The Basement as an In-Law-Suite - Econo Basement - Basement and Garage Services Calgary - Featured Image

The Basement as an In-Law-Suite

As assisted living costs continue to rise, many aging Canadians are choosing to live with their grown children. It’s an affordable option and contributes to a senior’s emotional well-being by allowing him/her to be surrounded by family. Rather than inhabiting the spare bedroom, these retirees are moving into private In-Law-Suites. Sometimes called a granny suite or a multigenerational unit, an In-Law- Suite is a small apartment (usually 300 to 700 square feet) located in a private home for the purpose of housing an aging family member. These living quarters allow aging parents to reside with their children while maintaining a modicum of privacy and independence. Your basement is the perfect location for an In-Law-Suite! Basement space is often underutilized and the costs for renovating a basement are approximately half that of building an above-grade addition. If you have aging parents that would benefit from the consistent presence and support of their family, a basement In-Law-Suite may be right for you.

There are many things to bear in mind when planning and developing a multigenerational unit in your basement.

  1. Consider your parent’s current and future needs: Make sure the accommodations are made to age with your parents. Install a curbless shower with a seat, grab bars and a handheld shower head. Choose wide doors with lever style handles and raised cabinets that can accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. It’s less expensive to incorporate these elements during construction than to retrofit them at a later date.
  2. Provide ample lighting: Enlarge existing windows and/or add more. Layer multiple light sources to make reading and computer tasks easier for your aging parent.
  3. Keep it warm: Make sure your relative is warm and cozy. Install a separate thermostat in the suite and consider supplemental heating. An electric baseboard heater, a gas fireplace, a space heater or an infrared heating unit are all good choices.
  4. Plan for independence: Include a bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, dining and living area to help your parent maintain as much independence as possible.
  5. Maximize privacy: Utilize soundproofing to keep noise from travelling from one living space to another. To insure privacy, use a door to create an entry vestibule at the base of the basement stairs.
  6. Find a certified contractor: Look for a contractor who specializes in basement finishing and has built In-Law-Suites. They will provide advice and design ideas to help customize your basement suite to suit the needs of your relative. They will know the codes and regulations and help you apply for building permits.
  7. Relax and spend time with your family: After completing the planning and construction, take time to connect and bond with your aging parents. Help them to settle in their new home and establish privacy parameters.

With good planning and an experienced contractor, you can create a second residence in your basement that will assist your aging parents and add value to your home. When no longer needed, it will easily transition into a home office, guest quarters, a rental suite or a space for that 20 something offspring that is between graduation and the first job.

To transform your basement into a safe, comfortable In-Law-Suite, trust the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements. Call them at (403) 768-0256 or email

Comments 288

  1. Danke für Die Guten Kurzer Artikel. Ich zufällig recherchieren dieses Sache für irgendwann . Die Dinge und Besonderheiten Sie zeigen, ich war nicht bewusst. Ich wird wahrscheinlich sein nächste Ihre Blog jetzt und idealerweise Sie werden viel mehr Ansichten und Einsichten.

  2. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a huge portion of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  3. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  4. whoah this blog is wonderful i love reading your articles. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this info, you could help them greatly.

  5. Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

  6. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  7. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  8. great post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.