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3 Considerations When Planning an In-Law Suite

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By Senior Hand – Handyman Services

Apr 28, 2021

As parents age, their health may decline to the point where it’s not safe for them to live alone any longer. If you’ve decided to move them into your home, building an in-law suite can provide an excellent solution. These suites involve converting a garage or basement into a private apartment or adding new space to your existing property. Whatever your choice, be sure to talk to your construction contractor about the following considerations. 

What to Keep in Mind When Designing an In-Law Apartment

1. Accessibility 

When planning the suite, consider your loved one’s current needs and try to anticipate accommodations that may become necessary in the future. Seniors often have difficulty with mobility and eyesight, challenges that tend to get worse over time. Even if they don’t use assistive devices now, design the space with wide doorways and halls to ensure they can comfortably maneuver with a wheelchair, scooter, or walker. Your construction contractor should know the dimensions necessary to make the space disability-accessible. 

Once the main layout has taken shape, ensure there’s plenty of light with easy-to-operate switches. Slip-resistant flooring, a curbless shower, and grab bars are also useful ideas to reduce the risk of falls, while pull-out shelves and flat-panel touch faucets and handles can reduce arthritic joint pain. 

2. Separate Entryway 

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Seniors appreciate maintaining independence and autonomy. Likewise, you’ll want to keep some privacy and space for your household. Providing your loved one with a separate entry can make life easier and more comfortable for everyone. If you’re building the unit attached to your home and will be caring for the person, talk to your construction contractor about installing an entry from your living area for easy access.

3. Zoning & Permits 

Municipalities usually have rules regarding residential construction, including home additions and in-law suites. For instance, they may not allow you to install a full kitchen and instead limit you to a kitchenette. 

If you’re adding square footage to your home rather than converting an existing space, you may be limited by building height restrictions or property line delineations. Your contractor will ensure you have the necessary permits and that the project meets local code. However, it’s wise to be aware of the rules before you start designing your space.

If you need a reliable, skilled contractor in Boone County, MO, turn to Senior Hand. This home improvement and general construction contractor is located in Columbia and has experience building in-law suites for senior family members. Call (573) 489-6058 to speak with a friendly staff member to schedule a consultation. Visit the website to see examples of their past projects. 

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