Things to Consider Before Adding an In-Law Apartment in Boston

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If your aging parents are in need of more daily care in their retirement, you may be considering adding an in-law apartment to your home. After all, they spent many years taking care of you under their roof. It’s time to pay back the favor! This doesn’t mean it will be easy, though. There many considerations to think about. Do you want to create a separate backyard unit, or convert an existing basement or bedroom? Would constructing a suite addition be a better option?

The answer will be different for everyone. Here’s how to determine if building a home-within-a-home is right for your family.

Will Your Property — and City — Allow It?

The first thing to think about is whether you’re able to add on an apartment at all. Some city and municipal zoning ordinances, as well as permit requirements, can pose a roadblock when it comes to new construction or renovation – especially if you want to build or convert a building that’s unattached to the house.

if thinking about creating a separate structure, you may run into restrictions on additional plumbing or gas lines, for example. Additionally, there are practical issues to consider, such as choosing a space that will require the fewest structural adjustments. For example, maybe there’s a half bath that you can expand to a full. You also have to think about modifications to accommodate an elderly person who may not be able to navigate stairs very well. In this case, an attic conversion wouldn’t be the best choice.

Another consideration is maintaining the privacy and independence of your parents as well as the rest of your family. A separate entrance gives your parents close proximity to you should they need assistance, but allows for a distinct level of independence. On the flip side, your family can come and go as they please and have their own private spaces.

Addressing Accessibility Concerns

You will have to pinpoint and rectify any potential home hazards or challenges for your aging parents, in the interest of their safety. You may need to install grab bars in the shower, a walk-in tub, slip-resistant flooring, and extra wide doors and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers.

Consider their unique needs. Everyone will require different modifications. Removing trip hazards such as area rugs is beneficial for those with Parkinson’s disease, while installing alarms on outside doors is wise for those who have dementia and tend to wander.

Create a Long-Term Plan

Perhaps you’re looking to increase the square footage of your home now but your parent are not quite ready to need the space yet. What else could you do with the extra space in the meantime? Perhaps you could rent it out for extra income, or let your college student live there when on break from school. Also, think about what you plan to do with the space after your parents use it and pass away. Make sure the space is flexible enough to accommodate all these scenarios. What works for you today may not tomorrow.

Financial Considerations

Accessory dwelling units can pose financial challenges. It’s more difficult to secure financing for these units, which makes financing a costly project like this a major hurdle. Constructing or converting an in-law suite could run you between $15,000 and $50,000 or more. Can you afford this type of investment? It may make financial sense for your parent to provide the funding (if they have it) to build the unit and live with you compared with the sky-high costs of nursing home placement.

In the end, the decision to add an in-law suite or apartment is a highly personal one. Keep open lines of communication with your parents and the rest of your family to ensure a smooth transition.

Contact AD Construction in Boston MA

If you’ve been considering adding an in-law apartment and are wondering if this is a feasible project for your property and budget, contact the South End contractors at AD Construction today at 877-345-BUILD.

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