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Oh No: Not An Inlaw Apartment

 
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I think it happens a lot, when someone buys a house, or in our case, moves back in to their old house, they start thinking of ways to make it better. One thing that stressed my inlaws from out of state with the Tiny House was, they had no place to stay. They really like Maine, but cannot move due to Katie's Grandparents being elderly, so we thought maybe we could make something more inviting for them.

We had an old garage that I dragged over from my Late-Grandmother's Tiny House, but we never did much with it, just used it for a woodshed. We had ideas on maybe converting it to a recreational room for our (4) daughters, three of which will be teenagers. But with AirBandB's, hunters possibly staying here, snowmobilers and ATVers (we live on a main snowmobile/ATV trail), or even the Permie on here that wants to stay here some time for a little vacation, we thought making an inlaw apartment would benefit a lot of people.

I am burned out from logging, so I wanted to do something different this weekend, and I wanted to surprise Katie as she is in New Hampshire this weekend. So I got out my Sawzall and started to make a sliding barn door that will go from the main room (12x24) into the new inlaw bathroom (12 x9). I had some homemade track I had welded up for a different project, and had some Western Red cedar kicking around, so I used that to make a sliding door. So it is not much, but a start. And I have found on these projects, just starting is the biggest step.

It will be a long term project. I really have nothing to start with, just a frame of a building. No foundation, no insulation, no wiring, no plumbing, no finishes...it is one raw project, but will take my home from 2200 sq ft to 2600 sq ft. We plan to have the main room have a kitchenette with refrigerator, stove, microwave and dining area, in a cathedral ceiling setting. Then have shiplapped walls, a queen sized bed, then a loft area  with another queen sized bed so the inlaw apartment can sleep (4) comfortably. Of course it will feature a full bathroom.

It is going to take some vision because it is really rough looking now, I mean it was hauled across a paved roadway by a farm tractor in halves and then shoved back together! But the fun thing about these projects are, the worse they start out looking, the more amazing they look when they are finished.

Hauling-Shed-Home.jpg
Hauling-Shed-Home
Hauling-Shed-Home
Hauling-Shed.jpg
Hauling-Shed
Hauling-Shed
 
Travis Johnson
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I managed to get a little done on the project this weekend. I took out an old window and put in a sliding barn door to go between the apartment and the bathroom. I had some western red cedar boards kicking around, so I used them to make the door. then I welded up my own track, and bought some garage door pulleys to use on the track. A few brackets added to it all to make the door open and close smoothly.

Then I ripped out the workbench and shelves I had in the room to make way for the bathroom. I threw that on a trailer to haul off.

Then I used some 2x4's I had kicking around and put up collar ties to give me something to nail my ceiling boards to, as well as support the insulation. It was not a lot, but it was a start anyway.
 
Travis Johnson
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Katie and I are kind of at an impasse on how to proceed. Neither one of us is working right now, so money is tight, but we could keep going with this project and see what we can build on a zero budget, or just hold off until we do start working and making money again.

We have a whole other house that is vacant (the Tiny House we moved out of) so if we ransacked that bathroom, the cost to build this bathroom would be almost nothing, but we are not sure if we want to do that. It is kind of too bad to ransack a perfectly usable home.

I also have to figure out how I am going to get water to this bathroom. My original intention was to just bring in hot water and then put in a separate hot water heater, but if that water heater every came on, along with our other hot water heater, that would just about melt the electrical lines going to the house; that would be 9 KW not calculating in any other loads. I could go with propene, but it might just be easier to tap into the existing hot and cold water lines.

That has issues too, because there is no easy way to run the lines to this distant bathroom. There are finished walls, door ways, and everything else to go up over, around, and through. I might be able to go outside and underground, but then there is the issue of freezing. :-(
 
Travis Johnson
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I took a picture of that sliding barn door I made yesterday...it came out good I think, and tracks well...very smooth in sliding.


Sliding-Barn-Door-(with-homemade-track).jpg
Sliding Barn Door (with homemade track)
Sliding Barn Door (with homemade track)
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:Katie and I are kind of at an impasse on how to proceed. Neither one of us is working right now, so money is tight, but we could keep going with this project and see what we can build on a zero budget, or just hold off until we do start working and making money again.

We have a whole other house that is vacant (the Tiny House we moved out of) so if we ransacked that bathroom, the cost to build this bathroom would be almost nothing, but we are not sure if we want to do that. It is kind of too bad to ransack a perfectly usable home.

I also have to figure out how I am going to get water to this bathroom. My original intention was to just bring in hot water and then put in a separate hot water heater, but if that water heater every came on, along with our other hot water heater, that would just about melt the electrical lines going to the house; that would be 9 KW not calculating in any other loads. I could go with propene, but it might just be easier to tap into the existing hot and cold water lines.

That has issues too, because there is no easy way to run the lines to this distant bathroom. There are finished walls, door ways, and everything else to go up over, around, and through. I might be able to go outside and underground, but then there is the issue of freezing. :-(



Would they ever come to visit in the winter?  Could you do an RV style hookup in the summer and then blow out the lines when winter comes?  Sort of like winterizing an RV.
 
Travis Johnson
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That is a possibility.

We did think about renting this out to hunter too though because we got a lot of land that we could lease out for hunting, and they would have a place to stay. That is in November so well below freezing.

I also have four daughters, with one now being 15 years old. When I told my wife were the washer and dryer should go, she scoffed saying we really did not need that because her parents and hunters would not need laundry facilities, but I told her to expand her thinking a bit. If one of our daughters and her husband ended up staying here, would she really want them using her washer and dryer, or having their own...meaning they would have to do their own laundry and not Katie! :-)

I suppose "if you build it, they will come", but with today's day and age, kids just do not lave home like they used to. With the cost of things, I fully expect the kids will be here for quite awhile.
 
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well, just start small and keep on keeping on.

i agree that it may be excessive to think of adding laundry and extra luxuries to a space like this, rather you should keep it simple.

if i was attempting this, i would probably build a small bathroom just outside, and not plumb in hot water.

get a smaller on demand hot water heater like this or this one....this one if you want to use electric,

and then pair this with a simple Solar hot water set up on a nearby south facing roof of the bathroom "pod" / attached to side of shed.
 
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I'm confused why you need an attached suite when you have a vacant house sitting right there. Wouldn't that serve the same purpose, with more privacy which, I would think, would be especially wanted if renting to strangers?
 
Travis Johnson
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Jan White wrote:I'm confused why you need an attached suite when you have a vacant house sitting right there. Wouldn't that serve the same purpose, with more privacy which, I would think, would be especially wanted if renting to strangers?



Yes, but that house needs a lot of work, so it would be more expensive to get that house to a finished state than it would be to build an Inlaw Suite. It would also tidy up this home, make it a little bigger, and of course increase its value some.

On that latter part, I tried to figure out what it would allow for increased value, but I could not determine what kind of increase it would give the home.

 
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