Sometimes you just need to expand your space. Life happens. Circumstances change, needs shift, and you and your living space have to adjust. Perhaps your ailing mother can no longer live on her own, but assisted living isn’t an option. Or maybe you love hosting guests, but it’s getting harder as your family grows and takes over your extra bedrooms. Regardless of the reason, you have multiple options for expanding your living space. One of those options is an in-law suite.
What is an In-Law Suite?
Think of an in-law suite as a small apartment. In-law suites are essentially mini living spaces equipped with their own bathrooms, kitchens, and private entrances. There are two types of in-law suites: detached and attached. A detached in-law suite dwells on the same property as another home but stands alone. An attached in-law suite is like an addition: It extends from another home. You may also hear an in-law suite called a granny flat or an accessory dwelling unit.
How Much to Build an In-Law Suite?
In-law suites, though they can be wonderful additions to your property, are expensive. Because you’ll need multiple experts such as architects, electricians, and plumbers, costs quickly add up. Plus, you’re also paying for materials like paint, drywall, and fixtures. The costs of adding an in-law suite to your property range from $40,000 to $125,000, according to HomeAdvisor. The average price is around $82,500.
Alternatives to In-Law Suites
If those price ranges made your heart flutter, no need to panic. There are alternatives for an in-law suite. Another option is converting unfinished spaces like basements, attics, and garages. Remodeling an existing space is a lower-fuss and sometimes less expensive option than adding an entirely new structure to your property.
Pros and Cons of In-Law Suites
Oh, the prices didn’t scare you off? Good! You’re still considering an in-law suite. Here are some pros and consNe to help you decide if in-law suites are right for you:
Ease of Hosting Guests
With an in-law suite, hosting guests is easy. They get their own space, meaning you won’t have to worry about sharing a bathroom and kitchen. You and your guests can spend time together while still maintaining a level of privacy and comfort.
Unless you’re planning on hosting guests every week, there are times your in-law suite will remain empty. Those moments when you don’t have guests are good opportunities to rent out your in-law suite. You could opt for a long-term rental or look into Airbnb options.
Added Storage Space
In those moments between guests and rental customers, you may find an in-law suite works as extra storage space. Any unused exercise equipment, cooking gadgets, etc. can leave your main living area at last. An in-law suite means you don’t have to deal with clutter all of the time.
Great for Family Emergencies
Family emergencies occur, and when they do, it’s helpful to have extra living space. Whether your elderly parent falls or your siblings come down with a sudden illness, an in-law suite helps keep them close by so you can care for them better. This reduces the cost and hassle of extended hospital stays, hotel rentals, and car drives when caring for ailing family members.
Alright, we’ve told you all the good stuff about in-law suites. Now it’s time to share some less appealing facts about adding an in-law suite:
When you make an addition to your property, there are legal considerations. For instance, local zoning laws, regulations, and building codes exist for new developments. Thankfully, a contractor can help you navigate these laws and get the necessary approvals.
More Required Upkeep
Keeping up with one house’s maintenance is challenging. Imagine keeping up with maintenance for two. Essentially, you’re adding another small house to your property. That means you’ll have two separate homes to worry about.
Rising Utility Costs
Utility bills are probably one of your least favorite things to receive in the mail. Well, if you add an in-law suite, you may dread utility bills even more than you used to. Having an in-law suite means not only extra maintenance and upkeep requirements but rising utility costs too.
You need insurance for your in-law suite, and it may not be easy to get it. You can’t always add an in-law suite to your current home insurance. That means you’ll have to insure your in-law suite separately. This isn’t the biggest deal, but it’s still a hassle.
We Can Build Your In-Law Suite!
If you’re still considering an in-law suite and decided you’re ready to take the next steps, we’re excited for you. We would love to work alongside you and build the perfect in-law suite that will meet your needs. Contact us today to get started!