in-law quarters

Building In-Law Quarters

Having an attached or detached guest suite – sometimes known as “in-law quarters” or a “mother-in-law suite” –  is a benefit to many, but it can also be a waste of both money and space if you don’t utilize it efficiently. Building in-law quarters can mean dealing with red tape and city regulations, but having an in-law apartment to house all of your guests could also be well worth the trouble of the renovation itself. Here are some things for you to think about if you are considering building in-law quarters: 

This space could be a finished basement apartment, a converted garage or a detached guest house, and they usually include a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living space and a separate entrance from the primary home.

Constructing in-law quarters from the ground up may mean navigating your confusing zoning regulations and various building rules. Your first step will need to be to find out whether this type of addition to your property is even allowed to be built in your residential neighborhood; city zoning regulations or your HOA rules may not allow secondary dwelling units to be built. It’s very important that you hire a licensed and experienced general contractor to assist with any and all necessary permitting and construction needs.

Building – or purchasing – a home with an in-law suite definitely has its benefits. 

Low-Cost Alternative

It can be an excellent low-cost alternative to having to pay for pricey housing expenses for aging parents or household help, such as a live-in nanny or housekeeper. If you decide to move an aging parent into your house, you may need to make changes to better accommodate the parent, and depending on their age and health, this can include adding night lights, safety rails, and other such aids. 

Hosting Guests

Having a separate dwelling on your property will also come in handy if you plan on hosting guests. If your home is popular with visiting family and friends, adding a separate guest home to your existing house will certainly make your life easier; your guests will have privacy, and you will, too! Guests will have their own private quarters, which means you will have complete privacy as well. 


Another great benefit to building in-law quarters is the potential rental income; many owners will rent out these secondary dwellings to help pay for extra expenses. Renting out your guest house is an excellent way to earn additional passive income on a monthly basis.

If you’re giving some serious thought to building in-law quarters, talk to us here at Ascension General Contractors about getting started. We’re proud to serve the people of Nashville as general contractors, and we’re also a full-service repair company. Let’s get started on your construction or renovation projects!