Housing trends are moving back toward toward multi-generational households to accommodate the needs of today’s families. Some of these issues are economic, and some are due to concerns for the welfare of senior family members who want to remain independent but need a little supervision. However convenient and lovely having three generations under the same roof can sometimes be too close for comfort.

The solution may be to build an addition that keeps your older family member close and safe while giving everyone the distance and privacy necessary to keep it friendly. If you’re building from scratch, companies like Perch Plans have a selection of custom home plans that can be altered to suit your lifestyle and requirements.

Most likely, you’re planning an addition to your current residence. Here are some things to take into account that will help make any family member feel right at home.

Consider the Existing Space

The size of your property, your current home and local building codes will come into play here. These factors, as well as your budget, will help you decide if you want to build a full addition, a standalone guest house or expand your current space by building out a little and renovating. Will your in-law suite have separate access, access from within your home or both?

Take Into Account Special Needs

You should not only consider the current state of your parent’s health, but any future needs. There may be accessibility issues and safety features that need to be incorporated into the design. For this reason, most mother-in-law additions are built on the ground floor. Considerations include:

  • Shower accessibility and seating
  • Handrails and wheelchair ramps
  • Lower cabinetry and storage access
  • Pull-out features like cabinets and work surfaces
  • Ease of maintenance and cleaning

Plan Your Budget

You may balk a little when yu read that the cost of construction can range from $40,000 – 100,000. But that’s very little when you stack it up against the annual cost of independent living or nursing facilities, which can run up to $90,000 per year or more. Factor in the ROI in increased home value. Then there are the things you can’t put a price on, like time spent with your parent(s) and the benefit to your children.

Mother-in-law suites aren’t just for mothers of course. You can also use it as a rental to make some extra income, save it for an adult child during their transition after college or both parents can enjoy their golden years in the bosom of family. Building one can even increase the re-sale value of your home by up to 60%.