Can multiple generations live together under one roof? Absolutely!
Are you thinking of inviting your parents to live with you? Maybe your adult children are planning to move home after graduation or while they’re between jobs.
Families across Minnesota and the country are creating multigenerational households. Even before the 2020 pandemic and employment challenges, families were choosing to live together to save money, build intergenerational ties, and take care of each other.
If you’re thinking of creating a multigenerational household, here are some areas to consider.
Design for all ages and abilities
Create functional spaces that all household members can use comfortably. List your everyday tasks and how you would complete them if you had limited mobility. Which spaces would be too small, too high, or beyond your reach? What could be moved or adjusted on your first floor to make it most useful? Take a look at “Universal Bathroom Design for St Paul Condo” to read about a bathroom project we completed, designed around accessibility.
Plan for both common and private spaces
You’ll need some common areas where everyone can hang out together, like a seating area with comfy couches and ottomans, or a large island or table where you can eat together and play games.
Family members will also need quiet spaces where they can retreat. You could designate certain rooms or floors as quiet or private zones. Or if you have the space, create separate rooms, like a master suite or a mother-in-law apartment with its own entrance.
Add smart home technology
Smart appliances, lighting, security, and virtual assistants will add convenience, efficiency, and peace of mind. Before you dive in and add smart devices to your home, remember that all devices connected to the internet are vulnerable to hackers. Seek expert advice as you build your smart home system, and make sure you’re following all best practices for keeping your home and your information safe.
Allow for personal expression
People want to feel like it’s their home, not like they’re a long-term guest. Make sure each person in the household has a place to display something personal, like photos, or put a favorite piece of furniture in the living room.
Create a parking plan
Tally up the number of vehicles that will be in the combined household, and determine which will be in a garage, under a carport, or on the street. It may make sense to add another bay or extra depth to an existing garage or to build a tuck-under garage if your house sits on a hill. If you expand your garage, you may have an opportunity to add a studio apartment above it.