A mother-in-law suite is a residence or addition built for an in-law or relatives. The suite is either connected to or built on the same lot as a home that’s occupied by other family members. Often, the purpose of a mother-in-law suite is to make it possible for elderly family members to live near adult children, yet still, maintain their independence and privacy. Sometimes, grandchildren live with their parents and grandparents in the same house. This type of living arrangement is called a multigenerational household.
The concept of a mother-in-law suite, or “granny flat”, has been around for decades. It was popular in post-WWII America until zoning laws were put in place that eventually shut down their construction. Today, the mother-in-law suite, whether it’s a portion of a house that has been remodeled to accommodate another generation, or a smaller, detached “granny flat”, is seeing a resurgence.
A typical mother-in-law suite consists of a sleeping quarter, living quarter, kitchen, and bath. It is separate from the remainder of the house and household, yet close enough that grandparents can help with grandchildren, and as grandparents age, close enough for adult children to care for their parents.
Mother-in-law suites can be as simple as a single room that has a bed, couch, and place to eat, along with access to a bathroom, but ideally, it would have its own private bathroom.
They can also be located in a separate portion of the house, such as a basement with a separate door, garage, or attic that has been remodeled.
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