As promised, we’re devoting some time and space to multi-generational living. It’s becoming more popular and requiring some renovations. More and more households are becoming “symbiotic” – that is, they are relying on the different generations of families for housing needs. Parents are moving in with children or children are returning home to live long-term. Whether out of financial necessity or care-giving needs, the home is becoming more of a multi-generational melting pot. Other cultures do this quite well, but Americans are not as used to the concept. Their answer to the close quarters: build an in-law suite.
The in-law suite is a great solution for a long-term inhabitant. It’s a private space that has a separate entry way. It has its own bathroom and kitchenette, and allows for a certain amount of independence in the home. It also encourages interaction with others in the home, because living areas like family rooms and kitchens are shared.
There are lots of ways to add an in-law suite to your home. It can be in a basement, as long as there’s a separate egress. It can be a repurposing of space that was formerly a spare bedroom or a formal living room that’s no longer needed. Or, it can be a home addition. Expensive, you say? Before jumping to conclusions, do the math. It’s far cheaper to build an in-law suite than it is to pay for live-in care or for a nursing home. If it’s at all possible to avoid those pitfalls, we say, try it. The worst case scenario is that you have added value to your home’s resale price. In fact, in-law suites are great selling points in today’s marketplace, as the “sandwich generation” comes of age. There will be the need for elder care and day care in the same household — not to mention self care. Work with your custom remodeler to make sure you can accommodate it all.