Gran designs: could building my mother an upstairs flat renovate our relationship? | Caroline Baum

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Friends thought we were mad and tried to dissuade us. Despite misgivings, we went ahead

When my elderly mother came to live with us, a granny flat was not an option. She needed more space than the typical one-room studio. Being frail and disabled, logic might have dictated that she take over the ground floor of our home and we build an upper floor extension for ourselves – the kind real estate agents promote as a “parents’ retreat”.

But, as a longtime top-floor apartment dweller used to expansive views, living downstairs did not appeal to her. She wanted her own self-contained area, with more privacy, away from our guest room and frequent visitors.

Related: My relationship with my mother has always been spiky. Now she's coming to live with me | Caroline Baum

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