When Planning for a Mother-in-Law Suite, Consider Your Objectives for the SpaceA mother-in-law suite can be a great investment for adding value to your home. It can also be a useful space for housing guests comfortably, providing aging family members a welcoming living space, or even making some money by renting the space. If you are considering adding a mother-in-law suite to your home, it is a good idea to think about your objectives for the space before you begin planning and designing it. A mother-in-law suite can be as simple as a bedroom and bathroom or it can be a complete apartment within your home. Some have full kitchens while others have kitchenettes. Other considerations may be accessibility features and an exterior entrance.

There are many ways to add a mother-in-law suite to your existing home, including these:

  • Using an unused or underused space in your home: If you have an area of your home that isn’t used very often, this may be a good space to considering converting. A bonus room over the garage, a formal dining room or parlor or an existing bedroom and bathroom can be good places to start.
  • Finishing an attic, basement or garage: When you consider unused space in your home, unfinished attic and basement space can be finished to add square footage. If you have more garage space than you really need, this can be another option.
  • Building an addition: If you don’t have extra space inside your existing home, an addition can be designed and constructed if you have the space on your lot. Considerations include where existing plumbing and septic lines are, how you will heat and cool the addition and making sure that the addition blends seamlessly with your existing structure.
  • Building a freestanding structure: If you are looking for a rental income or want to maximize privacy, this may be your best option.

Before construction can begin on a mother-in-law suite, there are many things to consider. There are different zoning laws and permits to check into. It is a good idea to check in with your neighbors or HOA rules if your planned project will change the exterior size and appearance of your home.