An Over-Garage In-Law Suite with a Wealth of Storage
This handsome in-law suite was created for Minnesota football great Billy Bye, after his wife had passed away. Living over his son’s garage was a perfect way to be near loved ones during a difficult transition and the happy ending that followed–romance, what else!
You can read all about the design and construction of Billy’s in-law suite in In-laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House into Two Homes (Taunton Press). It which was named one of the Top Ten Design Books for 2011, so If you are thinking of creating an in-law suite–as many people are doing these days–you may find In-laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats helpful.
Adding interior knee walls is a great way to gain storage because it makes use of otherwise unusable floor space under sloping roofs. The farther you bring the knee wall into the room, the taller your storage area will be (but the more floor space you’ll lose.) To avoid cold areas and moisture problems caused by condensation, fully insulate the storage area to isolate it from cold weather.
Architect Ron Brenner and builder Mike Herman are typical of the master designers and craftspeople who have shared their knowledge with me over the years. My most recent book, Renovation 4th Edition, contains thousand of field-tested tips and techniques, 250+ illustrations and roughly 1,000 of the 40,000 photos I have taken on job sites. I hope you find Renovation 4 useful. –Mike
© Michael Litchfield 2013
An existing dormer was the perfect size for a bed nook. Because there was no room for night stands, built-in shelves do the job.
The upstairs of this garage near Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, was renovated to create an in-law unit. The bank of large windows in the gable end illuminates the living room and the office nook. The shed roof at right houses the bed nook.
Extensive built-in cabinets around the perimeter of the apartment help make it feel spacious and uncluttered.
Running back Billy Bye (No. 7) in 1946, when he was the University of Minnesota's leading scorer and MVP.
The garage in-law's floor plan. Shed dormers on both sides of the sloping roof made possible the greater heights of the kitchen and the area around the bed. Architect: Ron Brenner Builder: Mike Herman
In-laws, Outlaws contains attic, garage & basement conversions; bump-outs, carve-outs and backyard cottages. It has more than 200 crisp color photos, to-scale floor plans, 26 case histories.
Renovation 4th Edition contains thousands of practical tips and techniques that master builders and designers have shared with Mike Litchfield, a founding editor of Fine Homebuilding.