Now that your mother-in-law is at the age where she needs to be taken care of, your spouse comes to you with the idea of building a mother in law suite.
This will allow her to have someone close that can check up on her, but also gives you the space you need with your family. The reasoning is sound, but putting the mother-in-law suite into action is not that simple.
Don't worry, we got you covered! Here are 5 tips for building a mother in law suite.
1. Keep The Space in Mind
In order to keep your backyard size enjoyable, you will consider making a very small suite for her. Although this is a common thought, think about all of the things you expect her to do in the space.
There will need to be the main living space for her to lounge, a comfortable size bedroom, a bathroom with a large tub so that she doesn't need much help bathing. A kitchen and possible dining area will need to be negotiated unless you would like for her to come into your house each morning, afternoon, and night, to fix herself something to eat.
Storage space also needs to be a priority. She likely has years worth of memories in some of her items and she will not be willing to give that up. Unless you would like to store her things in your garage, make the room in her suite.
2. Prepare For Future and Current Needs
Keep your mother in law's future needs in mind as well as her current needs. She may one day need a large bathtub, so prepare for that.
Measuring her current items will help you decide how large of a space you need in the different rooms. If she is unwilling to part with certain furniture pieces, measure them before you finalize the plans.
3. Check For Zoning Issues
Building a mother in law suite impacts not only your family but the city as well. Check with your city to confirm there are no zoning issues and building codes that limit your ability to do this.
Most of the zoning regulations limit the number of bedrooms, sitting areas, and kitchens you can have. Although adding one of each room may not seem like a problem, it is advised that you confirm your ability to build.
4. Separate Your Power
It is wise to consider adding a separate power, heat, and A/C source. If you are going to charge any sort of rent payment, this is what is advised. It will help you break out the payments into fair amounts.
5. Check Your Septic Permit
If you have a septic tank, you have to have a permit for it. When it comes to plumbing, this will be a crucial step.
You may have to increase the system you currently have to allow for an additional bathroom. Doing so will increase the cost of the permit.
The Benefits of a Mother In Law Suite
Having your mother in law close by is going to make your family feel a lot closer. You will have the opportunity to get to know your mother in law in a way you could never have otherwise.
If you are still on the fence about whether or not you need a Mother in law suite, read our article about the benefits of building one.