“When my husband first suggested finishing the basement into an apartment for my daughter and her two sons, I said “No way!”” Hope said. “It was such a dark space down there that I couldn’t imagine my grandbabies in it. What if they were scared? Maybe they’d have nightmares.”
Hope’s husband, Jeffrey, took her to see some basement renovations in Abington, MA that were similar to what he had in mind. “His best friend had had his basement renovated into an apartment for his in-laws,” Hope said. “Being able to see what a light and airy space they had really opened up my mind to the idea that this could work.” She shook her head. “The basement finishing company was really clever about how they installed the lighting and laid out the rooms – it really had an open, airy feel that was very comfortable.”
More and more families are searching for ways to make multi-generation housing work. These situations can include having an adult child – who may have children of their own – return to the family home to live, providing housing for aging parents or in-laws, or other family configurations, such as one sibling taking up residence in another sibling’s home.
In these instances, it’s often good to create defined spaces for each family unit. Rather than try to make a child’s old bedroom their current domicile and expect two families to seamlessly merge in shared spaces, such as the living room and bath, converting the basement into an apartment can make family harmony much easier to attain.
“You imagine that a basement apartment is going to be claustrophobic,” Hope said. “But don’t rely on your imagination. Get the facts. If you can see other basement remodels that have been done in your area, that’s a great start. You’ll discover the possibilities are so much more inviting and comfortable than you ever imagined!”