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Mother-in-Law Suite Addition and Remodel Costs in Your Area

What type of remodel are you planning to do?

Addition
Adding new square footage to the house (require new foundation).
Renovation
Remodeling an existing space with no change to any walls
Expansion
Expanding an existing room by moving walls within or outside the perimeter of the house (may require new additional foundation)
 
What is the average cost to add an in-law suite?

On average, your in-law suite addition cost can range from $14,700 to $41,600, depending on the size of the renovated space and your area of residence. It will also vary according to the cost of materials, the scope of the project and labor charges.

What is the average cost to remodel an in-law suite?

On average, your in-law suite remodeling cost can range from $5,000 to $100,000. Of course, this amount depends on the extent of the remodeling work done.

How do in-law suite costs vary?

Your complete cost takes into account a number of factors, including the size of the in-law suite, your area of residence, the cost of materials, the scope of the project, your zip code, local labor costs and the finishing details.

To get a general idea, check out the table below for an estimate of how the cost varies according to city and project size.

City Size of Project Average Estimated Cost (USD)
Birmingham, Alabama Small
Medium
Large
$14,700
$26,200
$38,300
Des Moines, Iowa Small
Medium
Large
$16,000
$28,500
$41,600
San Francisco, California Small
Medium
Large
$15,400
$27,500
$40,100
Why do you need to consider in-law suite additions or renovations?

Multigenerational homes are increasingly popular among US families. Therefore, more and more Americans are opting for constructing extra living quarters so their aging parents can move in.

This additional attachment to the house or a separate dwelling within the property is called an in-law suite. Apart from creating a comfortable haven and a private space for your mom or dad or both, an in-law suite also increases the value of your home. It enhances the appeal of your property to prospective home buyers in the real estate market. You can build an in-law suite in your backyard, garage, shed, attic, or any underutilized rooms as long as you can accommodate a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom, and a kitchen area.

Here are some possibilities with their approximate building cost:

  • Garage conversion - $20,000 to $65,000
  • Basement conversion - $10,000 to $27,000
  • Attic conversion - $40,000 to $90,000
  • Upcycling an unused room - $2 to $4 per square foot (framing a wall) plus $3,000 to $25,000 (adding a bathroom)
Legal requirements for adding an in law suite

There are no uniform set of building standards or rules when it comes to constructing an in-law suite. The requirement for a building permit depends on a number of factors, including the size of the mother-in-law suite, its location, and whether it involves major structural changes.

You will have to find the laws specific to your property and pin code. It’s best to visit your zoning office before constructing such a suite on your property.

Since these secondary units are self-contained with a separate entrance, kitchen, and bath, they can be rented out -- provided they are legal and meet the building standards. Renting out a mother-in-law unit is legally equivalent to renting out any other property. Keep in mind that you will have to follow the local laws of your municipality.

However, before renting out your in-law unit, you need to be prepared mentally for a tenant in your personal space. So, weigh the pros and cons before you think of subletting this unit.

Why should you estimate the cost for your in-law suite remodel?

Once you make the commitment to go ahead with your in-law suite, aka mother-in-law suite remodel or addition, you need to know how much of an investment you require for this home improvement.

A remodeling estimate helps you better organize your project and effectively manage milestones and costs.

Acquiring a free estimate for your total renovation cost will help you create a realistic budget and get you quality work at a fair price. It’s also the best way to ensure that you don’t stumble across any unwelcome surprises during the execution of your project.

Also, a carefully planned remodeling project can greatly increase the value of your property in the home buyers’ market.

How does Kukun’s in-law suite remodel cost estimator work?

Getting an estimate through Kukun’s in-law suite remodel or addition cost estimator is easy. Just follow the steps below to get your custom, personalized total cost in minutes and get a headstart on your renovation project!

1. Enter the type of remodeling you desire from the options below:

  • Addition:
    Adding new square footage to the house
  • Renovation:
    Remodeling the in-law suite without any change to the walls
  • Expansion:
    Expanding the existing area by moving walls within or outside the perimeter of the house

2. Select the size of your space from these options:

  • Small: 300 Sq.ft
  • Medium: 600 Sq.ft
  • Large: 850 Sq.ft
  • Custom: Enter the dimensions here if none of the above apply

3. Choose the scope of your renovation from the options below:

  • Cosmetic Changes:
    Ideal if you are selling your home. Cosmetic changes to the guest house renovation includes work on a family room, bedroom and bathroom. This type of renovation gives you the greatest bang for your buck possible without needing a permit. This renovation features updates to flooring, countertops, faucets, sinks, light fixtures, paint and hardware. New plumbing, electrical, cabinets, tubs and better in-laws not included. NO permit required.
  • Typical Renovation:
    Ideal if you are just changing the interior. A Typical Renovation guest house project includes work on a family room, bedroom and bathroom. This type of renovation features mostly new electrical, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, drywall, texture, paint, cabinets, countertops, flooring, trimwork (baseboards, door casings, etc.), new fixtures and hardware. Permit required.
  • Down to the Studs:
    Ideal if you are stripping walls or want to change plumbing and electrical. A Down to the Studs guest house renovation includes work on a family room, bedroom and bathroom, along with everything from Ideal if you are just changing the interior. A Typical Renovation-level project. Some interior structural rearrangement, new doors and windows, custom materials, longer lead times and stretched job timelines also come with this type of project. Warning: You'll likely have an increased number of houseguests with this type of renovation. Permit required.

4. Choose the level of finish you want from the three options below:

  • Budget-friendly:
    Budget friendly is an economical finish level and gives you the feeling you get when you step into a newly built home.
  • Mid-range:
    Mid range finish level is higher end and includes higher quality materials and more personalized options like recessed lighting, higher end appliances, etc.
  • High-end:
    Materials are high end and customized to the owner's taste. Every material will be differentiated and may take a little longer to put together, but the finished product is amazing.

5. Enter your property details

Enter the full address to get the ROI or recoup value of your house. Or, just give zipcode to get just the renovation cost estimate.

And there you go! An estimate for your in-law suite is ready!

With this estimate, you can analyze your finance options or hire a professional to get started on the work right away.

Our cost estimator also gives you the option to calculate your recoup cost. Simply enter some details, including:

  • Zip code
  • Full address
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the house
  • Year of build
  • Property type
  • Current market value of your property
  • Does your house have a garage or swimming pool?
  • Size of your house and lot in square feet

The above information will be used to calculate the material and labor costs in your area so that you can arrive at the total recoup value of this project.

We also offer you options for professional remodeling contractors who have worked in your neighborhood and who have been vetted by your neighbors.

We are happy to make the process as convenient for you as possible. You can easily do the following:

  • Explore the contractor's profile
  • Check out their online reviews
  • View all their previous permits.
  • Ask around your vicinity about whether you should hire them
The best way to remodel or add an in-law suite? Always plan ahead

Do not be overwhelmed by the idea of remodeling or adding a mother-in-law suite. Keep the following steps in mind to make your project go faster and smoother.

  • Set a realistic budget for this home remodeling project, including a leeway for some surprise costs. Experts advise allocating 20% of your budget for such unexpected costs.
  • Hire a remodeling expert. A professional will ensure that all permits, zoning regulations and inspections are up to date.
  • Check your area’s septic permit requirements. You may have to increase the size of your existing system to allow for an addition with a bathroom.
  • List out your all your requirements. These could include dedicating the right amount of space for a living room, a comfortable size bedroom, a bathroom with a large tub or a curbless shower, a kitchen and possibly a dining room.
  • Choose the right location for the in-law suite. You can transform your garage or porch or, if you’re looking to create a new addition to your house, zero in on the most convenient location.
  • Consider having your mother-in-law suite on its own separate power, heat, and AC sources.
  • Seriously think about accessibility, such as adding ramps and wider doorways and hallways.
  • Consider installing assisted baths with lever handles and stylish guardrails.
  • Keep things neutral – from the flooring to the curtains to the wall color. That way, whoever lives there can add their own personal touches.
  • If you’re on a tight budget or timeline, plan your remodeling project for the winter to avoid the spring and fall rushes.
  • Get a written contract from your contractor detailing the complete schedule along with a guarantee.
  • Discuss and mutually agree on the payment schedule.

These steps will help you manage your home renovation project seamlessly. Proper planning can help you avoid unexpected hassles and issues. Keep in mind that well-planned in-law suites are an important consideration for potential home buyers.

Before offloading your in-law suite additions or renovations to a contractor, do your research in order to understand how the project will increase the functionality of your space.

The final result should meet your expectations and provide a comfortable, stylish living space.

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