Designing an in-law suite

Designing an in-law suite

An emerging trend in the home market is the creation of in-law suites. With parents retiring, and young families trying to find a way to be close to grandma and grandpa, people are instead choosing to design mother-in-law suites in their homes.

Often, these are apartments put into the basement of existing homes, but sometimes they are apartments built on the side of a home. If you are looking to convert your basement into a mother-in-law apartment, here are some tips.

Basic necessities

The whole point of having an entire area dedicated to your in-laws instead of just giving them a room is that you are able to be close and check in on each other while still having separate spaces. As my mom used to say, every woman needs her own kitchen.  Here are some things you should include in your in-law suite design.




  • Bathroom, bedroom, & living area: this gives them their own space where they can have their own rules and do their own thing. It also helps give you guys some space from each other.
  • Kitchen or kitchenette: You may not need a full kitchen if they are going to be eating meals with you and prepared by you, but you should, at the very least, give them a sink, microwave, and fridge, so they can eat meals and snacks on their own throughout the day. A fully stocked kitchen is even better.
  • Laundry: If your in-laws can have their own laundry machines, that would be best, but they can also share with you fairly easily. Just make sure everyone knows their laundry day and times.
  • Parking space: When putting in your in-law suite, consider you will need a parking space for them. If there’s not enough room in the driveway or garage, consider putting in an extra slab of concrete in the side yard for them.
  • Decor and design


    It is best if you do all the basic design-work for them. Put on the baseboard heater covers, and paint the walls. Help them get all their furniture in place. Then, work with your in-laws to help them decorate the space. Try and create an oasis-like space for them to feel comfortable and enjoy what they love doing. If you have the space for an extra bedroom, they can use it for their favorite activities. Maybe they love to read, sew, watch sports, craft, etc. Whatever they love to do, try to create a space for them to do it even if it is in the main living area.

    Advantages to an in-law suite

    While you may be concerned about having your in-laws in your business all the time, there are actually a lot of advantages to having a mother-in-law suite. First, they could help with payments on the home, so you don’t have to cover it all yourself. It is also nice for them to be able to go on vacations and enjoy retirement without worrying about maintenance in the place they are living. Plus, it’s basically a live-in babysitter for date night, and the kids will love being close to their grandparents.


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    Measure Your Baseboard Heaters

    How to measure baseboard heaters:

    Step 1

    Always measure left to right, and twice for accuracy

    Step 2 

    Always measure left to right, and twice for accuracy

    Step 3


    Based on how your heater is configured,

    choose an option below to expand and view

    specific hot water baseboard heater measurement templates.

    [+] Option 1: Straight Heater Configuration
    [+] Option 2: L-Shape and U-Shape Configuration
    [+] Option 3: 45 Degrees, Z-Shape Configuration


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