In some cultures, multi-generational households are commonplace, but here in the United States, they have just recently started to grow in popularity. There are a number of reasons for this. Some families, for instance, are opting to care for aging parents in their own homes rather than pay nursing home costs. In other situations, two-income families are choosing to have able-bodied grandparents move in to assist with childcare.
No matter what your household’s circumstances are, the fact that you’re reading this guide indicates that you’re preparing for a multi-generational remodel sooner rather than later. The tips that are detailed below should help you create a peaceful transition for everyone involved. Remember, having three or four generations living under one roof may not always be easy, but it is worth it!
Create an Accessible Entry
Nearly all multi-generational homes need to have entryways that are easily accessible for those with mobility issues. This may conjure images of cold, metal wheelchair ramps in your head. Fortunately, a good designer can help you create a ramp that will blend seamlessly into your house’s aesthetic. If, for instance, you have teak accents on your home, a teak wood ramp would be a welcome addition to your front walk or porch.
Redesigning Your First Floor
During multi-generational remodeling projects, the first floor of a home tends to require the most work. This is due to the fact that senior citizens often struggle with stairs, so their primary living, sleeping, and bathing areas all need to be on the main story. Depending upon the current layout of your house, this could require a little work or a major overhaul.
Your contractor can help you design a space that will be functional, but still attractive, for everyone living in your household. One popular option is to add a second master suite for whoever is moving in. This affords some measure of privacy, including a separate sitting area and bathroom.
Narrow doorways can be a problem for older adults, especially those who get around in wheelchairs. If possible, consider altering your home’s doorways to have 36-inch openings. Another option is to add double doors instead of single doors. If you live in an open concept home, this issue may not affect you.
Consider Your Flooring Options
All flooring options have pros and cons in multi-generational households. Hardwood floors, for instance, can be harder for little ones to navigate as they learn to crawl and walk, but carpet can be challenging for older individuals who use wheelchairs. You will have to think about your family’s unique needs as you assess your flooring situation. If you need suggestions for how to best renovate the floors in your space, have a conversation with your contractor.
At Hatch Homes, we want to give you and your family a space where you can make great memories for decades to come. We look forward to helping you remodel your house to fit all of your family members’ needs, no matter what stage of life they happen to be in. We look forward to hearing from you and getting started on your project right away!