Copyright © Michael Litchfield 2010. Photo © Muffy Kibbey Design © fidlweb

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About Mike

Mike Litchfield, the curator of, is a founding editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine; he has been renovating homes or writing about them for more than 30 years. He was one of the first technical journalists to go to job sites to gather information directly from builders, and his great work, Renovation: A Complete Guide is in its 3rd Edition.

Mike has also worked as a copywriter and creative director at many of the better ad agencies in San Francisco, specializing in life sciences and technology. During the dot-com boom he was Editor of, which CNET/Yahoo! named a Gold Star Site for having the best home-improvement content. His 10th book, In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats, was published in March, 2011. These days, Mike keeps busy rewriting and revamping people’s websites, blogging for Fine Homebuilding, and co-hosting a biweekly show on KWMR radio in Marin County, California.

Contact Mike...

Updating your site and need copy that zings?

Marketing a house-related product or service?

Got comments or questions about In-laws?

Drop Mike a line:


Praise for In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats

“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…”

--Katherine Salant, The Washington Post

“The in-law suite has taken on a new appeal for families who are downsizing, simplifying, or who want to earn extra income with a rental apartment.” –

“Not only is ‘In-laws’ timely and useful, it is beautiful and complete.” --Inman News

“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.”

“A real ‘go-to’ book”

“a fresh (and sometimes unexpected) perspective” --AIArchitect

“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.” --New Urban Network

“a treasure trove of practical information and advice on turning a single-family home into two independent living units...”  --

“ground-breaking…impressive and carefully researched…the historic first book that will mark the beginning of a new wave of granny unit growth that will take place in the coming years across America.”  –

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