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In-Law Apartments

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In-law apartmentIn today’s society there seems to be a growing trend of multiple generations of a family living together in the same household. Though it is nice to have all of your kin under one roof, at times some may desire some extra space and privacy. An in-law apartment is a perfect solution to this conflict. This kind of dwelling can create a means of having an individual’s desires addressed meanwhile remaining in close proximity with their loved ones. These spaces are great for someone’s older parents who may need a hand with daily pressures of life, an adult child that is moving back into the household, or even a long-term visitor that one plans to have stay in their home.

There is no one look for this type of apartment. There are a multitude of options to fit your needs for an in-law apartment. First, you must answer the question: what space would be used to create this apartment? Some ideas include:

  • A garage can be used to make an in-law apartment. Depending on the size of the garage, you may be able to put in a second-story or could add space vertically to create a second-story apartment to satisfy your needs for the apartment meanwhile maintain garage space.
  • You could combine two bedrooms to make a suite. This way, no additional space would need to be added to your home, you would simply be working with what you already have!
  • A basement is a great option for an in-law apartment. This gives the resident a great deal of privacy being on a separate floor all while providing you with a much nicer purpose for a  basement rather than mere storage space.
  • Even a porch area could be enclosed to become a homey living space.

Next, one must answer the question of what you would like to be included into the new apartment. There is no one way to build this. Depending on your budget and the amount of available space, there are many choices to make involving the inclusions you wish to have. If working with limitations, this suite could simply be a bedroom and bath located in solitude. However, the bedroom and bathroom could be just the start, as it is possible to have an apartment complete with additional living quarters, kitchen, closets, and more.

Some other points to consider:

  • If building this space for an elderly guest or relative, make sure it has their needs in mind. Should the space be located on the first floor? Is there ample lighting as well as easily maneuverable space for a wheelchair or walker? Have you included any grab bars to prevent potential falls? Are the kitchen and bathroom drawers easily opened? These are question you may want to ask yourself if this is who you are designing the space for.
  • What will your budget and space allow? Could you potentially include a washer and dryer in the unit? How much kitchen space could be available to you; is there space for all kitchen appliances or will you have to be selective?
  • Most importantly, do NOT forget to check local planning and subdivision regulations! Different towns and cities have different rules, so it is very important to find out about building codes and zoning laws before considering this project.

Just because you are living with many people in one household there is no reason for your privacy to be sacrificed! There are many plausible options to make an in-law apartment right for your home. Not only will no one have to compromised their independence, but it will result in a great means for increasing the value on a home!

Building a garage

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Looking for a new project for your home? Considering a new garage can add many benefits to your home that you may not have even thought of! A new garage can be much more than a space for your car, it can add available storage or living space to your home, and it will increase the value of your home as well. There are many potential options for the look and location of your new addition, so be sure to consider all of your options.

102_0973 resizedBefore getting into specific details of your garage, the first step is to find out what you will be permitted to build. Different towns and cities have certain requirements and restrictions as far as building structures on your property. So, to begin your project, you must find out how much space you have to work with based on the area of your lot and how close to the edge of your lot you are allowed to build. Check with your town for the local rules and codes, and then you will know how much area you have to work with. This will assist you in deciding whether you will have your garage attached to or away from your home. With this, you will then be able to make plans for how your driveway will flow from the garage to the street, based on the city codes and your desires.

Depending on what you find for your restrictions, you can then start deciding how you would like your garage to look. There are many options for the size and structure of your new garage which present different advantages. If you are working with a limited space, perhaps a simple, one-car garage would be right for your home. This will still give you the benefit of protecting your vehicle and allow for some additional storage space without exceeding your limitations. Have unlimited space? You may want to have a multi-car garage that even has a second story. This will create a multitude of possibilities. With a second floor in your garage you may create a new office space, a home gym, a workshop, or perhaps even bedrooms or additional living areas. You can really make this floor anything you want it to be!

IMG_0057 resizeFurthermore, you have flexibility to decide the look of the outside of your garage as well. There are many options for the appearance, size and number of doors ( You also have decisions to make for the quantity of windows you would like to include, as well as the look of the roof. Also, if space allows, you may want to set the garage so that the doors are on the side. This way you can create a more cohesive look with your home, having the garage almost appear as a continuation, matching the siding and windows to that of the house. As you can see, there are many options one should consider when designing their new garage, so be sure to think about everything you would like to include when planning your new project.

Tips Before You Remodel

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Remodeling your home is one of the biggest projects you may set out on in your life. Depending on the scope of the work you want to get done, a remodeling project can be as simple as slapping a new coat of paint on the living room to as complicated as gutting the house and starting from scratch. Your vision for your newly remodeled living spaces probably falls somewhere between these two extremes.

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Kitchen Remodel

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Have you ever noticed how it seems that the life of the house takes place in the kitchen? The kitchen is about a lot more than just the place where you keep the food. It is where a lot of conversations take place, where mom helps the children with their schoolwork and where much of the life of the family happens every day. When you think about it, it is strange that a room dedicated to the preparation of food has such an importance to family life. But clearly everybody gravitates to the kitchen, which is often a very busy room.

The same thing happens when guests come over. Even if you have a wonderful entertainment room or living room where guests are encouraged to gather and socialize, they will naturally gravitate to the kitchen especially if that is where the hostess is preparing the evening meal or snacks. But even after the food or drinks are ready, people tend to “hang around” in the kitchen and much of the activity of a night of social activity will happen in that room.

The old phrase “if you can’t beat them, join them” applies here because since it is clear that for some reason, humans love to be with each other in the kitchen, you might as well plan for that when you make your plans to remodel this very important room to family and social interaction.

Step back and look at the kitchen as more than just a place to cook food but as a social center.

Whether your space is large or small, the biggest factor influencing what type of kitchen you will come up with will be the shape of the room itself.

That one change of orientation can alter how you remodel your kitchen entirely.

The installation of an island, for example, is a way to centralize the cooking process. In other words, since the one preparing the food can stand at the island and face the entryways to the kitchen, he or she can continue to be social as the food preparation is underway. In fact, an island invites the guests or family members to come to the counter and either help out or sample as the food is prepared. It is the ultimate social center and this one step can vastly improve the social possibilities of your new kitchen.

Other improvements you plan for your new kitchen should facilitate movement and congregation in the kitchen without interfering with the food preparation process.

Steps to help improve your new kitchen

  • Make the entryways between the social rooms of the living room or the dining room wide and welcoming so people can flow from room to room easily.
  • Provide openings in the walls so the cook or others in the kitchen can converse with those in the other rooms.
  • Provide lots of light to make the room look happy and large which encourages conversation.

Check out this website for some great ideas.

These steps will take what is already a natural instinct of people to socialize in the kitchen and go it one better by turning the kitchen into a social center. When you do that, you will find your social times flowing easily from room to room and your remodel will have made your home an even better place for entertaining and family times as well.