Where should you build your mother-in-law-suite?

Proudly Serving Portland, Gresham, Clackamas, Oregon City and Vancouver WA

So your mother-in-law is moving in with you.

You don’t have an extra room to spare, but your partner is ready for this, whether you are or not. Don’t worry. You have options that are suitable for any living situation, so whether you love your mother-in-law or she makes you want to buy a cabin in the Ozarks, we can help. Depending on your current home, budget, and relationship, your mother-in-law doesn’t even have to stay in your home. We’ll cover every available option, affordability, and what it means for your personal space.


The basement remodel


If you’ve got a basement that is sitting unused, this can be a great place for a mother-inlaw-suite. A custom home builder can add to your basement and help make space feel larger than it is. Depending on the size of the basement you’ll have room for necessary amenities. A bathroom is a must, but with a small kitchenette and refrigerator, your new room can have all the functionality of an apartment.

Considerations before you build.

  • The importance of insulation in a basement remodel cannot be overstated. You don’t want a cold mother-in-law when winter rolls around.
  • Invest in proper moisture barriers. These are your first line of defense against flooding and water damage.
  • Consider reinsulating windows or adding a separate entrance. This can provide complete autonomy for your occupants.

The garage remodel


Garages undergo a very similar process to a basement. You’ll want to consider the roof the garage instead of focusing on moisture barriers. Insulation is also an equally important factor. Because livable spaces have different regulations, make sure your garage meets any federal, state, and city guidelines. Because garage doors aren’t typically well insulated, it’s a good idea to have a new wall installed instead.
Where should you build your mother-in-law suite?


A newly built suite


There are some major benefits to starting from the ground up. You can build a complete miniature home, knowing it meets local building standards and those of your mother. A new build also removes issues around mobility. Building from the ground up means you can incorporate accessibility into every feature. It also provides a completely separate living structure, so that you and your mother-in-law can continue to have individual lives.

Considerations before you build.

  • Building next to the edge of your property line preserves yard space.
  • Could you accomplish the same objective with a trailer-mounted tiny house? That way you can easily move/sell it down the line.
  • Does your mother want to live in your home, or do they enjoy independence?

Bump outs


Adding a new home addition like a bump out is a great option for a mother-in-law that may need extra help. Bump outs keep your existing space intact and can be any size. The exterior of a bump out is blended seamlessly with your existing structure. When it’s completed you won’t know which was built first. Bump outs can offer all the amenities of a basement remodel without concerns about the mobility of a staircase.

Now that your mother-in-law suite is out of the way, what other home additions offer the best ROI?