Costs of retirement homes and assisted living facilities are skyrocketing. And many elderly individuals would rather live in homes familiar to them. Therefore, we are seeing a trend toward more multi-generational living – three or more generations living under one roof such as Grandparents, Parents, and Kids. According to the AARP, 79 million adults or 32% of the US population live in this multi-generational situation.

While having your family around is generally a great thing, the prospect of adding more individuals in a limited amount of space can be a bit overwhelming. If you have the extra bedroom, then that space may be enough to accommodate your parents or in-laws. However, many people are converting garages, basements, or adding rooms onto the house to provide more space.

Whether you are remodeling the spare bedroom or completing a room addition, there are a few items to consider:

Talk and Assess the Exact Needs

If your parents or in-laws have difficulty climbing stairs, consider an addition or remodel on the ground floor of your home.

Other areas to consider are accessible features in the room. This could include wider doorways that accommodate walkers or wheelchairs, handlebars to get in and out of the shower easier, and even lever door handles, which are easier to use than knobs.

Understand Your Options

Options should be dictated by the needs of your parents and in-laws as well as your financial availability and space available.

Consider what exactly your parents need – if it’s just a bedroom and bathroom, these can easily be remodeled in your existing home. Or do they need their own kitchen and living. In this case, consider building a separate, detached space in your backyard if room is available.

As always, make sure your options fit within your financial budgets.


A room addition can be a great way to gain the space needed to move your parents or in-laws into your home.

What are your Zoning Ordinances?

Consider your local zoning laws to get a better idea of what can and cannot be done in terms of adding an in-law suite. Many zoning ordinances require separate permits for adding an additional structure to your property

If you are choosing the room addition route, consider your neighborhood and HOA requirements. Many require specific building materials to be used on an addition to blend with the neighborhood. Other associations might limit the height of a home or how close it is to the property line.

Consider Separating Utilities

From the added stress of a potential extra bathroom and more electrical use, consider separating the in-law suite’s utilities from your own. This way if you decide down the road to rent out the space, you can split your bill with the tenant easier. Additionally, your parents or in-laws may not move in right away and this way you can switch the utilities off while they are not in use.

Consider any mobility issues like stairs when moving in your elderly parents or in-laws.

Enjoy the Time with Family

While the stress of remodeling, adding rooms, or even adding a separate unit on your property can be a handful, take the time to enjoy the time that you have with your family.

Contact Reliable Home Improvement

If you are considering adding and in-law suite to your home, contact us and we can help draw up plans and allow you to spend that valuable time with your family.

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