Three or even four generations of family members living in a single home is becoming a lot more common than it used to be. According to Pew Research Center, there are nearly 60 million multi-generation households which accounts for 18% of all households in the US. The economy being what it is, more families are finding it advantageous to stick together in a single home. One setback with this option, however, is that many homes aren’t suited for multi-generational families. There are a few things that a home needs to support this lifestyle. Multi-generational occupants want the option of privacy for when they need it but also a communal space where it’s easy for everyone to get together. Each generation needs certain amenities in order to have that privacy throughout the day. So if you’re considering a multi-generational living arrangement, here are three home remodeling tips you’ll want to remember.
Privacy and separation
It’s fun when multiple generations of a family can get together and having them all under one roof makes it especially easy. But everyone is going to want some alone time occasionally. Sometimes grandma and son-in-law will want to watch different programming, or grandpa will be trying to fix himself a snack while daughter is trying to prepare a meal. When you convert an existing space such as a basement, garage, or guest suite, into a living area in a multi-generation home, it’s important that the space have at least two entrances-one that will allow access to common areas in the home and one that provides an exit directly to the outdoors. This will allow everyone to come and go as they please without inferring with anyone else.
For effective separation, you’ll also need to make sure that each generation has everything they need for independence. That means the space will need a kitchen or kitchenette, a bathroom with a tub and/or shower, and an adequate sleeping space and living space. The cooking area and bathroom will of course require running water so be mindful about the possible arrangements based on where piping is. You can save money by opting for above-floor plumbing so you won’t have to cut into the walls or floors.
Established communal areas
If you do a multi-generation home right, there will be sufficient compartmentalization so that everyone can enjoy their privacy. That means that since you aren’t forced to be elbow-to-elbow all day, every day, you’ll actually want to spend time together occasionally. So make sure that communal spaces such as the family room where everyone watches a movie or game together and the dining room will need to be able to accommodate everyone. There needs to be plenty of seating and these spaces should incorporate features that appeal to everyone.
Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal