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Should You Put a Kitchen in Your Mother-in-Law Suite?

Tilghman Builders Team
By Tilghman Builders Team - June 6, 2023








Renovating your existing space or building a home addition to accommodate a mother-in-law suite is great if you are looking to welcome your aging parents and other family members to live with you. The benefits of these projects are phenomenal, but we don’t want you to overlook one critical aspect when planning your project: a kitchen.


Do You Really Need an In-Law Suite Kitchen?

During the in-law suite planning and budgeting process, you may be tempted to initially hold off on including a kitchen with the addition to save money and time. It’s completely understandable why you may be hesitant to include a kitchen at the beginning of the project. Maybe it’s seen as a nice-to-have, not an actual necessity. 

Since your main house already has a kitchen, why would you need a second? Why can’t Grandma and Grandpa use the kitchen in the main part of the house? It's crazy to have two kitchens, right? 

After all, leaving out the kitchen will be cheaper and you could complete the initial project in a shorter timeline. However, adding a mother-in-law suite kitchen or kitchenette later as a separate project will totally cancel the short-term benefits. 


Why You Should Add a Kitchen to Your In-Law Suite Plan

You don't want to wait for the project to take shape to see the benefits of a kitchen. In some cases, during or after the project is complete, the family begins to feel that a kitchen would be really nice and efficient in the in-law suite. 

Don't overlook these benefits that make a big impact on the outcome of the project — and your family’s happiness after move-in day: 

  • Gives your aging parents independence: Your family will appreciate you giving them the freedom to live completely independently from the main house. With a kitchen, they are able to function on their own schedule.
  • Accommodates all household members: When you are creating a new space in your house, you want it to be the most accessible to all people. Universal design (UD) does just that — common-sense design that accommodates all users — not just the elderly or disabled. If you aren't updating the kitchen in the main part of your house, adding UD kitchen features to the new space ensures that your family is comfortable and safe and can rely on their space to adapt to their lifestyle changes. Things like lower countertops, wider doors, and beautiful slip-resistant flooring are great UD features you can incorporate without having to redo your own kitchen.
  • Provides privacy for everyone at home: Want to have a quiet movie night without Grandpa walking through to the kitchen? Does Grandma want to have her girlfriends over for bridge night without the kids running around? Having a space to prepare meals can prevent unnecessary walk-throughs when people want some space. Plus, you can save Grandma and Grandpa so much walking back and forth.
  • Makes your home a dual-purpose space: If you plan on using your in-law suite as a dual-purpose space or guest house, a kitchen will add more value to the space for visitors and tenants. If you want to contain a mess in an area outside the main house, the in-law suite is a great alternative.

What Happens If You Change Your Mind About Adding a Kitchen?

Of course, you want everyone to be as happy and comfortable as possible, especially when considering a long-term or permanent living situation. But if you plan to add an in-law suite kitchenette or kitchen after the fact, you’ll have to create a new budget and timeline to build it. Changing Mind About Kitchen_Canva

Since the original renovation plan and design did not account for all of the plumbing and electrical work that now needs major adjustments to accommodate a kitchen, you will actually end up spending more money than you would if it was included at the beginning.


What's the Best Plan for Your Aging Family?

Renovation projects certainly involve a great deal of budgeting expenses and meeting deadlines. Fortunately, Tilghman Builders take a great deal of care to make sure we work with you to create and execute a plan that fits your budget and family needs while honoring our promises to you throughout your project.

From our past experience in helping families live in comfort and adjust their homes to accommodate different living situations, it is always better to plan ahead for all future needs of each family member in the household. Best Plan for Aging Family_Canva

Even if you don’t see a need for something now, we have your best interests in mind and foresee the benefits of planning proactively. In an attempt to save costs and time, you actually risk spending more money and more time than you should.

Instead of having regrets and changing your mind, you can save yourself the trouble and maintain peace of mind. By including a kitchen in your in-law suite, you are ensuring that you won’t have any place for regrets in the future. If you don’t, odds are you might be sorry you didn’t in the first place.

You definitely won’t be sorry later on when your family members are thankful and appreciate a kitchen in their living space, especially when you realize the money and time you’ve saved by getting everything completed all at once.


Are You Ready to Bring Your In-Laws Home?

Renovating your home should always be a fun and enjoyable experience. However, projects such as these are not always as straightforward as they seem. 

Fortunately, we take great pride in specializing in home renovation projects. Not only do we make sure that it’s fun, smooth, and efficient, but we also do our very best to continue improving techniques for an even better experience for the families we will work with in the future. 

If you're not sure who to hire just yet, check out our free guide below. It'll tell you how to choose a professional contractor for your home renovation. You can also check out some of our recent projects throughout Bucks County, PA, and Montgomery County, PA.

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