What To Consider Before Transforming A Garage Into Living Space For Your Elderly Parent


According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, about 16% of the population in the United States live in multi-generational households. Multi-generational living is when more than one generation of adults lives in the same home. One in five people aged 65 or older live with extended family in multi-generational households. If you are a homeowner and are considering having an elderly parent live with you, you may be wondering where to find the space. Look in your garage! 

Transform your garage into living quarters complete with a bathroom and a kitchenette for your new household member. Here's what you need to consider first before taking on this challenge. 

Find Out What You Can & Cannot Do 

You'll need to go to your building code authority to see if you'll need permits to make permanent changes to your garage and, if you do need permits, they'll be able to tell you example what needs to be done to bring the space in the garage up to building code suitable for a living space. 

Be advised that you may need to hire a civil engineer to identify if there are any limitations or risks that could prevent you from completely the job and what you could do to mitigate those risks, particularly involving the running of new plumbing from the house and drainage pipes.

Consider Handicap-Accessible Bathroom Features 

It's a good idea to install handicap-accessible bathroom features for your elderly parent, whether they need them now or not. They may need the special features of a handicap-accessible bathroom as they age. This means that the bathroom may take up more floor space than you originally thought because there are minimum space requirements for toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers, with handicap-accessible features are typically larger than regular ones.  Talk to your plumber about this or visit a site like http://www.garrettplumbinginc.com

Decide On What Kitchen Features to Install 

A kitchen sink is a must-have in any kitchen. Depending on how much space you have available for a kitchen area or a kitchenette, consider special features that your elderly parent may enjoy such as a refrigerator with a filtered water dispenser and an apartment-sized dishwasher. 

While they may have enjoyed cooking on gas stoves at some point in their life, it may not be feasible to run a gas line to the garage, not to mention the fire hazards of accidentally leaving a gas stove on due to forgetfulness. Therefore, it's safer to install an electric stove. To save on space, consider a small apartment-sized one. 

Determine How the Space Will Be Heated & Cooled 

It's very likely that the garage in it's current condition is not heated or cooled and may not be insulated properly for living space. You'll need to determine how to heat and cool the suite. One way you can heat the suite is to install a multi-purpose boiler system that works as a hot water heater for the bathroom as well as to provide heat in a radiant heat system.

The elderly are more susceptible to heat-related health issues, so you'll definitely want to install a portable air conditioner to provide relief from excessive heat during the warmer months. Air conditioners collect condensation, so it's important to consider asking your plumber to pipe the condensation directly into the drainage system. That way, there will be little-to-no concern of condensation overflow, which could cause dangerous puddles of water. 

In conclusion, transforming a garage, whether attached or detached, into living space for an elderly parent may be an ideal way to give yourself and your elderly parent peace of mind. However, the transformation itself can lead to a nightmare if these and other important issues are not carefully considered prior to starting the project.


10 November 2017

Understanding Plumbing Components

Hello, my name is Yvonne Michaels. Welcome to my website about plumbing components. Plumbing systems of all kinds use interconnected components to bring fresh water in and waste water out of the building. By clearly understanding the plumbing components used in your commercial or residential building, you can ensure your systems remain in great operational condition for years to come. On this site, I will help you learn all about plumbing components for every system imaginable. I hope to inspire you to learn about these components and understand how they operate to keep your plumbing system in great shape. Thanks for coming by.