The Key Features of an In-Law Suite

In-law suites are private spaces for loved ones who want to live independently while still being close at hand. In this blog post, G.M. Roth Design Remodeling explores the essential features that should be included when designing and building an in-law suite.

The Key Features of an In-Law Suite

What Are In-Law Suites?

It’s important to note that in-law suites — also known as granny flats or accessory dwellings — are home additions. This means one can be an entirely separate building within the property or an attachment to the existing house; they are not a converted space or a bedroom. The occupant should be able to cook, bathe and perform other similar tasks without having to go to the main house.

Key Features

In-law suites are essentially a small-scale house, which means they should have the following features:

  • Separate entrance. An in-law suite should have a private entrance separate from the house, providing privacy and keeping disruptions to a minimum.
  • Kitchenette. A kitchenette is a basic kitchen that allows the occupant to prepare their own meals. It should have essential appliances like a one-burner cooktop, a refrigerator and a sink. A small island can pull double-duty as the prep area and dining counter.
  • Bathroom. The bathroom in an in-law suite would need to strike a good balance between utility and accessibility, keeping in mind that there is limited floor space and that the occupant is likely a senior. Features such as a walk-in shower or bathtub, grab bars and custom cabinets can help make the most out of a limited footprint.
  • Bedroom. The bedroom should be comfortable and spacious, with enough room for a bedside table and other essential furniture. Storage solutions like a hideaway table can help keep the area organized.
  • Living area. The living area should be tailored to the occupant’s preferences — it is, after all, the part of the in-law suite where they’ll relax and be entertained. Comfortable seating, a service table and an entertainment center — with storage for media such as vinyl records — are a must.
  • Laundry. To make the most out of a small space, look for stackable washer and dryer units.
  • Outdoor space. Access to a patio or garden area enhances the appeal of an in-law suite. It offers additional living space and promotes a healthy connection to nature.
  • Universal design features. In-law suites are more likely to be occupied by elderly family members, so universal design features such as wide doorways, lever handles and grab bars will help ensure safety and accessibility.

With these and other features in mind, you need to work with a remodeler who knows how to design and build home additions from the ground up. Give our team at G.M. Roth Design Remodeling a call at (603) 880-3761 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve communities in North Andover, Tewksbury and North Reading, MA.

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