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How to Prepare for a Mother in Law Suite

Would you like to have a mother in law suite added to your home, or on your property? I know that question probably puts a bit of fear and dismay in your body, but don’t panic! You don’t have to feel obligated to bring your mother-in-law in to stay with you.

This concept is if you want a living space for your mother-in-law. Of course, any family member, friend, or guest can stay there when they come to visit you. You can create a liveable space, almost like a little apartment or studio, where the guest has some privacy during their stay whether it’s a few days or an extended period of time.

If this is something you have been considering here are some thoughts and considerations that can help the process be almost enjoyable.

Where do you want the suite?

Some people choose to have the Mother-in-law suite within their homes and other ones choose to have one built on the property. You can literally transform a room in your home into a suite, which can cater to about anything she needs like a little apartment.

This most likely means that you will have to give up a good-sized room in your home, or have a room added on.

Iron out space details

When you think of a mother-in-law suite think of a mini apartment. If you don’t have space for that within your home, something small on your property can be built. You also want to keep in mind when it comes to space future needs.

Will your mother-in-law need more space because of an illness or a disability? Will there need to be room for a wheelchair or other health-related equipment? When you’re thinking about the space think about what she might need in the near future.

Check for city permits

Even if you have a property lot with plenty of room, you still have to check with the city to see what they allow for building an additional unit on the property. Each city has its own jurisdiction when it comes to building even if it’s just a tiny house space.

Check for septic permits 

If you are going to have a separate living space built on your property, you will need to apply for and obtain a septic permit for toilet usage. If you are building the Mother-in-law Suite attached to your home that has access to a bathroom that already exists, then this permit may not be necessary. If you intend to add or build a bathroom, be sure to do your homework and know what permits and permissions are required.

Alternatives to building from scratch

Even to build something small is a big deal! It can quickly become overwhelming. The good news is that if you don’t want to go that route. There are manufactures that create and sell mother-in-law suites. They are like kits, where you basically snap the pieces into place. It would be a little bit more work than “snapping” things together, but it’s definitely not like building it from scratch. Pre-made mother-in-law suites should come with detailed manuals and floor plans.