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Creating a Basement In-Law Suite


December 15th, 2016 | Home Design, Remodeling Ideas

As parents age, it’s important to start thinking about how you’ll care for them once they can no longer live on their own. For more and more families, that means creating a space in their own homes where grandma and grandpa can comfortably stay as they get older. One of the most popular places to create an in-law suite is in the basement. It’s an often un- or under-used space that has the benefit of being on the ground level, meaning the potential for a basement in-law suite to be the perfect home for you parents is great.

Here are a few ideas for building one in your home.

Create a separate entrance.

If you have a walk-out basement, consider turning the door into a more formal entryway by adding coat hooks, shelving, and a tile floor. This isn’t just a good idea for storage space, it will also give your family a sense of independence with easy access to come and go as they please, and help the space feel like a separate home.

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Make it feel open.

Basements have a reputation for being dark, enclosed spaces, which is the opposite of what you want for  your cozy in-law suite. An open-concept space similar to what you’d see in a modern apartment, with connecting kitchen and living spaces, will make the in-law suite feel airy and more open.

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Add a window (or a few).

Every basement can use an extra window or two. If your basement is ground level, add a glass slider that steps out onto a private patio. If it’s almost entirely underground, consider digging window wells so you can install taller windows.

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Make it  Cozy.

Basements can get cold, so take extra steps to ensure your space feels cozy. A fireplace at the center of the room, radiant heating, or a heat fan in the bathroom can all go a long way.

For more on creating a basement in-law suite and multi-generational living click here.


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