When Mom Moves In: Creating Comfortable In-Law Apartments Begins With Great Windows

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“We’d never really considered Mom living with us on a long-term basis before, but with everything that’s happened, it’s the right choice.” Jeanne, a Massachusetts homeowner, is in the midst of renovating her home. “We’re having the garage converted into a little apartment for Mom. Like a tiny house! It’ll have its own kitchen, bathroom, and living room – plus a bedroom that gives Mom a great view of the backyard.”

When designing spaces for older family members, it’s important to build with their health and safety in mind. The reason Jeanne’s Mom is living in the converted garage rather than the family home is in part due to the fact the house has many stairs. “These older homes are not senior friendly!” she said.

Creating Warm, Draft-Free Spaces Requires Great Windows

“Because the windows in the garage were small and ugly, they all had to be replaced,” Jeanne said. “In Mom’s bedroom in particular, we worked with the replacement window company near me to find a trio of double hung windows that let in so much light. I was worried that the room would be drafty, but these windows are built in such a way that no outside air makes its way into the house.”

Seniors and people who have health conditions are the most susceptible to cold drafts. The real danger with a drafty room is that it makes it difficult for someone to maintain their core body temperature. When they get too cold, the likelihood of heart, kidney and liver problems increases. Because so much time is spent in a bedroom, it’s vital that this room be draft free.

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“It wasn’t easy for Mom to give up her house,” Jeanne said. “She had a beautiful home. So it was very important to me to create a space for her that was lovely, gracious, and comfortable. My local replacement window company did so much by providing windows that really set the tone for the room. Energy efficient is important, but beautiful is even better.”