Multiplied by Generations

Multi-generational homes are more than just a trend. Homes designed for children, parents and grandparents are becoming more common as families combine living spaces. Whether it’s aging Baby Boomers taking care of elderly parents, children returning from college or lost jobs, or simply young couples trying to save for their own homes, generational living is a way of life.

Remodeling a home to accommodate several generations has many advantages. First, it allows families to stay in their current homes and neighborhoods where they’ve built a familiar life. Children stay in the same school system and the community remains the same. It also allows custom solutions to individual challenges. The remodeling can be as simple as adding walls to create more private spaces, or blowing out walls to create a community space, depending on the needs of the family. The key is flexibility.

Roomy kitchens with island or counter seating and a breakfast nook with table seating will allow comfort for several generations. Great rooms also offer a gathering space for family members, and allow sight lines from the kitchen, or work area, to the entertaining or play area – for both younger and older residents. Incorporating universal design in any multi-generational remodeling effort makes all parts of the home accessible to all generations. At the very least, hallways and doorways should be wide enough for assistive devices and bathrooms should have grab bars and seats in the shower. Showers are replacing the huge soaking tubs of earlier generations, and floors should be non-slip in all areas. Most multi-generational remodeled floor plans will include at least one master suite on the ground floor, so that older residents can avoid stairs. Jack and Jill bathrooms are also popular because the room combinations can be used as mini-suites. Finally, a complete in-law suite is another great option for a home addition. A separate entrance can provide the necessary feeling of privacy, yet the area is accessible to other family members as necessary.