Trends in housing come and go. One such trend that has resurfaced over the last several years is multigenerational homes. These homes are appealing to many families because they allow a stronger family bond, the ability to directly care for older family members, and oftentimes, more space for living and co-existing. Families will often opt for a multigenerational home instead of moving aging loved ones into assisted living facilities. There are many other benefits to be enjoyed as well. Here's a look at what exactly multigenerational homes are, why they've become popular, and how builders are responding to this growing trend.
What is a Multigenerational Home?
It’s true – any home with kids contains multiple generations. But the true definition of a multigenerational home is one that includes at least two adult generations. Most commonly, this is an adult, with or without children of their own, and their aging parent or parents. Though they're not for everyone, there are a number of reasons why this arrangement has become very popular in recent years, which we'll dive into shortly.
When a home is built or renovated to accommodate multiple generations, the terms in-law suite, granny flat, guest suite, or similar are used to define the space. It generally includes some amount of private space, including the following:
· Sitting room
Generally, the home also shares the common areas of the house, including the main living room, dining room, and kitchen. However, the process of developing this space is just as unique as the people who will occupy it. And who doesn’t love having their own space?
Why Have Multigenerational Homes Become Popular?
As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, many of their children are weary of assisted living and nursing homes. Not willing to take this route for their loved ones, they're choosing to have their aging family members stay with them instead. This not only helps avoid the high expense of these facilities, it also provides them with the one-on-one time they want.
Another aspect of the multigenerational home is economics. It's much less expensive to maintain a single larger home than multiple smaller homes. When the housing bubble burst and took the economy down with it in 2008, many young adults moved home to escape ridiculously high mortgages during a tough economy. As the economy improved, the families realized that this situation worked out well and continued living together to keep their tight family dynamic.
How are Homebuilders and Remodelers Accommodating This Trend?
Adding spaces for loved ones has become very popular over the past few years, and builders have responded with care to this growing trend. For aging family members suffering from dementia-related diseases, private suites can be designed that reflect their existing home situation, including:
· Room sizes
· Door/window sizes and placement
· Paint colors
· Trims and similar aspects
This helps them feel like they're still at home, lowering their stress from the move.
Another example is incorporating universal design principles into the addition or renovation. Factors such as grab bars and comfort-height toilets in the bathroom, kitchen cabinets with accessibility features, non-slip flooring, lever handles for door knobs, bathrooms on the same level as bedrooms, and wider doorways can all make it easier for an aging adult to remain in the home and retain their independence for as long as possible.
By turning your home into a multigenerational structure through a renovation, in-law suite addition, or similar approach, you can make your home meet the needs of all of your family members. Having an aging loved one nearby while still giving them their independence is an ideal arrangement. This creates a strong family dynamic in a fast-paced world where people seem to be drifting apart.
If you're considering renovations to your home or a family member's home to create a multigenerational structure, Tilghman Builders can help. Reach out today to get started on your next project.
This blog was originally published on April 19th, 2019 and was updated on March 22nd, 2022 for context and clarity.
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