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Guest Suite vs. Mother-in-law Suite: What’s the Difference?

Tilghman Builders Team
By Tilghman Builders Team - February 18, 2019








Do you have the need to move an aging parent or adult child into your home but don't have enough space?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

For most people in Bucks County, at some point in their life, they will find themselves faced with such a dilemma. The next question is how to solve that dilemma. You obviously need a home addition but what kind?

What do you mean what kind of home addition?

Well, what type of home addition you need will depend on several things, such as:

  • Do you need a separate, private, independent living type of mother in law suite?
  • Do you need a separate or private space that can accommodate an adult child?
  • Do you need an assisted living space that is designed for an aging parent who can no longer live independently and will require a space that is open and can be accessed from the main home?

Yes, it sounds simple; however, there are some major differences between the types of in-law suites available. Therefore, please consider taking a moment to learn the differences before making any final decisions.


Guest Suite vs. Mother-in-law Suite: What’s the difference?

These two terms sound like they would be the same, but they aren't. Here are the notable differences between the two.

➣ Guest Suite

A guest suite is one that usually shares a hallway or bathroom with the rest of the home. Generally, a guest suite won't have its own private bathroom, kitchenette, separate living area, etc.

➣ Mother-In-Law Suite

A mother-in-law suite, or in-law suite, is usually a completely separate, independent living area of the home that is either attached, open, and directly accessible to the home, or it is a completely private space that's attached to the home but offers a 100 percent independent living accommodation. The latter is generally a suite that is attached to the home and has one or more of the following features:

  • Private entrance
  • Full Kitchen or small kitchenette
  • Bathroom
  • Separate living area
  • Laundry capabilities

TB in law suite collage copy


How a Guest Suite vs. an In-Law Suite is Used

A guest suite is perfect for overnight guests and short term stays whether they are for your adult children and their families or for friends, etc. However, a guest suite isn't generally the best way to go when you're talking about a permanent living arrangement such as is the case with an aging parent.

When you are talking about a permanent living arrangement, you are probably going to need a customized home addition. Especially if you want what's best for you and your aging parent or adult child.

You might be wondering if you could just convert one of your existing rooms or living areas into the space you need. The answer is yes, you could, but in most cases that doesn't ultimately work out. Therefore, doing so would end up costing you more money in the long run than it would have had you had a customized space designed and built to your loved one's (and your) exact needs in the first place.

However, with that being said, you can take an existing space in your home and build on to it. This will provide you with an end result that works well for everyone involved.

Now that we have that settled, the next thing you will need to do is to find a reputable home remodeling contractor.


How to Find a Reputable Bucks County Home Remodeling Contractor

Finding a reputable home remodeling contractor doesn't have to be hard, but you do have to be diligent when it comes to vetting one.

Here are some tips for finding a reputable Bucks County home remodeling company.

1. Ask for proof of workmanship such as testimonials, photos, etc.

2. Read as many online reviews as you can find keeping in mind that sometimes competitors, etc. will sometimes post negative reviews to jade your opinion. So if you do run across some negative reviews, just use some common sense and ask yourself based on everything else you know about that company if that review makes sense and fits, or not.

3. Check that company's Better Business Bureau file and look for their rating. For example, Tilghman Builders, Inc.

4. Does that company have a local, verifiable address and phone number?

5. Look at each company's social media pages to see what others are saying about them.

6. Pick up the phone and call them to see how you are treated and what kind of customer service you receive. You can also submit a request on the company's website contact form to see if and/when/how they respond.

7. Make sure they are licensed to work in your city and ask for written proof of workmen's comp and general liability insurance. And remember, if you use an unlicensed contractor to perform any type of work on your home and you ever have the need to submit a claim to your insurance company, the incident might not be covered if they discover you had an unlicensed contractor do the work.


What's Next?

If you would like more information or a quote for adding a home addition or in-law suite to your home, please Contact Us today. We would love to show you just how affordable and streamlined doing so can be.

Then, click the button below to check out our free remodeling guide for multigenerational living, called "Under One Roof".

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