Multigenerational homes are on the rise, with their many benefits including shared costs and closer family bonds. Having multiple generations living together can also save families time by eliminating the need for travel to see relatives. New homes built for multigenerational living offer separate suite areas that provide secluded privacy. Communal public spaces bring loved ones together while connecting doors between the suites make it easy for everyone to remain safe as they age.
Assessing the Needs of Different Generations
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many families were already deciding to live together to cut costs and make it easier for everyone to spend time with one another. It’s a trend that seems to be only gaining momentum.
Whether it’s your grandparents moving in with you or adult children returning home after college, living with multiple generations under one roof can help ease stress, save money, and provide a safety net in case of illness or injury. However, if you don’t plan for it properly, multigenerational living can become challenging.
Luckily, homebuilders have been thinking ahead to this growing trend and have created new homes that are designed for multigenerational living. From open floor plans to roomy bedrooms, these layouts offer plenty of space for family members to engage and interact with one another while also providing privacy. Here are some key factors to consider when planning for multigenerational living:
As many families are discovering, multigenerational living is more popular than ever. Whether it’s adult children moving back in with their parents or grandparents buying a house so they can live independently, there are many different options to consider for families who want to spend quality time together while having privacy and independence.
Regardless of your family’s layout, it’s important to have plenty of space for privacy in a multigenerational home. This includes separate bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces for everyone to retreat to when they need a break from each other.
Bathrooms that are accessible for all ages and abilities are also essential. For example, installing a large vanity surface that allows anyone to reach their toiletries without having to bend down is helpful for older family members with limited mobility, and it can make a huge difference when they’re bathing. In addition to having grab bars in the shower, Cini (Committee Industrial Insulation) recommends putting a heat lamp in the tub for anyone who has trouble getting in or out of the water.
According to a recent study, three-generation households experience a high level of family function and success. In fact, many families report that multi-generational living provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and deepen relationships while sharing financial responsibilities and household duties like routine maintenance.
Providing spaces with versatility is key to creating inclusive environments. Large common areas like great rooms and open kitchens allow families to congregate in a central space while also providing privacy for younger members of the household. Pocket and French doors are also great ways to create separate rooms when needed without interrupting the flow or limiting natural light.
Bathrooms are another crucial area to consider for universal design and creating inclusive spaces. Simple changes, such as lowering sinks or removing tub barriers, can make bathing easier for all members of the household. Grab bars are also a great way to provide support in shower and toilet areas. Adding extra height to toilets and enough space under vanities for wheelchair access is important as well.
It’s important to foster bonding between generations and promote family activities that bring everyone together. For example, kids can make lifelong memories making ice cream with their grandparents, and grandkids will benefit from the close bonds they form with their older relatives. This will also help prevent isolation among primary caregivers, which is common in multigenerational households.
While living with multiple generations under one roof can alleviate many financial concerns, it can present some lifestyle challenges. For example, younger family members may be up and around at different times of the day and night, and this can disturb more senior family members who are trying to sleep.
Fortunately, we offer floor plans that allow for multigenerational living with separate areas to give each party their own privacy. For example, our Multi-Gen floor plans include private suites with a separate living area, kitchenette and exterior entrance that are attached to the main house.
Having specific storage areas for each family member is a must in multigenerational homes. It makes things a lot easier for everyone to keep track of their own items like vitamins, medications, reading glasses, and other necessities. It also eliminates confusion and prevents one person from being deprived of their own supplies.
If you’re planning on building a multigenerational home or considering renovating your existing one, it’s best to seek professional guidance from an architect, engineer, or designer who has experience with this type of layout. They will be able to help you establish what features are a must and make recommendations that meet all family members’ needs.
For example, incorporating Universal Design features like single-floor living, zero-step entrances and hallways and doorways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs or strollers can make your home a much better fit for multiple generations. And installing safety enhancements like a Level Entry Shower System and fold-away shower seating can help avoid falls and injuries that occur in bathrooms.
Organized and Clutter-Free
Living with multiple generations can be beneficial to families in a number of ways. It can provide a wealth of social and financial benefits, such as easy access to childcare or shared costs for elder care. It can also offer developmental and behavioral benefits to children.
While a multigenerational home may not be the right fit for every family, it’s a great option for many. For those who do choose to live with family members, it’s essential to seek professional guidance to create living spaces that allow for a healthy mix of independence and togetherness.
New homes built with multigenerational living in mind often have flex space, which allows for separate suite areas where parents and adult children can enjoy privacy and independence. These spaces can be as simple as a sleeping room with an adjoining bathroom or as large as a fully-furnished basement suite complete with a kitchen and separate entrance.