Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
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O'Fallon, MO 63368
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A Home Design Guide for Adding an In-Law Suite June 10, 2019

Dardenne Prairie, St. Charles
A Home Design Guide for Adding an In-Law Suite, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri

Today’s seniors live longer, more active lives, but many of them lose interest in maintaining an entire house. Building an in-law suite provides your loved ones with a place to enjoy their golden years and keeps them close to the people who matter most. Before embarking on this home design and construction project, you will have to take both your family’s and home’s unique needs into account. Here’s how to get started.

Where Should I Put the In-Law Suite?

The area where you add living quarters for your loved ones will depend on their physical ability and interest in privacy. If they’re healthy and independent, then build a suite as an addition with a separate entrance or a ground-level or basement walkout. If they have mobility issues, then you may prefer having them on the main floor of the house, so they don’t have to navigate stairs to spend time with the rest of the family.

Building an addition is often the simplest approach because you don’t need to reconfigure rooms your family already uses, such as a living room or dining room. Finishing a basement may mean relocating laundry and utilities so you’re not encroaching on anyone’s privacy, but it can give you the most layout options.

Do I Need a Permit?

home design O'Fallon MOYou will need a permit for certain parts of the in-law suite. Counties often require them to alter or add to an existing structure, especially for new or extended plumbing, HVAC, and electricity. Finishing a basement sometimes calls for a permit because projects such as adding or removing walls, accommodating new lighting and plumbing fixtures, and upgrading your septic system need to meet building codes.

Fortunately, the design components usually do not require a permit. This simplifies steps like installing flooring and finishing the walls with plaster and paint or paper.

What Features Should I Include?

Home designs that encourage aging in place must emphasize safety. Will your loved one need space for a wheelchair or walker? What are the best flooring options to help them get around? Forgiving materials like vinyl plank and low-pile carpet are well-suited for living areas and bedrooms, while the bathroom and kitchen benefit from slip-resistant flooring such as ADA-approved matte ceramic or vinyl.

If you need to accommodate a walker or wheelchair, make the doorways and hallways wider than usual. Roll-in shower stalls and handrails near the toilet will make using the bathroom safer and easier. Even if a loved one is still physically capable, it’s simpler to incorporate these into your design plan now than make changes as their needs evolve.


If you’re planning to expand your family with an in-law suite, trust Comia Home Builders of St. Charles County, MO, to create a safe, durable, and attractive space. These home design experts look for creative solutions for their clients’ needs, so your loved ones will have a special place to call home. Visit them online to view their extensive project gallery, and call (314) 575-0521 to schedule a consultation.