Synopses & Reviews
In response to tight times, a remarkably upbeat and widespread change is taking place in households across America. Homeowners are creating second dwelling units--often called 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. Creating an in-law unit--turning one house into two homes--is arguably greenest, most cost-efficient way to create a small home or cottage because you're building small, building on an existing lot, and conserving building materials. This book covers every aspect of turning one house into two homes. Its first four chapters deal with the specifics of assessing your needs, selecting an appropriate design, choosing space- and energy-saving appliances, and getting your plans approved. The book's second half is a warm and engaging portfolio of in-law units and the families who created them: what needs prompted their decisions, which layouts worked best, and how they met life challenges with common sense, creativity and compassion. 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.
" The most comprehensive single volume on home renovation ever."
" This is, hands down, the very BEST home renovation book I've ever read. And as former editor of This Old House Magazine (2001 to 2004) I've seen em all. Author Mike Litchfield (founding editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine) has written about 7 books on home renovation and this third edition of " Renovation" (completely updated from earlier versions) has got to be his masterwork. Whether you're a homeowner who can't bang a nail or a professional tradesman, you'll learn a lot from this book. " Renovation" covers the entire home renovation process, from inspecting an old house before you buy it to the hundreds of steps and decisions you'll encounter in the renovation process. Litchfield clearly knows what he's talking about. He writes in a down-to-earth conversational style that's comprehensive, practical and easy to understand. He also has a sharp wit and a dry sense of humor that makes this book, not only useful, but great fun to read. Excellent drawings and photos show you just the information you need, and the book is liberally sprinkled with pro-tips and insights that will save you time, money and heartache-guaranteed. Case histories of real renovation jobs with first-hand accounts of what worked and what didn't give you the benefit of other people's experience. Renovating an old house is a big, messy, expensive, emotional process, but one of the most satisfying projects you can tackle in life. If you're even thinking about taking the plunge, there's no better roadmap to follow than Mike Litchfield's book." --This Old House
" A classic inthe first edition, a masterpiece in the second, this work is the last word in renovation-- Litchfield is cited again and again by other authors in the field, and rightly so-- and the new edition will serve to introduce a new crop of renovators to the art....If you are renovating a house or only thinking of it, this is the place to start."
" Simply the best book we've seen on the subject." --"Toronto Sun"
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" www.kk.org
NAMED TOP 10 INTERIOR DESIGN BOOK FOR 2011 BY LIBRARY JOURNAL
Litchfield presents a comprehensive guide for everyone contemplating adding a secondary dwelling on their property. Showcasing 26 case studies illustrated with floor plans and color photographs, he thoroughly discusses factors to consider when creating this type of abode. (LJ 6/1/11) http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2011/12/best-of/best-how-to/best-books-2011-interior-design/
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. --HealthCentral.com
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. --About.com
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
Michael Litchfield’s In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats: Your Guide to Turning One House into Two Homes explores the many ways and means of adding a complete, independent living area to your existing home. From providing an affordable and dignified place for a parent, to a safe and independent landing pad for an adult child, Lichfield presents the options in terms of basements, garage conversions, stand-alone suites and bump-outs, carve-outs and attics. The author came on the mini-home-within-the-home concept after personal crises caused him to downsize. Perhaps because of this, Lichfield adds a rare human element for a design book by including 26 case studies of not only how and what, but why individuals chose to make a second dwelling unit, and how it all worked out. --Fernando Pages Ruiz, Handyman Club of America
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 gue
A home within a home … is there any living arrangement that holds more appeal? Carving out in-law (or other) quarters from an existing home is a win-win any way you look at it — financially, practically, and emotionally. The audience for this book is broad — from the baby boomer caring for elderly parents, or returning kids, to the homeowner who is simply in search of a smart way to help pay the mortgage. It puts a wide range of options out there, including attic conversions, bump-out additions, and even freestanding structures. This book covers every eventuality involved in creating a secondary living space in your home or on your property — from planning and soundproofing to safety and security, even how to deal with damp basements.
'With a handy flip-chart format, this easy-to-use spiral-bound handbook for the home lists more than 600 common house problems, with causes and solutions for each. 30 color photos. 36 illustrations.\n
An illustrated handbook for any house problem, in a handy flip-chart format
Get your wiring project done right the first time with site-tested advice from the pros. The most comprehensive reference for homeowners are available, Wiring Complete is filled with trade secrets only a pro would know, as well as detailed instructions and over 800 photos and drawings that show every step.
One of the greatest collections of home renovation brainpower has been completely revised and updated with all new color photography and content. More than 1,000 photos are included in this "bible" of renovation.
This volume is a comprehensive, authoritative, and easy to use reference for homeowners covering all home wiring situations from the most basic to advanced. The only projects not covered are those that should be left to professionals. This highly visual book focused on real world situations faced by homeowners and real world advice, including how to deal with the inevitable things that can go wrong. What is unique about this wiring guide is that it is easy to find the project and the information on how to tackle it. Intuitive finding devices and visual tables of contents make it easy to identify the material in the book relevant to the reader's situation. The authoritative advice is provided by a professional electrician and presented in text and photos by veteran home-improvement writer, Mike Litchfield.
Baby boomers caring for elderly parents or the homeowner who is in search of a smart way to help pay the mortgage will find sound advice to turning one house into two homes. This book covers every eventuality involved in creating a secondary living space.
About the Author
Michael Litchfield has been renovating houses or writing about them for more than 40 years. During that time he has been a founding editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine, the author of 12 acclaimed books on home design and renovation, and editor of a CNET/Yahoo! Gold Star home improvement site. He is also a certified green building professional. Michael McAlister is a licensed electrician, C-10 Electrical Contractor, and B General Building Contractor in California and is currently Division Manager-San Francisco for Sprig Electric. He has worked in a design/build capacity in single-family residential, multi-family high density residential, commercial TI, biotech, high-tech, manufacturing, and alternative energy. He lives with his wife and two sons in San Francisco.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Is an In-law Unit Right for You…
Chapter 2: Designing In-laws
Chapter 3: Choosing Appliances and Materials
Chapter 4: Planning and Building
Chapter 5: Basement In-laws
Chapter 6: Garage Conversions
Chapter 7: Stand-alone In-laws
Chapter 8: Bump-outs, Carve-outs, and Attics