It’s December, and do you know what comes along with December? The holidays! What comes along with the holidays? Family. We know this year has been different, but however you are planning to celebrate (safely, we hope), we wanted to give you a bit of insight into the home renovation world. A particular type of project has grown more and more in popularity, especially after the last few months.
You know what they are and the essentials of how they work, but have you ever considered incorporating one into your home? We’ve spoken to so many clients over the last few months who want nothing more than to bring their loved ones closer to home without affording them (or the homeowners) their sense of privacy or independence. As clarified by Kukun Home Intelligence, “An in-law suite is a separate living space that’s built as an addition to an existing house. This structure is standalone and fully equipped to act as an independent rental unit. The idea is to bring your parents to live next to you so that you can keep them company and watch over their needs through their silver years”.
While we agree that an in-law suite should act as an independent space that offers more privacy to its occupants than a standard guest room, it doesn’t necessarily need to act as a standalone structure. We have found that, in the spirit of bringing a family together for safety and comfort, you can be creative and avoid building on a whole new wing to your home. Where there is a bit of space with extra privacy, like in a basement, or maybe an unused guest room on the first floor, you can create an ideal space. For example, in one of our designs, we included an in-law suite loft above the home’s garage.
Also, contrary to the definition above, we don’t think you necessarily need to create a full suite. Like many projects, it runs on a spectrum of independence. For example, we worked with a family in Wayne, whose single car garage made the perfect location for an in-law suite. It included a large bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and a separate bathroom. While it did not have a kitchenette, the suite offered plenty of amenities, and best of all, it was tucked away from the family’s day-to-day spaces to provide the occupants with peace and privacy.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have also worked with families who wanted to create separate spaces, like this home in Bryn Mawr. We designed and built, adjoined to their colonial home, an area with a dedicated entrance and exit (and patio!), as well as interior access to the main house. Their guest had a living space, kitchen, full bathroom, bedroom, and walk-in closet to herself but was still close enough to pop in and watch the grandchildren after school. As a bonus, the homeowners decided to build an attached garage with access to the suite.
There is no right or wrong way to do it; what matters is having your family close by and safe. Particularly during these crazy times, the peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are right next store is priceless. So if you’re considering bringing your in-laws or parents into your home, and want to explore some options, give us a call! We’ll be happy to provide a few ideas and estimates, and as always, our consultations come with no cost or obligation!