Home & Hearth – Multi Generational Living

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By Denise Smith of FA Design Build

The resurgence of multi-generational living is transforming the remodeling industry. Aging Baby Boomers, a stagnant housing market and the recent economic downturn have contributed to a growing number of parents, adult children and their children all living together under one roof. Many of these families decide to create a permanent and private area within their existing home to accommodate these changes.
One effect of recent economic challenges has been the return of a greater number of grown children to the family home. In fact, according to Pew Research, 21.6% of adults between 25 and 34 are living with their parents. In-law suites are small apartments configured to be both private and easily accessible to the main living space. They usually are added to the home after construction and have a separate entrance, kitchen, bath, bedroom and living room. I recently worked with a woman to remodel her basement,
which already had a bedroom and full bath, to accommodate her elderly mother. For kitchen space, my client’s first instinct was to simply add a wet bar to the rec room. Upon our discussion we decided her mother would be more comfortable if she had a full-sized refrigerator and oven.

Together, this family solved the dilemma of how to allow an elderly parent to feel both independent and secure. Adding an “Accessory Dwelling Unit” is another way that people provide each generation with privacy and independence within one home. These are living spaces built on the property but not within the house, such as an apartment added above the garage. As family members move out, the apartment can also be rented for extra income.
Some families would rather have all generations living more integrally. Adding another master bedroom can meet this need.
With many options for meeting your multi-generational living goals, professional guidance can go a long way. As with any remodeling project, the key to success is hiring a contractor who understands the needs of the family, now and in the future.
Denise Smith is a design and sales consultant for FA Design Build in Woodbridge. She can be reached by email at dsmith@fadesignbuild.com



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