More People Are Adding In-Law Quarters to Their Homes—Would This Work for Your Family?

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These days, more and more Americans are transforming their single-family homes into multi-generational spaces. Elderly parents are moving in with their adult children as they age, and children are heading back home to their parents after a major life change. This kind of cohabitation can be both affordable and convenient for all parties involved. Unfortunately, living in too-close quarters can put a strain on even the best relationships.

This is where the idea of in-law quarters comes in. Converted garages, basements, attics and new additions are being transformed into private living spaces equipped with a bedroom, bathroom and even cooking quarters with the help of custom home builders in Pennsylvania. These new spaces are separate, but close enough that help is just a short distance away. This living situation might not be the best solution for everyone involved, though. It’s important to consider whether adding in-law quarters is the right move for your family. Ask yourself the following questions.

Is it legal?

First, find out whether your city will even allow the addition of an in-law suite on your property. Some municipalities will require permitting for new construction, or the current zoning regulations may limit the number of occupants on one parcel of land.

What are your needs

Next, discuss the idea with the person who would be moving in. Figure out whether there are any issues that would need to be addressed in the remodel or addition, like difficulties climbing stairs, bathroom accessibility, lighting needs or other physical limitations. Elderly relatives will likely need a universally designed space, which incorporates wide doors and raised cabinets built to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. A builder will work with you to address any specific needs.

Does it make financial sense?

Converting an existing portion of your house or building a new addition is a significant financial commitment. Expect to spend upwards of $7,000. A new addition will also boost the property value when it’s time to sell the home.

Does it work for everyone?

Part of why the in-law suite setup is so popular is because it’s significantly cheaper than placing an aging parent or grandparent in a care facility. Many assisted living homes can cost more than $36,000 annually. That doesn’t mean an in-law suite is the right option for your family, though. The living situation could put a burden on the adult child, and could even strain family relationships. Take the time to evaluate whether this is the right move for you.

The home needs to be able to accommodate the new addition. A custom home builder in Pennsylvania can inspect the home to determine whether the property is large enough to build a separate unit, or if a current garage or attic can be converted into separate quarters. A full-service design/build company like WSL Incorporated can help make sure your home is fully equipped for this big life transition.

Ready to get started? Reach out to WSL Incorporated today for a free estimate—we look forward to working with you!

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