Additions & accessory dwellings add value and utility

by Jul 25, 2015News & Trends, Specialty

Creating additional space in your home with the right remodel adds more than just square footage, it adds value. Taking the approach of building an addition one step further, and building outside your homes four walls may have an even more impressive impact. According to the Wall Street Journal, homes with “accessory dwellings”, or guest houses are selling faster and for a higher price than regular properties. In fact, they are selling for up to 60% higher, but there is a larger benefit that can’t be measured. More than just room for guests, a spare bedroom or living quarters can be a place for families to support each other through transitions.

Depending on the stage of life you in, your home may need to accommodate many family members at differing needs of the course of a few decades. Sometimes, we raise children at the same time a parent or family member moves back in. Those children, when grown, may need to move back in for a time while getting established.

At McDonald Remodeling we look at the long term goals before starting your project. Jim McDonald, McDonald Remodeling CEO, has experienced multi-generational living firsthand so this is a subject he is very in tune with personally.

I learned that Jim had his mother-in-law live with him, for 25 years. I asked him how he prepared his home for her, and what that was like. He created a bedroom suite for her with privacy and an area to interact with the grandkids. He mentioned that he built her a special kitchen, a canning kitchen, which was mutually beneficial, because as Jim put it, “She loved to can, and I loved to eat.”

Jim mentioned to me that when meeting a new client and visiting their home he ALWAYS thinks about the future. The future of the home and the family who lives there. Now, and down the road. His short list of important elements in creating the new space for a dynamically changing family:

– Ample privacy
– Creating living zones so each generation has solitude
– Large enough bedroom to have a sitting or visiting area
– Room for a desk and tv area


We designed the bedroom below from family room to a bedroom suite for a mother to move in with her adult children and grandchildren.


We created “zones” within the bedroom area for sleeping, relaxing and visiting. To the left of the dresser is a full bathroom and to the right is a walk in closet. A much greater benefit than adding resale value to your home, is the quality of life of keeping family close as the dynamic grows and changes.

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