Multi-generational homes are becoming more and more popular. (Especially since the last recession.) One of the biggest drivers behind the uptick in multi-generational living is finances, since it often times makes more financial sense. Another, is the increase in the older population, which is making it so that an ever increasing number of adult children are caring for their parents.
We’ve discussed at length the idea of living in your home for as long as you can. The truth of the matter is that aging in place is something you do for a period of time. Near the tail-end of that time, you may find yourself still wanting to live independently, but it doesn’t make sense for you to stay by yourself all the time. That’s where multi-generational living comes into play.
Multi generational family definition
The multi-generational family definition from the U.S Census Bureau states, “Multi-generational families as those consisting of more than two generations living under the same roof. Many researchers also include households with a grandparent and at least one other generation.”
Multi-generational households statistics
In 2014, a record 60.6 million people (19% of the U.S. population) lived in a mult-generational home. Here’s what that broken down into the ages of people in those households.
1. Two adult generations (such as parents and their adult children) – 29.7 million Americans (Adult children = Ages 25 or older. Does not include most college students who live at home.)
2. Three-generation households (example: grandparents, parents and grandchildren) – 26.9 million people in 2014
3. More than three generations – Fewer than a million people
4. Grandparents and grandchildren – 3.2 million Americans
Benefits of multi generational living
There are definitely advantages of living in a multi-generational household. From financial to logistics. in many situations it may be the exact thing to help you and your family.
You can take advantage of many of these benefits of multi-generational households regardless of how or when you start. If you plan ahead is almost always going to net a better result for everyone involved.
One of the largest benefits will be seen in quality of life; for you and your family, since living under the same roof can have a positive effect on so many aspects of your lives.
For instance, if you planned ahead, your home will have been remodeled to suit this new lifestyle together. (Which, can bring a greater level of efficiency into your lives.) Transportation costs can be reduced, since everyone is in the same place. You also can (with the right planning) expect to get help with monthly costs, such as utilities, mortgage, etc. (This may be more realistic if it is a parent moving in with adult children.)
There’s also are benefits waiting for you down the road, such as the resale value of your home. Obviously, we’re still in the early parts of the age wave, but every industry indication is that multi-generational homes (including those that have been modified for aging in place) are going to be in high demand.
Remodeling for multiple generations
The question we get asked so often from our remodeling clients about creating multi generational homes is, “What can I do to my home so I can move my mom (or dad) in and can we do it so we both still have our privacy?”
The short answer is there are several options to choose from and yes, of course you can. Here are three options of your options.
Remodel for a 2nd master suite
If you have the space within the existing walls of your house, you can remodel the interior space to create a second master suite. This master suite would contain a bedroom and bathroom that was designed specifically for someone who was older. If you are in a two story house, it would need to be constructed on the main level.
Home addition for a master suite
Another popular option with our clients is designing a new addition to your home to become a new master suite. Again, this would include a bathroom and bedroom designed appropriately and providing privacy for an adult children’s family and the parent.
Traditionally, an in-law suite is constructed separate from the existing home. Meaning, it may connect with the main home, but are built separately and considered separate quarters. Depending where you are, there may be regulations that apply to this type of construction. If you work with DeVol, we will advise you this option is one you should choose for your location before the project starts.e on accessibility
Easy living and accessibility
We’ve mentioned age appropriate design in previously. What this means is that we’ll incorporate accessible design, Universal Design, ADA compliant bathroom design, open-access floor plans and other design concepts as needed to ensure the new parts of your home (or other parts, if you choose to remodel those) are suitable for everyone to use.
We want your home to be easier to live in and accessible to all. Some features multi-generational homes may have, include:
- Wider doorways and open floor plans
- Plenty of easily accessed storage space
- Non-slip florring
- Bathrooms with accessibility and safety features built-in
- Separate entrances that appropriate safety and accessibility features
- Phones and Internet access.
- Emergency/SOS system to call for help
The truth is, one main area of concern that everyone has in multi-generational homes is privacy. The more people in a home, the greater the risk of losing your privacy.
That’s why the concept of the master suite is so appropriate in you’re in a caregiving situation. You can have separate spaces, but remain in close proximity, which can reduce the stress of caregiving, logistics, etc.
Home improvement for multi-generational homes
If you are ready to move your parent in, or are considering rennovating your home to move in your adult children, so you can simply everyone’s life, remodeling to create a multi-generational home is a great step that can have many benefits.
DeVol specializes in home accessibility, which can help families create the home they need so everyone is cared for. We are licensed, insured Certified Aging in Place Specialis (CAPS) and can create a fully ADA compliant remodeled home.
1 A record 60.6 million Americans live in multigenerational households, Pew Research, Factank, Auguest, 2016