In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House Into Two Homes (Paperback)

In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House Into Two Homes By Michael Litchfield Cover Image

In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House Into Two Homes (Paperback)


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INLAWS, OUTLAWS AND GRANNY FLATS: Your guide to creating an ADU Homeowners are creating second dwelling units often called Accessory Dwellings, ADUs, in-law suites, mother-in-law apartments, or granny flats. Second units make a lot of sense. They're perfect for families who want several generations living close by, they enable Baby Boomers to care for elderly parents while respecting their independence, provide private quarters for adult children still at home or, rented out, second units can generate income to pay the mortgage or provide for retirement.

In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats is the first book to explore the many designs, uses and benefits of this time-honored and emotionally satisfying living arrangement. In-law units take many forms and they're all shown here: attic, basement and garage conversions, bump-out additions, carve-out suites, and backyard cottages. This book covers every aspect of turning one house into two homes. With more than 200 color photographs, 50 floor plans and architectural details, and a lively, personable voice, In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats is perfect for homeowners who want richer lives and a more secure future.

Michael Litchfield has been renovating houses or writing about them for more than 30 years. A founding editor of "Fine Homebuilding" magazine, Litchfield is perhaps best known as the author of the classic, "Renovation: A Complete Guide," now in its 3rd Edition. He is also a Certified Green Building Professional.
Product Details ISBN: 9781600852510
ISBN-10: 1600852513
Publisher: Taunton Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2011
Pages: 224
Language: English

Over the past 39 years, Michael Litchfield…has written nine books on the design, construction and renovation of houses, including one on remodeling that runs more than 600 pages, and he writes the Cozy Digz blog for Fine Homebuilding magazine, of which he was a founding editor. Clearly, Litchfield is an expert. But as he demonstrates in his latest book, “In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House into Two Homes” (Taunton, $25), he still remembers the befuddled perspective of a beginner. He has tailored his message accordingly, with lots of information [and] no jargon….At the heart of the book are 30 examples of in-law units, technically known as accessory dwelling units or ADUs. Litchfield divides these into six approaches: going up (converting the attic); going down (converting or excavating to create a basement); carving up (reconfiguring the space within the existing building envelope); bumping out (adding an addition); converting the garage; and building a separate unit on your property…The units described in the book range in size from about 250 to 750 square feet—from tiny to merely small. Nonetheless, the designers have managed not only to include the necessities—kitchen, bathroom, and living and sleeping areas—but to do so with an inventiveness that can make the spaces look and feel twice as big. --Katherine Salant, The Washington Post

A new book, "In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats," by Michael Litchfield, explains in detail how to turn one house into two homes. The author uses dozens of floor plans and hundreds of striking photos to illustrate the process. For all parties concerned, such transformations, can result in "more lifestyle options, greater economic security and deeper personal satisfaction," Mr. Litchfield writes. A terrific resource.--The Wall Street Journal

This book is chock full of very practical tips, great advice, and plenty of real world examples. Because in-laws, converted garages and guest cottages, are by definition small and compact, you’ll need the kind of efficient design tips offered here. I can’t think of a similar or better source of help that would be useful from the moment you start fantasizing about adding a second unit, till you apply for permits (or not), and finish the last coat of paint.
--Kevin Kelly, "Cool Tools"

This book might be one of the timeliest real estate how-to's that has hit the market in recent times...."In-laws" is for today's homeowners who have decided to stay put instead of trying to lock in their real estate losses, but need to get some extra mileage out of their homes; it's for today's parents of young adults, who'd like them to move out -- but just a little bit; and it's for today's baby boomers trying to retire on shrunken home equity and financial portfolios...Not only is "In-laws" timely and useful, it is beautiful and complete. Conceptually, yes -- but also textually and visually. --Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Inman News

Mike Litchfield has just written a very important book on building, not just for its subject matter, but for its timeliness in this era of tightening incomes...The section on obtaining plans and permits alone is worth the price of admission. I'm often asked, "How can I get a permit to build a small home?" This book shows you how. The fact is, that up until now, most in-laws in the US have been illegal. But with the growing need of an aging population, and the growing desire of (some) townships and municipalities to provide low-cost housing, there's a move towards legalizing second units. This is the most coherent and helpful description of getting through the planning department and the building inspector I've seen anywhere...This book is going to be around and helpful forever. Lloyd Kahn, editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications

Litchfield’s wonderfully illustrated book, complete with floor plans, pointers of how to check legality issues and tips on new products, also contains the personal background stories of people who have chosen to go this route. Without these human stories, the book would be useful and beautiful. With the stories, it is also warm and down to earth...If you’re looking for a way to incorporate parents or other loved ones into your home life while still giving each generation the desired amount of privacy, I’d strongly suggest a small investment in “In-laws, Outlaws and Grannyflats.” It’s a beauty of a book full of inspiration and practical ideas applicable to many lives.

A real "go-to" book for anything to do with in-law suites, garage conversions, and other "accessory dwelling units" you build or create on your property. Recommended.

Over the past decade, financial uncertainty, high housing costs, an increasing elderly population, and a rising number of multi-generational households have led more and more homeowners to add secondary living spaces to their homes. Referred to as ADUs (additional dwelling units), these units can serve as housing for aging parents, adult children, guests, or renters, and are changing the definition and purpose of “roommate” in polite middleclass society.  A new book by Michael Litchfield, In-Laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House Into Two Homes, (The Taunton Press) documents this trend, highlighting some particularly inventive ADUs and looking at the challenges in planning and constructing these secondary units. Litchfield is well-qualified to comment: He's a journalist and home builder who's worked over thirty years in the residential construction industry, and a founding editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine. Though he’s not an architect, Litchfield’s position has given him a fresh (and sometimes unexpected) perspective on the role architects can play on home remodeling projects, from design, to shepherding projects through the public approvals process, to communicating the design intent to skeptical community members.  --AIArchitect

Auxiliary units, promoted for years by new urbanists and by planning consultants such as Patrick Hare, seem to be catching on — whether in old cities, established suburbs, or brand-new developments. In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats is an excellent guide to the changes that are afoot...The bulk of the book tells how to go about planning and building an accessory unit — over a garage, in an attic, in a basement, in other parts of a house, or as a bump-out, or in some other form. Litchfield presents a generous assortment of color photos, plans, drawings, and other images. He offers detailed advice on many of the challenges an owner is likely to face...This is an eminently practical as well as handsome book. It comes at a time when the demand for this kind of knowledge is destined to grow. –Philip Langdon, New Urban Network

It is a treasure trove of practical information and advice on turning a single-family home into two independent living units...At the back of the book, there is an excellent primer on universal design elements to consider – wide doors for wheelchairs, adjusted countertop heights, shower seats, etc. And there is a section of resources for green and special needs building and a long list of websites of manufacturers of products for small spaces.I doubt much of what this lovely book offers is inexpensive, but you don't need to be doing a total renovation or building an addition for an aging parent or adult child in need to find it worthwhile. Time Goes By