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Tips for Building a Multigenerational Home

April 16, 2020

As costs of living rise, many families have found that multigenerational households are an effective way to share expenses. Whether you plan to bring aging parents into the fold or reopen the nest to adult children, combining households under one roof is a pleasant solution to many modern concerns. 

Need help with childcare in the evenings? Grandparents are there to watch the kids! Want a housesitter you can trust while you take an extended vacation? It’s no problem when your son’s family is there to run the home while you’re away! Plus, the added benefit of increased closeness and quality time between generations makes for memories that you all will treasure.

To ensure that your multigenerational household is a positive experience for everyone, it’s important to find the right space. The best way to make a place that an extended family can call home is to work with experienced multigenerational home builders to help you plan and construct your custom home. You will also want to consider the privacy, accessibility, adaptability, and individuality of your household members to successfully craft your family’s dream home. 

These four tips will guide you in your journey to a household where every family member thrives.

Tip 1: Prioritize Privacy

Anyone who has had roommates knows that a healthy respect for boundaries is necessary in a cooperative living situation. This can get a little muddied when you reside with family members. One way to address this is through strategic home layouts that set your household up for success.

Prioritizing privacy could mean building a separate in-law suite for extended family members. This may be connected to the home, or it could be an external structure like a pool house. Some families choose to give the in-law suite its own driveway access point and entrance for added freedom. Other families may demarcate their household spaces by centering the shared areas of the home like the kitchen and living room and then placing the bedrooms and offices on opposite sides.

Tip 2: Think Accessibility

In order for a shared household to work, it must be comfortable for everyone who lives there. With family members at different stages of their lives, multigenerational home builders need to think beyond one-size-fits-all. It is also important to remember that what is comfortable today may not be comfortable for older family members in five or ten years. Make sure that your plans meet the future needs of your home’s inhabitants.

Households that work for people of all ages and abilities include single-level homes with wide doorways and at least one wheelchair-accessible bathroom. It’s also important to place door handles, light switches, and outlets within the reach of someone using a wheelchair or walker. If babies and young children will be a part of the home, you may want to include safety measures like pool gates, raised outlets, and child-proofed windows. When your plans are inclusive of everyone’s current and future needs, your home will be a haven to all for years to come.

Tip 3: Go for Adaptability

It’s likely that some unexpected things will happen between family members’ moving in and moving out of your custom home. To make room for change, craft a layout with plenty of open space so your communal areas can accommodate your shifts in family size and structure. A floor plan that allows flow between the kitchen, living room, and dining area will give your household a meaningful place to eat, relax, and play together. 

As you set aside spaces for bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, and storage, make sure to carve out some room for multipurpose areas. This flexible space will come in handy down the line if you have guests, need more workspace, or have other life changes that require additional private spaces. The more your household can shift with your lifestyle, the longer your home will work for your family.

Tip 4: Highlight Individuality

Just as every family is different, every person in your household brings a special flavor to the mix. Shared living works best when household members have the opportunity to personalize a part of the home. This may mean making space for grandma’s potter’s wheel or dedicating an area for dad’s recording studio. Maybe you can even finally give in to the kids’ requests for a backyard ropes course. When you bring your family’s wishes to the table, you will make a home that reflects and nourishes each member’s unique character.

The most important piece of this process is that you find a builder who understands and is on board with your family’s project. When you choose to work with us at Paradisa, you get Austin custom home builders with the design savvy and building experience to bring your family’s dreams to life. Contact us today to begin the journey to your multigenerational dream home.