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Custom Home Design for Multigenerational Living

April 16, 2024

Custom Home Design for Multigenerational Living

The rising cost of living has become a bit of a broken record at this point. Nonetheless, it is simply a reality that many Americans are having to get creative in order to pay the bills these days. This often starts with living arrangements. More and more people are considering roommates, using their home as a vacation rental, and exploring tiny houses or van life as ways to keep costs under control. Another trending idea is to build custom  multigenerational homes. By having multiple generations living under the same roof, modern homeowners can keep it “all in the family” while still leveraging multiple income sources to pay the mortgage on their dream home. Keep reading as we explore some of the key tenets to developing a successful custom home design for multigenerational living. 

Energy Efficiency

With multiple generations living under a single roof, utility consumption is likely to be stretched. Therefore, any features that can keep utility use under control will be highly desirable in a custom home. Larger windows for increased natural light transmission, the  best insulation for exterior walls to keep the building envelope airtight, and EnergyStar kitchen appliances are a few of the ideas for curbing consumption and keeping multigenerational homes as energy efficient as possible. 

Functional Exteriors

Even the most strategically designed multigenerational homes can feel a bit crowded when everyone is trying to use it at the same time. Therefore, it is essential to leverage every square inch of the property by creating functional exterior spaces. Not only can functional exteriors provide a change of scenery to break up the day, but they can help residents “get away” when they are not exactly feeling the home’s interior scene. Some of the ways to create functional exteriors is through the addition of decks with louvered pergolas and gas fire pits with stylish permeable pavers. An outdoor kitchen is a particularly interesting idea in multigenerational homes as it can accommodate greater volumes of food or promote the preparation of alternate meals when some members of the household require a special diet. 

Robust Railing

Railings are a critical feature in multigenerational homes. More than simply accents, the railing system in multigenerational spaces will ensure safety and functionality for all residents. In addition to staircase railing, it is essential to look into  wall mounted handrail systems for the bathroom. This can help prevent accidents in the shower and help older members of the family who need a bit of assistance maneuvering in tight spaces. 

Open Interiors

It may seem intuitive that more walls would be necessary in a multigenerational home to help keep everyone out of each other’s business. While there will definitely be more defined bedrooms and private spaces than in traditional single-family homes, it is actually better to keep common areas of multigenerational houses as open as possible. This will help prevent feelings of claustrophobia when many people are competing for the same space. Therefore, tear down the walls in the kitchen and living room to keep these spaces as connected as possible. Install kitchen islands for 360-degree access to the cook area. Leverage bar-style seating along the walls to further leverage space. Consider sliding pocket doors to keep the area open on a daily basis but promote separation as needed. 

Productive Spaces

More and more people are working remotely and/or living remote lifestyles. While this has changed the game in custom home design, in general, it creates even greater challenges in multigenerational spaces. It can be extremely difficult to get work done when the dogs are barking, the kids are getting ready for school, and the grandparents are chatting over their morning coffee. Therefore,  modern home office design in multigenerational homes takes the next step to ensure productivity. Acoustic wall panels help absorb sound and keep noise local to the area it originates. Portable wall partitions can help create a barrier that blocks distracting background movements. Solid surface desks and countertops make it easy to maintain the office and limit the amount of time spent on cleaning. 

Durable Features

With more people using common spaces, it only stands to reason that multigenerational homes will face greater wear and tear than their standard counterparts. Therefore, any materials that enhance durability while lowering maintenance will be the way to go for a custom build. Look at engineered hardwood flooring, nonporous quartz countertops, and stainless steel fixtures and drawer pulls as great places to start for enhancing the durability of the multigenerational structure. 

Fit for All Ages: Trending Multigenerational Design Principles

Americans face many challenges in achieving their dream home in this era of high interest rates and rising costs of living. One creative solution is to build a custom home that accommodates multiple generations under the same roof. By considering the ideas listed above and other resources at  Sater Design Collection, you can get a leg up on creating a custom multigenerational home that satisfies the needs of all residents. 

Image Pictured At Top: Modaro House Plan

Author Bio:

Roger Marx is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest trending building and design products. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on backyard projects in his spare time. Roger’s work as a freelance writer can be found on  Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.

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