cooktop, or oven, special permits for plumbing and gas connections may be necessary. To avoid these permits for kitchen use, consider installing electrical appliances only, such as microwaves, toaster ovens, and refrigerators that do not require water lines.

An in-law suite addition is not a simple project, but it can be a great project for your family and your home. Click here for more info about new home additions.

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