In-Law Suite Must Haves: Tips for Adding One to Your Home

In law SuiteAs your family members start to grow older, it becomes a necessity to think about what the future holds for them. You may find yourself asking questions like:

  • Will I be able to take care of them?
  • Will I have to put them in a nursing home?
  • Will there be others available to help with all of their needs?
  • Will I be able to remain close to them?
  • Is it possible to have them live with me?
  • And the list goes on…

An increasingly popular option for families is to create an in-law suite, which most often times means converting a room in your home, such as a basement or garage, into a livable space, or building an addition onto your home.

Before you go ahead and start a renovation, keep these tips in mind to create the perfect in-law suite:

1. Be certain it’s legal – Making changes to your home may require a permit, especially if your in-law suite will be an addition to your home. Contact your local zoning board to make sure the project you have in mind complies with any laws and requirements.

2. Provide privacy – While everyone may be looking forward to having each other around, don’t overlook the importance of your relatives privacy. They should be able to feel like the new space is their own and expect all that comes with their continued independent living.

  • Provide a separate entrance
  • Provide its own full bathroom
  • If possible, provide its own full kitchen (again, remember to check with your local zoning board about this)

3. Provide safety features – Your relatives will appreciate the efforts you make to ensure their safety as they continue to age. When creating your in-law suite, keep these safety features in mind:

  • Provide first-floor living if possible
  • Remember a ramp if they are in a wheelchair
  • Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a must
  • Provide motion activated exterior lights
  • Install an intercom system to make it easy for them to reach you when everyone’s at home
  • Install railings and other support features throughout the space

It can be difficult to watch as your relatives start to get older, but an in-law suite could be the answer to the start of their transition.

Do you have any tips for building an in-law suite?

My name is June Seebohm and I am an experienced Realtor serving the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC area’s. I am happy to help you in any way that I can in regards to learning about our beautiful area, as well as any and all of your real estate needs or questions! Please don’t hesitate to contact me via email: or call 843-290-2929. I also have a Facebook Page and would love to connect with you there. Whether you are a vacationer, resident, buyer, seller, or current home owner/renter interested in the Hilton Head area, this is a blog you’ll want to follow!

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