For part one, see "The Rise of Multi-Generational Living."

Today it’s not unusual to find multiple generations of one family living under one roof. Parents take care of their children, but also make room for the grandparents due to medical, emotional, or financial reasons. This phenomenon has become known as multigenerational living and is on the rise in America. Before we talked about what exactly was becoming of multigenerational living, and today we’ll take a look at a certain type of living: the in-law suite.

What is an In-Law Suite?

Depending on who you ask, the in-law suite could be an adjoining room to the house, a separate living quarters, a complete apartment attached to the home, or a guest house detached from the central home. For this post, we’re focusing on the in-home suite style of an in-law suite.

So what is it exactly? An in-law suite is an additional room, typically on the first floor of the home, that is reserved for the elderly members of your family such as grandparents and in-laws. Sometimes this addition is created by converting a den or office into another bedroom. However, home builders are catching onto the trend and offer plans that already have an in-law suite included.

Depending on the space allotted, an in-law suite typically includes a bedroom, a separate bathroom, and possibly a mini living room. They come in all shapes and sizes, from a studio layout to multiple rooms.

Advantages of an In-Law Suite

If you or your spouse are anticipating the in-laws to move in, let’s take a look at some of the advantages that an in-law suite can hold for you and your new housemates.


By giving your in-laws/parents their own space you’re granting them a gift of privacy. They have a space where they can sleep comfortably, away from screaming grandchildren and the hectic hustle and bustle of the home life.


Let them have a space where they can sleep and enjoy their hobbies, but also isn’t too far from their needs such as a bathroom or a couch to rest on. Take stock of what your in-laws may need and make the appropriate changes to the suite.

Do they want a personal space where they can interact with their friends? Perhaps a small living room that’s attached will do the trick. Is your kitchen feeling smaller with more people? Consider adding a small kitchenette to their suite where they can make the delicious foods they love without bumping elbows with other family members. Do your in-laws enjoy getting fresh air? Build in a pair of doors that open to the porch or the backyard like a personal patio.

A Cheery Space

Take lighting into consideration, especially as it becomes more difficult for elderly relatives to see. Large windows are a great source of natural light and warmth for those cold days. Recessed can lights are also an intimate touch that provide lots of light, forgoing the need for hot lamps or fluorescent lights. The right amount of light can transform any room into a cozy atmoshphere, and it'll be inviting for every family member to enjoy.

Resale Value with an In-Law Suite

Any time you add square footage to your home, or invest in a home with these additions, the cost-effective benefits can add value to your home. Some things to consider for the future are transforming the in-law suite into a rented room for a potential source of income, or turning it into an appealing guest bedroom. If you plan to sell your home in the future, take into consideration what the in-law suite may look like at the time and what will appeal to buyers.

Call Collom Construction for In-Law Suite Advice

If you would like to transform extra space in your home into a suite, want to remodel the in-law suite you already have, or build an addition, Collom Construction in San Diego, CA has everything you need for your multi-generational living. Our design and build firm has extensive experience in turning drab rooms into marvelous in-law suites for any generation to enjoy. We believe that the family that lives together, grows together and we’ll work hard to make sure you’re satisfied with your addition. Contact us today for advice or a free estimate.