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The Road to a Custom In-Law Suite/Next-Gen

How many of you have heard the terms In-Law Suite or Next-Gen? Wondering what they mean? Well it’s separate living quarters attached to a main house, which consist of a kitchen/kitchenette, living area, bedroom(s) and bathroom(s), usually with a connecting door to the main home. A few builders in the area have been designing these living spaces for years, although they’re recently gaining in popularity as family dynamics are changing (older parents moving in to be close to grand kids, adult children moving back home to save money, etc.). Sometimes, when searching for this type of layout, you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. In this blog series we’re going to take you first-hand through the process of a custom built In-Law Suite/Next-Gen. Here’s our story…



My name is Toni DeVogel, and some of you may know me as the Operations Manager for Premier Valley Realty. I’ve been working with Brian, the Broker/Owner, since 2014. I’m originally from the Bay Area and in the spring of 2015 my dad (whom still lived in the Bay Area) decided it was time to move closer to me and my son. Brian of course did an amazing job with the sale of our family home in the Bay Area – yes, shameless plug for the best Broker in town!

So leading up to the listing of our family home, my dad and I talked for months about what we were going to do once he moved here; buy two homes next to each other, have one built, or just reconfigure an existing home. This is not an easy decision. After months of debating, and the sale completed, he moved into our small apartment in Fresno. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t make a decision. We spent months searching for the right situation for our family, and finally, in April of 2016 we found a great home in Clovis. The only problem…we’d have to build an addition.

Current Dining Room

Current Dining Room

Now you’re probably thinking “that was almost a year ago”. Well, like I said, this wasn’t an easy decision, and throw in the culture shock from moving from Mountain View to Fresno, and well some things take a while. So now it’s February 2017 and I can happily say we’ve started the process of adding separate living quarters. Let’s start with some specs…our home is 2,700 SQFT, on a 10,500 SQFT lot with a 3 car garage, pool & RV parking. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs, plus a formal dining room, family room, living room, kitchen, large bedroom, bath, and laundry room downstairs. So that our addition flows well, we’re taking the current dining room (which has a slider to the backyard) and “walling” it off to the rest of our house. The downstairs bedroom will turn into the new dining room once everything is complete. We’ll then build out from the dining room, into the backyard by adding about 500 SQFT of living space. We’ve had Steve of Terra Bella Residential Design come out to the house and he just finished the plans. This process took about 3 weeks. Our next step is to submit the plans to the city for permits which takes 6-7 weeks. During that time we’ll start taking bids from general contractors. I’ll keep you posted as things progress.

Future Dining Room

Future Dining Room


The Slider on the left is where the addition will be built out from.


Toni DeVogel