New Homes5 Important Tips to Building a Custom Home With a Secondary Suite

Considering building an in-law suite in your custom home? Then you’ve come to the right place! There is a growing trend toward multigenerational households today.

Families often build custom homes with spacious in-law suites when their grandparents or other beloved relatives move in. The extra living quarters are designed to provide a private ‘home within a home’ for parents, in-laws, or extended family.

Let’s take a look at why in-law suites are a good idea to include in your floor plan and what you need to consider before building on your lot. Our team of experienced professionals will guide you through the entire process, from determining the value of your in-law suite home, to choosing the right contractor to build your custom home, to meeting municipal zoning regulations. 

Keep reading and grandma will be living with you in no time! 

1. In-Law Suite Adds Value

Does an in-law suite add value? Yes, of course! By adding in-law suites to your custom home, you not only add value for you and your family, but you may also be able to increase the selling price if you decide to sell later down the road.

There is no doubt that an in-law suite is an excellent investment! The question is, how much value is added by an in-law suite? Let’s take a closer look… 

Personal and Appraisal Value

Let’s start with personal value. It may be very cost-effective in the long run to move your aging family members into your home so they don’t have to move into a retirement home or pay for in-home care. The in-laws will also feel more comfortable knowing you are close by and will have more privacy. 

Next, let’s talk about appraisal value. The need for in-law suites has become increasingly prevalent in today’s multigenerational households. In-law suites are a valuable selling point for your house even if you do not see a full return on investment on the resale. 

Now that you’ve decided to build a custom home that includes an in-law suite, let’s move on to the next step.

2. Make an In-Law Suite Floor Plan

Building the perfect in-law suite for your custom home begins with knowing what constitutes a perfect living space.

A typical in-law suite floor plan will include the following features: 

  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Sitting area or small living room
  • Private entrance

In addition to maintaining close proximity to the rest of the family, these features will allow full privacy and independence from the main house.

We’ve covered the basics of an in-law suite floor plan, so let’s dive into more details. Are you prepared with a pen and paper? You’ll want to write this down… 

Begin Your Plan with the 3 W’s

Creating a floor plan for your in-law suite requires a consideration of the three W’s: Who, Where, and What. Let’s look at it in more detail: 

  1. Determine WHO will build your custom home and in-law suite. Which professional home construction team will you hire? 
  2. Decide WHERE you want to build it. Will it be attached to your home or located somewhere else on your property?
  3. Discuss WHAT safety and accessibility standards are required for your in-law suite. Be sure to mention these requirements to your construction team before they begin building.

Since the floor plan of the in-law suite is so crucial, we will focus on the 3 W’s in the next steps. We’ll begin with the first W: Who. 

3. Find a Reliable Construction Group

Choosing the right building contractor for your lot is essential. But who should you choose? Here are some tips to help you narrow down your search:

  • Make sure you find a company that has plenty of experience
  • Look for positive reviews online
  • Be sure the company doesn’t cut corners or compromise quality

A pro-tip: Look for a construction team that is skilled in the area you are building in when you’re looking for a reliable team. You should hire a construction company that has been working in the area for decades and has a solid reputation if you’re building a custom home in the Greater Vancouver area. 

You’ve found your dream construction team, now what? That’s great! Here’s what you need to do next…

4. Scout a Good Location

When you have a trusted construction company on your side, it’s time to start searching for the perfect location to build your in-law suite.

To build an in-law suite, you first need to decide where it will go. Would you prefer to have the living quarters built as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on your property or inside the main house? When you have decided where to build your in-law suite, follow these professional tips:

Acknowledge Accessibility

Whenever you decide where to place the in-law suite, keep accessibility in mind. If you’re setting up the floor plan for an in-law suite, keep potential home hazards in mind.

Putting elderly relatives with disabilities or physical restrictions in a location that is easy to access is a good idea, for example. It might be best to avoid building your in-law suite on the second floor if your in-laws use canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. 

You should also consider what might pose a safety hazard to your in-laws before construction begins. The following are some simple safety solutions that will help your in-laws live a happy, healthy life at home:

  • Add reinforcements to walls such as grab bars 
  • Install showers or bath tubs with easy-to-enter designs and non-slip flooring
  • Construct wide hallways that are wheelchair and walker accessible 
  • Avoid flooring that is too textured or grooved 

Pro-tip: Think long-term. It is impossible to predict what might happen to your in-laws in the future, regardless of whether they are physically or mentally sound at the moment. Preventing potential home hazards before construction begins is easier and more cost-effective. 

Finally, it’s almost time breathe easy while your custom home is being built by your construction team. But before you start, you need to follow one more step. Trust us, you’ll thank us later… 

5. Establish Privacy

When building your in-law suite, give privacy a high priority. There is no doubt that we all love our relatives, and they do the same for us. Nonetheless, privacy should always be maintained, especially when there are multiple generations living together.

With these quick solutions, you can easily protect your privacy:

  • Request the construction of thick, well-built walls and insulation to cancel excess noise 
  • Hang quality curtains or window shutters on all see-through doors or windows 
  • Separate the kids’ rooms from the in-law suite area, especially if young children and loud babies are present

It’s as simple as that! You can now live in a single location with your whole family and maintain privacy at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Build Your Dream Home with Square One Construction

Square One Construction can help you build a custom home that the whole family will enjoy for generations. Whether you’re interested in finding an available home in one of our Greater Vancouver communities or building on your own lot, we do it all. 

Having over 15 years of experience in home building, our team can help you build the home of your dreams.

If you need help or suggestions, contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.