31 Jan 2023

When it comes to building your new home, you want to consider the needs of your entire family, including a family that might not be living with you yet. An in-law suite has become a popular idea in many homes with those who prefer to have their family close by, and it’s also popular in many cultures that encourage children to take care of their ailing parents. If you have ever thought about including an in-law suite in your new home build, keep reading to see why it’s a great idea.

What is Considered an “In-Law Suite”?

You could consider almost any room an in-law suite if your in-laws are ok with sleeping on a blow-up mattress, but this term typically refers to a room or area that is reserved for your in-laws to stay for a period of time. Some people have a separate room, floor, or building on their property designated for these guests. Other people have taken it a step further and created an entire wing of their homes to cater to these important family members for a more extended period of time.

Should I Build an In-Law Suite in My New Build Home?

This all depends on what your personal situation is like and how often you would like to see your parents, but keep in mind that it doesn’t always have to be set up for your in-laws. When it comes to selling your home, an extra area for people to live is very valuable, and many people would choose the house just for the possibility of renting or moving in with family. Other people enjoy homes with in-law suites if they have hired help that they prefer to keep close, so the initial investment can be very helpful for your selling price.

When it comes to deciding what type of space to build, consider why you are building it and whether it’s for temporary or permanent use. Let’s look at a few different styles of in-law suits so you can figure out which one will suit you the best.

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Extra Room

If you are expecting some parental guests to come by and help with a new baby or stay for a vacation, then building them a spare room is a great idea. This room can be utilized when your guests are not in town, and it can provide them with a much better option than renting a hotel. This could also be an option for a permanent residency if you are looking for a place where you can keep a close eye on your parents, but you should make sure you outfit other areas (installing rails, non-slip floors, etc.) to help them out and allow them some freedom.

An extra room is typically straightforward to build, and you likely won’t require any additional permits. You can place the extra space in a far area of the home if you know your guests will want some extra privacy or choose to put it right next to yours if you want to keep them close. Building them an en-suite bathroom is a good idea because you can customize it to suit their physical needs.

Separate Floor/Wing

Many people are choosing to designate a part of their home to their in-laws all the time while they are building or remodeling it, and a separate floor or wing is a great choice. Houses with separate in-law suites allow the parents to feel like they are close without getting too involved in their day-to-day life. It also allows them to feel a greater sense of privacy, and you can install options like an extra kitchen or bathroom so they can feel right at home in their own space.

If you have the space to do this in your home, it’s a great idea to consider, as the extra area can be used even if your in-laws end up moving back out. You can use these extra spaces in your home as a short-term rental or as a place for your college-age student to live separately. These additional living areas are hard to come by in many modern homes, making them very appealing to buyers who are also looking to move with their large families.

Tiny Home/Guest House

Sometimes it’s better for everyone if your in-laws have their own home to enjoy, and building a guest house is a great idea to make this a reality. Guest homes can be as large or as small as you want, and many residents are considering building tiny homes to keep their yard space intact. Small homes can be built much quicker, and they typically have the basic amenities you would need (sleeping area, shower, toilet, and maybe a sink), but they might not be comfortable if you have parents who prefer larger spaces.

If you want to build a guest home on your property, you have to make sure that you have all of the permits and permissions in place, as some areas are very strict about additional dwellings. This process might take a while, so it’s good to start it as soon as you decide on building, as it might require inspections. Guest homes are very appealing to new buyers, and they are easy to use for extra rental income, so the initial investment will likely add quite a bit of value to your home.

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Pros and Cons Of Adding an In-Law Suite

Adding an in-law suite might seem like a fantastic idea for your family, but it can come with some minor drawbacks. You should make sure you are building it for the right reasons and building it correctly the first time, or you could end up with an addition that isn’t even usable. Let’s have a look at a few of the pros and cons, so you have a bit of a better idea of both sides.


In many areas, you can get a tax benefit or extra financial support from the government if you are living with a relative that you are caring for.

You can use the space however you want if the situation is temporary for your guests.

You will be providing your in-laws with a much better option over staying in a hotel when they visit, and this will allow them to be closer to you.

Building and maintaining an in-law suite is far less expensive than paying for in-home care or a senior home for your loved ones.

Moving in an extra family member to help care for your children will save you money on extra childcare expenses while allowing your children to bond with their family members.


You might have to go through a lengthy process to ensure you can build the additions on your property.

It will likely double your energy bills as most areas don’t consider an addition to be a separate home, so you are unlikely to get separate billing for each area.

There will likely be less privacy for your family, so if you have any major issues with them, moving them in might not be the best idea. You need to make sure you have boundaries and rules in place for both sides, so there are no major disagreements.

Building an in-law suite in your home is a great idea for so many different reasons, and it will likely add some extra value to your home while making it more appealing to a wider variety of buyers. You also get plenty of great benefits from having family members close by. If you are thinking about building a new home, consider making some extra space for your family members, and you won’t regret it.

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YOUR DREAM home worksheet

Use this worksheet when going through the building process to help identify the priorities for your dream home!