What are in-Law Quarters?

In-law quarters can be useful for accomodating elderly relatives.
It is not unusual for elderly parents to live with their married children during the later years of the parents' lives.
One in three of all baby boomers anticipate that a parent will move in with them.
Senior citizens who live in an in-law arrangement are often able to maintain their independence and self-sufficiency.
In-law quarters allow multi-generational living while also providing privacy for both families.
Seniors citizens are able to maintain self-sufficiency while living in in-law quarters.
Article Details
  • Written By: KD Morgan
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Typically, the stall closest to the door in a public restroom is the cleanest, while the middle stall is the dirtiest.  more...

November 26 ,  1789 :  Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in the US for the first time.  more...

Traditionally, the idea of in-law quarters has existed for thousands of years. In modern times, they are making a comeback due to the necessity to consolidate time and money within families.

In-law quarters also come in the form of accessory living quarters, garage apartments, guesthouses, in-law units, mother-in-law flats and studio apartments. Not all of these areas are reserved specifically for parents. Many people rent out these areas of their homes to supplement their income.

In-law quarters are usually a separate, preferably self-sufficient unit within the main house. This can be a simple remodeling of a bedroom and bath to accommodate a senior citizen’s needs. It can involve a second master suite with bedroom and bath. Ideally, the quarters can be a complex attached studio or a completely separate structure on the grounds of the main house.

Since the early 1900’s, Western society has moved away from multi-generational living. This has brought about the need for supervised living facilities and nursing homes for the senior citizens. This can be an expensive undertaking to consider within the family finances, as most insurance does not cover the expense of supervised care.


By the early 2000s, the concept of an in-law apartment has begun resuming its practicality. Families have appreciated the many benefits the convenience brings. The inclusion of first generation parents living with the family helps financially as the income and expenses of two households can be consolidated and shared. This is much more expedient than maintaining two separate homes. In addition, senior citizens can continue to maintain their self-sufficiency and productivity while living within these arrangements.

With people living longer and healthier lives, the financial burdens of aging first generation parents has become a concern to most families. One in three of the baby boomers generation expects to include a parent moving in with them. This solution is becoming more popular as it also cuts down on time and worry for their parents.

Most Eastern cultures have always included in-law quarters in their family homes. The first generation always played an important role in the household. The Amish also have a tradition of moving their first generation into a smaller retirement quarters within the house. This is called a dawdi haus (daw-dee-hahs). As with the Eastern cultures, the parents were honored and participated as much or as little as appropriate.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 1

Excellent article. Many families are going to ADU for extra living space. Oregon, Washington and Florida lead the was by State Government approvals. Our company provides this accommodation on a turn key basis. A fully equipped 2 bedroom 800 square feet is in the price range of $60,000 to $75,000 installed.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?