A term commonly used to describe a self-contained living space within, or added to an existing single-family home, these have expanded into other uses.
If you are considering an addition, or a retrofit for this purpose, here are a few pointers to consider:
Check your city/township/county ordinances to make sure that it is a permitted use – generally speaking, they are. Your typical mother-in-law apartment will usually require a separate entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces. No need for separate laundry facilities, unless you have the space and if that’s appropriate for your situation.
If you are creating a space for an elder, you will want to consider Universal Design. This is followed to assure that a space can be used by people regardless of their level or ability or disability. This design concept includes things like wider hallways, lipless shower stalls, reinforced walls that can support grab bars. As well as handles for doors, cabinets, and appliances that do not need to be gripped or twisted to operate.
According to realtor.com, the average size for a mother-in-law apartment is from 300 to 600 square feet. Built as a stand-alone structure, this can cost as much at $125,000. If built as an addition, it could cost between $32,700 and $63,000. If you have a walk-out level the remodel could be less than the cost of an addition.
There is a good chance that this improvement will increase your home’s value and increase your real estate taxes. It’s fairly easy to determine the potential impact. You can compare the tax rate on the assessed value of your home and multiply it by the value of the improvement. Depending upon your situation, permits will most likely need to be had from your city/county/township.
Although your mother-in-law or an aging parent might not use the space, there are other alternatives. It’s fairly common to have adult children return to live with their parents. This can be as a way for them to save money for an apartment or a temporary place to stay. The space can also be used as guest accommodations or rented on a short or long-term basis. Again, if you plan to rent the additional space, check with your municipality’s ordinances.
If you are considering adding a mother-in-law apartment to your home, we would be happy to suggest cabinetry that supports Universal Design.