Aging is a part of life and many of us will find ourselves eventually taking care of our parents again as they get older. According to American Senior Communities, there will be an estimated 14.1 million people aged 85 and older living in the U.S. by 2040. However, you may not have a lavish space or the financial means to give your parents the in-law suite of their dreams.
The good news is that there are a few ways you can give your parents an in-law suite that works for them even if it isn't anything grand. Here are a few ways you can set up an in-law suite in your home without having to take out a second mortgage to do any major renovating.
Define your priorities
No two in-law suites are the same. Before you begin planning how you'll rearrange your home for your loved ones, consider what your loved ones' priorities are. For instance, finishing your basement to create an in-law suite may not be a good idea if your basement has a steep staircase that could put your parents at risk of falling.
Converting your attic into an in-law suite may not be ideal, either, because we lose our ability to reach up and down as we age. Adult children or teenagers may prefer moving their bedroom to the finished basement or attic space, though, because it gives them more room. Be sure to discuss your family's needs and wants with each other. By narrowing down your priorities, you can better prepare your budget.
DIY where you can
It's not always recommended to do major projects by yourself, but that doesn't mean you need to leave everything up to the professionals. For instance, paintings make up 83% of global collections and make for great wall art. Rather than going to the store to buy framed prints for your in-law suite, consider buying some canvas and doing a painting for the room yourself. You can paint abstract art, too, to keep your inner perfectionist from running wild. Other DIY projects you can do include touching up old furniture, reupholstering, and putting up wallpaper.
It's bigger projects like cabinet installations and wood cutting that you want to leave to the professionals. DIY accidents like cuts from knives, slips with saws, and slabs falling onto hands and feet are more common than you think. And while 75% of patients are a-okay with urgent care treatment, nothing can bust your in-law suite budget quite as fast as a bill from the Emergency Room.
Reuse what you have
You don't necessarily need to do a major renovation project when your parents move in with you. If you have a guest bedroom or if your kids no longer live with you, you can simply reuse that space and transform it into your parents' new bedroom. Reuse furniture from your parents' home or furniture from your own space. If your teen isn't using their old dresser, give it a touch-up and make it your mom's. By being resourceful with what you already own, you can transform any space into an in-law suite on a budget.