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Under One Roof – How Builders Create Private Spaces in Multigenerational Homes

Posted on July 25, 2016 by Peter-John Woolf

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The challenge for multigenerational families living under one roof is to create private spaces for each family member. Everyone needs their own privacy and their own space. Often when families start searching for this type of home, they find that existing, older homes are simply not built for multigenerational living.

However, new home builders understand what these types of families are looking for in a house. And they can build a new home that is perfect for them and their unique family.

By incorporating private space into their floorplan for each generation, it respects the needs of both families and all the individuals. Builders know that not only is it important for individual family members to find their special places, but equally important is creating common gathering spaces to bring the family together.

Creating A Plan For Each Generation

The secret to multigenerational living is the floorplan. Whether a multigenerational family wants to live collectively throughout the house or create an in-law suite, the layout needs to fit how the family wants to live together.

Living Together

To accommodate adult children living with their parents, a floorplan may require a number of ensuite bathrooms. Now while bathrooms may not seem like a big thing or a necessity, incorporating multiple ensuites into a floorplan can be the ideal solution.

Allowing everyone to keep their own schedule and not worry about who might be using the bathroom when they want to get ready for work or other activities, will give every member a sense of freedom that they would normally have had if they lived in their own place.

multigenerational-home-search.jpgSeparate Spaces

Likewise, a solution like building an in-law or nanny suite in the basement can give older parents the privacy that they need, want and deserve. Depending on the space, it can range from a simple bedroom with ensuite to a larger bedroom complete with ensuite and seating area. Often these types of suites will also include a separate entrance, their own kitchen and living areas so that they can even privately entertain guests.

Essentially the suite can be a full one-bedroom apartment with their preferred décor and where they can stay undisturbed away from the rest of the family. When they want to join the family, they can. But, the suite gives them options and provides them with their own separate living space.

Providing all the amenities of a separate home on a smaller scale in the basement ensures they have everything (including privacy) that they have grown accustomed to in their own home.

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Other New Home Considerations

While privacy and common living spaces are significant, when you are building a new home, you can also incorporate additional elements that can help keep harmony in the household and plan for the future.

Soundproofing can be immensely important in a multigenerational home. The feeling of privacy is increased when sounds are segregated, and disruptions of individual routines are minimized. So, before you finalize your plans, ensure that you speak to your builder about upgrading the insulation or adding foam or insulation into the ceilings between floors or adjoining walls.

Planning to add in some assisted-living features may also help in the long-term. As older parents age, their mobility can decrease, and they may require help getting around with the assistance of mobility aids. Before you start building, it is easy to add features like wider doorframes or a no-threshold shower or extra space around the toilet. Not incorporating these features can be a costly mistake and involve a pricey renovation in the future.

If mobility is a current concern, an alternative is to locate the bedroom along with a full bathroom on the main floor. Changing the layout in this way eliminates all concerns about stairs and access that can cause problems for people in their golden years.

As more families chose multigenerational living and begin to live together under one roof, home buyers will be looking for this type of house. Creating a home for your multigenerational family will not only benefit you now by giving your family the privacy and space they need; it can also boost your resale value whenever you decide to sell it.

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Topics: design