An individual's reasons for wanting a multi-generational home can vary just as much as the reasons for wanting any custom home. For some families, a multi-generational home is about tradition and family togetherness. For others, it may be a more practical and budget-driven decision regarding care for an elderly family member.
There are many benefits for living in a multi-generational home. Family members can experience emotional well-being and closeness, look out for one another, and help support each other in daily activities. In addition, grandparents are a part of their grandchildren's daily lives, which can help the parents and create a unique bond between grandparent and grandchild.
Many options are available for multi-generational homes to help families create their forever home. Perhaps there will be two complete and separate living spaces under one roof or simply the addition of a mother-in-law suite to a custom floor plan. No matter which layout fits your family best, there are some universal things to consider for multi-generational homes.
While you many not have family members with limited mobility currently, it could become a factor in the future. When finalizing your house plan and other features of your custom home, keep accessibility in mind. Can a person in a wheelchair or walker easily navigate the main floor? Should the bathroom be ADA compliant? What modifications may be needed to sidewalks and entrances if a wheelchair is later needed? If building a two-story home, also consider where family gathering spaces will be located and whether all members of the family will be able to access them in the future.
Privacy can be a key component with multiple generations living under one roof. What type of separation do you want between living spaces? You can achieve privacy by creating completely separate spaces in the floor plan or using shelving or even temporary walls that could be modified at a later time, depending on your family's needs now and in the future.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations for multi-generational homes is flexibility. Change happens in families, whether that's through birth, death, or moving away. What happens to your extra living space when you no longer need it for a family member? For some families, the answer may be renting out that portion of their home through a traditional rental agreement or by the day through an online room rental service like Airbnb. For others, a significant change in family may mean selling your forever home and moving to a different home.
Multi-generational homes have many benefits for families that are growing and changing, but be sure to keep the future in mind as you plan your forever home.
For more thoughts on designing the house plan that will serve your family's needs the best, download a free copy of our guide / workbook, 3 Steps to the Perfect Floor Plan.