Friday, January 6, 2012

Mother In Law Apartments

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A guest suite or “mother in law apartment” is a popular way to add value to your property without drastically over building the primary residence.  This is a great way to provide for visiting guests, or possibly family or even rental income property.  Each local city or county jurisdiction has differing rules with regard to this type of structure so it is critical that you or your architect checks with the local powers that be to be certain that this type of use is allowed.  As many cities have found, a mother in law apart or “ADU” (Accessory Dwelling Unit) is a great way for our to increase density while still retaining the character of our existing neighborhoods.  For a homeowner, this is often a legal way to have    1 ½ homes on a property zoned for a single home so it will increase the value of your property too. 

So how does this look?    As you can probably guess, a well designed mother in law apartment is complementary to the original home and surrounding neighborhood.  So they can be as varied as your architect can imagine. 

Here are a few examples of this type of development that we have designed in our office.    The style is not important, but it is important to design a home or guest suite that is designed from the beginning on a smaller scale than the primary home.

This is a wonderful way to give your favorite guests privacy while still having them close at hand for dinner or an informal get together.  (it just may help you keep your favorite guests, well , your favorite too!)

When the guests are not visiting, you can turn the heat down and save on energy costs.  

If you decide to sell your home, this great addition to your property will provide versatility to the new owner too, so this is a really smart way to add value to your home. 

We also have had clients build the mother in law apartment first and then move in and live on site while their new home is built.  This is a great way to save some money as it allows you to sell your existing home while your home is built without having to lease a temporary place to call home.  It also allows you to watch the construction as it progresses.  But if you are planning to live here while your home is built, remember just how small it is and just how early the framers will begin hammering each morning!