Adding In-Law Suite

My 80 year old dad has Parkinson’s and currently lives in a 3 story home by himself. Thankfully, he is currently doing well. However, Parkinson’s is degenerative and my dad will likely need help in the future. After weighing the pros and cons of him living in an Assisted Living or an In-Law suite, we decided that having him live next to us would allow us to have greater control over his future care.

In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, it is not legal to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) unless it is connected to the main house on the property. Also, in order to avoid adding a sprinkler system to the entire house (existing and addition…. $20k+), the addition needed to be less than 50% of the current dwelling’s square footage. The addition will be just shy of 800 square feet.

What we considered when designing the suite:

1. Dad will be eating dinners with us. Our current dining room is not big enough for our family plus my dad to sit comfortably around the table, especially if/when a wheelchair is eventually needed. We added a bigger, shared dining area.

2. Privacy. In the added dining room, there will be locks on both the door to the main house and the door to the private suite. If/when we have caregivers stay with my dad while we are working, or sleeping, our family can still have privacy.

3. Obvious: Aging in place modifications, such as, single level living, zero-entry shower, grab bars, ramp on one end of porch, etc.

We consulted our friend, Julie, to help us visualize our ideas and offer suggestions. Here is what she designed. A door to our current mudroom is near the corner closest to the deck stairs. Our current house isn’t shown and would be on the left of the image.

In the summer of 2020, we interviewed close to 10 contractors to find the right fit. Finally, we chose a contractor who happens to live in our neighborhood. This is convenient in many ways!
Julie and her husband Josh helped us find an architect to draw up plans in accordance with the 3d images.

I submitted the building permit on January 25, 2021 and they were approved on March 18.
In February, we had some limbs removed from our Norway Maple. This was a sad day for me.
The tree looks rather sad now.


April 2 – Footers started

April 6-7- Footers and Inspection

Ha! Baby pool to wash the pooch paws off…
Nugget. Assessing the current situation.

Concrete was poured today! I will post on that tomorrow.


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