Adding more family members to an existing home can seem like a logistical nightmare. For some families, dealing with cramped personal space is one of the worst parts of living with extended family. This is why many families consider either purchasing a new home or renovating their existing home.
There are a few key home features you should consider to give everyone some breathing room and limit familial arguments and bickering.
One of the most popular floor plans offered today features multi-gen living space, which can add an additional 250 square feet to a home and include a mini-kitchen, separate living room, bedroom and bathroom suite, and a separate entrance. Families like this option because it is separated yet connected to the main home, illustrating one of the main advantages of living with extended family: family bonding.
But don’t limit your thinking to just a single-family home. Even some townhouses can provide multi-gen living space on the lower level possibly for a boomerang child moving back home. Here are some other things to consider when shopping for a new home:
• Separate living spaces: While family togetherness is valued and important, family members want some retreat spaces so make sure there are places for the kids to play video games, Grandma to do her yoga and mom to enjoy a quiet book.
• Additional bathrooms: Not a surprise that you’ll need more bathrooms with more family members.
• Large gathering spaces: Family bonding is the best reason for living with extended family so make sure your living room, great room or basement can foster board game or movie nights with plenty of seating.
• Dual master suites or casitas: Many homebuilders now offer the option for dual master suites with at least one of the suites on the first floor, perfect for the aging parent. Some homes in the Western states offer casitas – a small house in a courtyard or in the back yard of the main home. Casitas are often very popular because of the separate entrance and separation of space.
Many families may not want to move to a new home, but rather enhance or renovate their existing home. From the kitchen to the bathroom to layout, consider a few tips to ensure better functionality in the home.
Here are some tips for updating, remodeling or redesigning an existing home:
• Kitchen: Add some universal design concepts, such as raised dishwashers or lowered microwaves. Maybe even touchless faucets or rounded islands to better accommodate a wheelchair. Some even add another kitchen sink to accommodate multiple cooks.
• Bathrooms: These are one of the most common places that seniors get injured. Maximize the space in your bathroom with walk-in showers that have a seat or bench, add grab bars and a non-slip mat.
• Entries: Think about a no-step entry into your home via the garage or front door. Also look at your doorways and make them wider to accommodate a wheelchair.
• The basement: The lower level offers a wealth of space. You can transform it to a mini-apartment or a gigantic playroom or a big gathering space where all generations can come together.