One popular trend in home remodeling is adding a mother-in-law suite. This is a secondary residence—either in the main house or in an outbuilding—that many people build so that an aging relative can stay with them. It provides privacy to both your family and relative but keeps everyone close together in case one household needs the other's support. If you are considering this upgrade, below are several strategies.

How Should You Plan a Home Addition?

1. Keep Utilities Separate

While you don't need to separate everything, having dedicated heating, cooling, and electric in the new suite makes it easy to track how much power each household is consuming. This helps you keep the bills separate when a relative moves in. It also makes it easy to rent the extra space, as you can charge a specific amount for the utilities. Plus, the person staying in the new suite can set the temperature to their preference and use as much electricity as they like because they are responsible for the cost.

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2. Check Permits & Building Codes

Before starting construction, check your municipality's building and home remodeling codes. Many zoning offices set limits on the number of bedrooms you can add, and they may even have regulations about the minimum and maximum room sizes. You may also have to conform to a set number of bathrooms or a specific kitchen size. If the home uses a septic tank, make sure the tank is rated to support another bathroom connection. You may need to update the tank if you want to add another bathroom.

3. Plan for Aging in Place

Even if your older loved one is healthy and active, the space you design should allow them to age in place comfortably. For instance, consider installing wider doors and a larger bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair. Choose nonslip flooring, mount grab bars, and add a walk-in tub for accessibility. Finally, make sure the suite has plenty of bright lighting to help an occupant with diminished eyesight. Adding these features during the initial construction helps you save money and makes daily activities easier, safer, and more comfortable.


When you need help adding a mother-in-law suite, contact Better Built Homes by Bob Hafermann in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. These experienced home remodeling experts will help make your dreams a reality with as little interruption to your lifestyle as possible. They specialize in home additions, deck building, and flooring installation. Visit the website for more information about their services. Call (715) 423-4478 to schedule a home remodeling consultation.