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Building the perfect multi-generational home

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Climbing house prices and rising living costs mean that the multi-generational home trend is starting to make sense for many. But how do you design such a house?

This home of the future is designed to accommodate more than just one set of adults

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In many cultures, the idea of the multi-generational home is not a new one. But what does it mean? According to Pew Research Centre, a multi-generational home is defined as either:

  • Two or more adult generations living under the same roof, or
  • Grandparents and grandchildren living under the same roof

In countries like Japan and India, you’ll find retired couples who move in with their children to care for their grandchildren and also look after the household. In return, they receive the financial and personal security that comes with living with their grown children.

As a consequence of climbing house prices and and rising living costs, this trend is starting to make sense in a growing number of western countries. In fact, Pew Research Centre found that there were 60.6 million Americans living in multi-generational homes as of 2014.

That’s around 18% of the population!

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With the benefits clear, you may want to consider whether such a house would be a good choice for you. So what do you keep in mind if you’d like your next home to be of the multi-generational variety?



Consider your needs – and build accordingly

A two-bedroom, one-bathroom home is certainly fine for a couple and a young child – but this obviously won’t work when that child starts college. You’re going to run into more problems if you want to bring your parents in too. Imagine 5 or more people trying to shower in the morning or get ready for bed at night using one bathroom.

The solution here comes from thinking about your specific needs.

Adding an extra bathroom can alleviate those morning routine inconveniences, while a separate-but-conjoined addition can provide all of the space older parents or a college-age child require. If you’ve got the land, a granny flat is another excellent way to add space.

Every family is different, but there’s no shortage of options whether you’re renovating or building a new house.

Rethink other important areas

Adding new bedrooms and bathrooms is all fine and dandy – but you’ll run into roadblocks if you fail to update other important areas of the home. Let’s start with the living room.

Living room

Regardless of who’s living in the home, chances are they’ll all want to use the living room. Make sure there’s plenty of space here. Ample shelving and storage is also extremely useful.

Including a second living space or a media room could further alleviate congestion. This is a great idea if there are going to be children in the house.

Kitchen

A larger fridge, dishwasher and oven will all prove useful, if not necessities, when you increase the size of your household. Additional kitchen storage is also a good idea.

Get in touch with the experts

It’s always a good idea to contact an experienced designer or architect if you’re about to embark on a home project. In addition to being able to provide expert guidance, these people can put you in touch with the other professionals required over the course of the development.

View our other advice articles on Home Trends for more useful tips. If you just want to look at gorgeous homes, use the navigation bar at the top of the page. You can also see what other people are saying in the Q&A section.

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