How to Add an In-Law Apartment at Home


There are lots of people nowadays often finding themselves in a situation where parents or in-laws are living with them either because of financial constraint or even for health-related reasons. If cases like this happen, you have to consider converting your existing room for instance the garage or basement into your in-laws apartment in order to provide them with a sense of privacy and also the feel of independence within their own room. You can also make use of your garage to create as an extra room which is just nearby your house just like a stand-alone cottage for the elderly person to live in. Below are some of the tips that you can use for adding an in-law apartment at your house.

To add an in-law apartment at home, you need:

  • To make a layout design of the in-law apartment
  • To hire contractors for any installation work
  • Check for cracks or damage on the basement floors, walls and ceilings
  • If you use garage as the apartment, remove the garage doors
  • To build new interior walls and also finish existing walls
  • To install new doors and windows
  • To install new flooring

Adding an In-Law Apartment at Home

How to Add an In-Law Apartment at Home

  • The first thing that you need to do is to make a layout design suitable for your in-law to live in.
    • Sketch the design on paper or even better if you have the knowledge you can use a computer-aided design (CAD) program. You can also hire an architect who has the knowledge of building and renovating works, plus also know all the rules and regulation of the local building codes when it comes to designing or building an apartment’s room.
    • You also have to include a bathroom design in the layout sketch taking into consideration if your in-laws are disabled or not in a healthy condition.
  • When it comes to plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation or even air conditioning (HVAC) connection within the apartment, it is advisable that you hire contractors in terms of installation.
    • This is because, building codes and by-laws only requires trained and certified person to be able to do installation of the above mentioned works.
  • Make sure that you check all the flooring to see whether there are signs of damage like cracking or leaking.
    • If you find small patch or cracks, you can patched area using patching compound.
    • As for large cracks which may be a sign of problems with your house foundation, you must immediately seek assistance from professional contractors and request them to check on the problems.
  • For those of you who are using garage as your in-law apartment, you need to remove or hide its door if you are not using it
    • Make sure that you remove the entire door of the garage and replace it with a sliding glass doors or you can even use French style doors.
  • It is recommended that you build new interior walls and also finish existing walls.
    • Another option that you can do is to construct a wall frames to be attached on your ceiling and you can also use a sill plate connected to the floor.
    • The reason you install the still plate is because it is a pressure-treated board which would be able to protect your wooden wall frame against damage done by moisture.
    • The next step is for you to apply insulation in between the wall studs before covering the frames using drywall. Then, you can paint the walls.
  • In addition, it is also a good idea for you to install new doors and windows to your in-laws apartment.
    • You can use a new and more energy-efficient type of doors and windows that could provides your elderly relatives with the much needed security.
    • Although it might be costly but it is a worth while investment and also enable you to save money in the long run.
  • Another step that you can do is to install new flooring either by choosing tile or hardwood for the bathroom or you can use tile, hardwood as well as carpets as the main part of your in-law apartment.

    Always remember that whenever you want to add an in-law apartment at home

    • The most important thing to do is for you to acquire all the necessary permits and also understand your local council building codes that you must adhere to before starting to work on the project.

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