How close do you live to your family? In the same town or same neighborhood? Or are you so close you share the same address?
Several factors have contributed to the rising number of multigenerational households in the U.S. Housing experts note the aging population, affordability and immigration have all brought families closer together under one roof. Today, 64 million Americans live in multigenerational homes, which is a record-breaking number.
One in five people live in households that have a combination of adult children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren. For some, it’s an unexpected situation, but with the right home many people find multigenerational living very enjoyable. So enjoyable, there are new communities that cater specifically to multigenerational households and architects are putting more emphasis on flexible home designs for people of all ages.
Design Elements of Functional Multigenerational Homes
One way to futureproof your personal home is to make it multigenerational from the ground up. Even if you don’t plan to live with extended family, you can still benefit from a home design that’s suitable for an expanding household.
Separate Entrances to Separate Living Spaces
One of the keys to designing a multigenerational home is having separate entrances for separate living quarters. This makes it so that the extended family doesn’t have to go through the main portion of the house to get to their living space. This type of layout is so popular major builders like Pardee Homes are offering “suite” additions as an option for new builds.
Designing your home so that there’s a separate entrance into a secondary living space is a great setup if your kids decide to live at home after high school or college. And the living arrangement is more common than you may think. The Pew Research Center found that for the first time in 130 years more 18-to-34 year olds are living with their parents than on their own, with a partner/spouse or in other housing arrangements.
Focus on Flexibility
Multipurpose spaces are better suited for multigenerational homes where there’s a variety of needs that are likely to change. A few ways to make your layout more flexible include:
You never know where life will take you, but flexibility makes it easier to adjust.
Use Universal Design
Universal design, also known as aging in place design, is becoming much more common in new homes. It’s primarily used to make it easier and safer for seniors to live at home later in life, but in actuality people of all ages benefit from universal design.
Really, the concept is about construction and design choices that make it easier to get around the home. Examples of universal design elements include good lighting that can be controlled from various points, wide hallways and doorways, outlets that are higher up on the wall and smooth, even flooring.
Add an Accessory Dwelling Unit
Tiny homes have been a popular trend, but they aren’t always a primary residence. Many multigenerational households are creating more private living arrangements by building small accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
In some cities where there are housing shortages, tiny house zoning regulations have been loosened so that more accessory dwelling units can be constructed. It’s a great solution for aging parents that want independence but can still be close to family members.
Turn your house design into a dream home for the whole family at myHouseby.com. Personalize and expand home designs in real time, take a virtual tour then connect with builders who can make it a reality all from one place.