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In-law suites are usually generated from three major types ofremodeling, the basement remodel, the garage conversion and the suite addition. These are the most widely used plans. No matter which one of these projects you choose, you need to ask these question.  For a FREE quote on the electrical system for your In-Law Suite call Ring Electric Inc. at (613)299-8239!

1) Are There Any Covenants or Restriction to Keep You From Building a Mother-in-Law Suite?

Check with your subdivision, city and/or your county to see if they will allow two separate households to reside at the same address. You may be able to use same address “front, rear or side”. Even if you don’t need a permit to build your in-law suite always ask this question. Is there any public entity that may have judgment over your “zoning” privileges? Zoning can specifically define the use of your property.

2) Are Your Existing Utilities Sufficient For A Mother In Law Suite?

This could be a big one. Check the utilities of your existing home, to include the electrical service (power panel), the plumbing (both waste and water supply) and the heating/ cooling system to see if they are large enough to handle the new in-law suite.

3) Hiring An Architect?

Remember that this space is for home care for a senior or other loved one. You’ve got one shot so get it right the first time. You may also need an architect’s seal on the drawing for the building permits. He will also make sure you meet compliance for emergency and secondary egress. Realtor’s see clients shocked after spending hard earned money to remodel and find that without the correct window size or walk out, that it does not qualify for “living space”. That could mean a big fat zero gain when you list your home for sale.

4) Getting Estimates

The documents the architect produces gives you a devise to obtain complete estimates with fewer duplications and/or omissions. Getting three estimates is standard operating procedure. Give the contractor two weeks or fourteen working days for a bid dead line. Put it in writing. Remember this is a buyers market. Be sure to have a schedule including a start date, a completion date and a payment schedule. Most contractors use the one-third system. Once again get it in writing, one-third on starting, one-third at the middle of the schedule, and one-third on completion. Get lien waivers from the general contractor as well as his sub-contractors and suppliers. Make sure the big ticket items are paid for, such as the ac-unit, copper wire and power panel box, bath tub with surround, roll-in shower, doors and windows, flooring, etc. Make their certificate of insurance for liability and worker comp part of the contract. One last thing you might want to get in writing is to make sure they supply a port-a-potty. This will help to keep your bathrooms clean during the construction.

5) Choosing The Right Contractor for Your Project

Pick a contractor that you feel at ease with. Check his references. Check all of them. How long has he/she been in business? Ask friends, neighbors and even your city about them. Use the Better Business Bureau. They may have a record of any complaints about them and how the complaints were handled. You must be sure that your contractor is trustworthy, responsible and prompt. This is a time of quick decision and close working space.  If you ask lots of question, do your homework, and choose wisely, you have a pretty good shot at enjoying the construction of your mother-in-law suite.